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The idea of 'a genie in a bottle' inspired the new 'Skylanders,' says developer

The concept of a genie in a bottle deeply inspired the traps in Skylanders Trap Team, Paul Reiche, executive producer at developer Toys for Bob told Examiner in an exclusive interview.

Skylanders Trap Team
Skylanders Trap Team

In the recently revealed Skylanders Trap Team, players are able to capture defeated villains using "traptanium crystals" (or simply, traps) that must be plugged into the newly introduced redesigned portal. Once captured, the enemy becomes an ally and can be sent back at any time to fight for the heroes. According to Reiche, Toys for Bob's goal is to make the player feel that there is really a character in the trap, hence the notion of a genie in a bottle.

"Early on we thought, ‘what are the fantasies we have for these characters?’ And one of them was playing as bad guys and the other one was sort of having a genie in a bottle," he said. "And then, once we got this idea of, ‘hey, we sent toys out there, now, can we go backwards?’ Because we never said we can’t. And it’s like okay, how do we make people feel like there is a character in this [trap], and not only is there a character in this [trap], but they were instrumental in making that happen?

"So we sort of layered this idea of a genie in a bottle with 'be the bad guy,' and yet we don’t want you doing bad guy things because you’re one of the heroes. But this idea of capturing evil and unleashing good, of transforming, not just destroying evil but transforming it to good became a theme that we really liked and thought was appropriate for our younger audience, where not all the problems you deal with in life require blowing things up [chuckles]. There are other ways of solving problems and so that’s a big part of what I think Trap Team is about."

What's more is that the traps allow for additional character variety.

"Skylanders is about characters, it’s about heroic adventure, but it’s all built on these unique, brand-new, crazy characters and we’re always looking for new ways to introduce them," Reiche said. "We’ve found success in Skylanders and we’ve got awesome new characters. The Trap Masters have these cool big transparent traptanium weapons, I think they’re going to be the best looking Skylanders ever, but we also wanted to give people the flexibility of saying, ‘you know what? I could buy this one Skylander if I like it, or I can buy this trap and try out four, five or six different characters in here.’"

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