Toys For Bob vs Vicarious Visions

Toys For Bob and Vicarious Visions both worked on the Skylanders series. Toys For Bob initially handled Spyro's Adventure and Giants, then Activision ordered that Vicarious Visions make the third Skylanders game, leading to Swap Force. From then on, development of Skylanders games switched between Toys For Bob and Vicarious Visions every year. Trap Team was made by Toys For Bob, Superchargers was made by Vicarious Visions, and Imaginators was made by Toys For Bob before the series was put on an indefinite hiatus.

To put it simply:

Since Toys For Bob and Vicarious Visions mostly worked independently from one another, each development team had its own flavour, so to say. It's pretty easy to tell a Toys For Bob game from a Vicarious Visions game.


Overall, Vicarious Visions had a much more cartoonish artstyle compared to Toys For Bob. The characters are much more exaggerated and kinda cuteish. For example, the Chompy!

Chompies, Skylanders Spyro's Adventure (Toys For Bob). They have multiple rows of sharp teeth with small, black, unfeeling eyes.
Chompies, Skylanders Giants (Toys For Bob). Basically the same as the first game's.
Chompies, Swap Force (Vicarious Visions). A new cartoon design, teeth are now rounded and are only one row, their tongue sticks out like a dog's, and their eyes are now big and show expression.

Toys For Bob's artstyle leans slightly more towards realism that Vicarious Visions'.


Toys For Bob's levels are short. A lot of them could be beaten in 10 minutes or less. Vicarious Visions creates long levels, so long that they're often split up into smaller chunks. Take Superchargers, that game only has 13 chapters, but considering how long it takes to beat them, they're split into 50+ chunks. These chunks can easily be an entire Toys For Bob level!


Each Skylanders game was centred around a new gimmick. Spyro's Adventure's gimmick was simply being a Toys To Life game, Giants' gimmick was the giant Skylanders, Swap Force's gimmick was the swappers, Trap Team's gimmick was the Trap Masters, Superchargers' gimmick was the vehicles and Superchargers, and Imaginators' gimmick was creating your own Skylander.

Vicarious Visions' gimmicks were usually more innovative, maybe barring Imaginators. They made the swapping Skylanders and brought new figure types (vehicles) into the series. Toys For Bob never really innovated like this. Vicarious Visions figured out new ways you could interact with the toys in real life and in-game, Toys For Bob only cared for how the Skylanders played in-game.

Treatment of Previous Gimmicks & Titles

Vicarious Visions reworked previous gimmicks and features into future games in a way that Toys For Bob didn't. In Swap Force, Giant chests were only unlockable by Giants. In Trap Team, Toys For Bob pretended that the Swap Force never existed. In Superchargers, Traps gave elemental powers to vehicles and unlocked Skystones. In Imaginators, vehicles are useless. Vicarious Visions brought old gimmicks back into new games in a much better fashion than Toys For Bob by making them do something new, meanwhile Toys For Bob basically pretended previous gimmicks never existed. The most Toys For Bob ever did was letting Giants break breakable walls without the need of a bomb in Trap Team, but even then that was mostly a hold over from Giants since Trap Team ran on the Giants engine.

Vicarious Visions acknowledged the existence of the Quests feature in Giants by showing your Skylander's old bronze/silver/gold elemental symbol alongside the new one. Toys For Bob completely removed this feature in Trap Team. The worst thing both companies did was completely neglect Heroic Challenges.


Last Updated: February 26, 2024
Page Created: February 18, 2024