Ah, Skylanders. It's been a cash grab from the start, but it used to be a cash grab I could enjoy.
I thought the first two were good, so sue me but it's been a while since I've played them, so maybe they suck, I dunno. I skipped Swap Force, but when Trap Team rolled around in 2014 I thought it looked interesting, and gave it a whirl. It was okay. Nothing exceptional. I got Superchargers for Christmas and I honestly don't like it. It's just really boring, and the vehicle sections are dumb. Let's not forget the pressure to buy toys...
In the first game, the only reason you needed toys of other elements was to open gates that led to stat-boosting hats and side quests (There were level peices too, but let's not get into those). You could beat the game with the three figures it came with and have a good time (I made it to the last level with those three toys, but couldn't beat that stupid hydra without forking over some cash). Every game beyond that point had a gimmick:
2 was Giants, bigger and stronger figures. You needed one to beat the game, as there were parts only they could pass by lifting a boulder or something. You got one with the game, though.
3 was Swap Force, figures you could mix and match. There were parts of levels you could only access with certain figures abilities or something, but I never played that one, I dunno.
4 was Trap Team, you can trap bad guys in crystals called, and I wish I was kidding, Traptanium. and you thought "Imaginators" was bad. There were bigger figures called "Trap Masters" and only they could open the elemental gates, rendering your old elemental collection worthless.
5's gimmick is vehicles, and it sucks. There are land, water, and air vehicles, but you only get a land vehicle with the game. In order to get three stars on a level, you need one of each. NPC's say things like "Oh, no! There's a monster underwater that you need to defeat for me with your water vehicle! Or you can just go around the fun part and take the boring path if you don't have one, y'know." It used to be "Want cool loot? Give us money!" Now it's "Want to enjoy your full priced video game? Give us money!"
That wasn't supposed to turn into a rant, but I got a little carried away.
Maybe I'm just salty because of all the money I've spent on the toys.
Traps aren't pictured, but I only have two. I also bought some Swap Force toys on clearance for really cheap a while ago, so I have a few of those. A lot of these were birthday/Christmas gifts I didn't pay for, but still, I have too many. The worst part is, they're getting nostalgic for me, and now I can never sell them.
I completely forgot to mention the local multiplayer mode. It was the best part, but they got rid of it in Trap Team.