‘Star Wars’ toy rush begins with ‘Disney Infinity’

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By Lou Kesten | Associated Press

When it comes to “Star Wars,” some aliens in a different galaxy said it best: Resistance is futile.

If you don’t know by now that a new “Star Wars” movie is coming to theaters in December, it’s time you came back down to Earth. By the end of this week, stores across this planet will be invaded by more Lucasfilm-inspired action figures and toy spaceships than you can shake a lightsaber at.

There will also be video games, starting with “Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars” (Disney Interactive, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, $64.99). If you’re thinking of expanding your collection of Jedi tchotchkes, it’s time you started hoarding galactic credits.

The Infinity franchise is Disney’s entry in the “toys-to-life” category: You place plastic figurines on a platform connected to your game console and the characters materialize onscreen. “Infinity 3.0” includes two characters from the “Clone Wars” animated TV series, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, and the “Twilight of the Republic” play set, an adventure that takes place between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith.”

If you’re more into the original trilogy, there’s a “Rise Against the Empire” play set, with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, available separately for $39.99. And individual “Star Wars” figurines, like Yoda and Han Solo, go for $13.99 apiece. But if you’re hoping for spoilers for the upcoming movie, you’re out of luck: The play set connected to “Episode VII: The Force Awakens” won’t come out until the movie does.

If you just invest in the starter bundle, though, you’ll find more than enough to keep you and your kids busy until December. The “Twilight” campaign offers a lively tour of the universe, bouncing across familiar planets like Hoth and Tatooine while providing some nerve-racking outer-space dogfights in between. Anakin and Ahsoka are nimble companions, mixing lightsaber skills with Force powers as they plow their way through hordes of Stormtroopers.

The “Infinity” part of the title comes in the Toy Box mode, which lets you create your own games and share them online. Developer Avalanche Software has pulled off a nifty trick with this new edition, streamlining the once chaotic Toy Box while opening up even more possibilities for the amateur game designer.

“Infinity” gives you all the tools you need to build racetracks and combat arenas. If you want to stretch your brain a little more, you can create mazes, musical puzzles and even rudimentary role-playing adventures. And if you’re really laid-back, you can tend to a farm or build a mansion to rival the Disneyland castle.

Beyond the starter kit, Disney has plenty of extras in the pipeline: an “Inside Out” play set featuring Joy and Anger; less pricey “Toy Box Expansion” games that mix up characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucas; and dozens of figurines.

To quote another famous alien, “Disney Infinity 3.0” should live long and prosper. RATING: Three stars out of four.

Associated Press

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