I'm covering Series 1 here (the first five Play Sets), and if there's enough content to warrant it, I'll cover Series 2 and 3 in a similar fashion down the road. Expect impressions of the two Series 1 Play Sets that are sold separately very soon.
How do I get started, and how much does everything cost?
To play Disney Infinity you'll need to buy the starter pack for $74.99. It comes with the actual game disc, three toys/in-game characters (Sully, Jack Sparrow, and Mr. Incredible), the base to hold the toys, and one random power disc (which I'll explain in a second). Should you decide you want more, characters are $13 each, new campaigns (Play Sets) are $34.99 and come with two characters, and there are a select few triple character packs for $29.99.
The cheapest way to own everything in Series 1 without deals is to buy the Starter Pack ($74.99), the Sidekicks pack ($29.99), the Villains Pack ($29.99), Dash ($12.99), Violet ($12.99), Francesco ($12.99), Mater ($12.99), the Cars Play Set ($34.99), and the Lone Ranger Play Set ($34.99). That's a grand total of $256.91 at retail for five campaigns that range from 5-10 hours each, and 17 toys to use in Toy box. Yowzers!
On the base itself, there is room for two characters to fit into the circular grooves (left is player one, right is player two). If you want to play a multiplayer campaign (Play Set), both characters must be a part of the same franchise (meaning, you cannot play local campaign co-op with the starter kit). Toy Box eliminates this restriction, as all franchises can fully mix.
On the top part of the base, you can place a Play Set piece (currently, one piece that contains Monsters/Pirates/Incredibles that comes in the starter pack, or separately sold pieces for Cars, and one for Lone Ranger -- $35 each) or a Power Disc in the hexagonal area on top.
The Disney Infinity Fans forum periodically updates threads with information on events and specials. Amazon, Toys "R" Us, Target, and Walmart are your usual suspects for deals.
How do Power Discs work?
Power Discs come in blind packs of two (in the silver and gold pack variety) for roughly $5 per pack.
It's confusing at first, but once you understand the two fundamental types, it's not that hard. Those two types are: circular and hexagonal. There's no rhyme or reason as to the blind packaging of each type -- a pack could come with any combination of circular or hexagonal bases. The circular discs are placed under your character (up to two at a time) and grant you passive bonuses, such as 10% extra damage.
The hexagonal discs can only be used in Toy Box mode, and grant you extra NPCs to play with (such as vehicles or weapons), as well as set pieces and themes (like an underwater Finding Nemo sky). If you're wondering how to change your set pieces after placing them on the base, you have to build the "Sky Changer" device and place it in your world. This isn't normally explained, and is really easy to miss.
Toys "R" Us periodically holds in-store "trading events" for these discs, and Amazon/eBay sellers will put them up individually if you need specific discs. Here's a great online checklist tool for all available Series 1 discs.
The two rarest discs are "Mike's Car" and "Tron User Control," which can run around $20 each from individual sellers. If you want to check and see what discs are in a blind pack before purchasing, simply place the sealed package on a demo kiosk base to check them.
Unlocking the vaults (requirements):
Vaults are giant doors that grant you a ton of extras if you unlock them. The only catch is, they require all characters within each set to interact with them before opening. Typically they give you a large number of Toy Box pieces, as well as a brand new Toy Box base level to mess around with.
In the starter pack, once again you only get three characters (Mr. Incredible, Sully, and Jack Sparrow), so your cheapest franchise options in terms of unlocking vaults are Monsters and Pirates, who only require two toys each (at $13 a pop) in addition to the starter pack. The Lone Ranger is the only pack to require two toys to unlock the vault, but you need to buy the Play Set separately.
Here's how many toys you'll need for each Play Set:
Monsters University: Mike, Sully, Randy (3)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones, Hector Barbosa (3)
The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, Dash, Violet, Syndrome (5)
Cars: Lightning McQueen, Holly Shiftwell, Mater, Francesco (4)
The Lone Ranger: Lone Ranger, Tonto (2)
Monsters University: Progress with the story until you get to the clock tower (roughly northwest of the starting area) -- the vault is on the tower itself. You can get there by flinging yourself over the fence with a prank box.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The vault is at the very beginning of the game. Do the first few tutorial quests until you get your ship, then go northeast of the ship's dock, facing away from the ship.
The Incredibles: This one is in the main city. Go to the bridge that's near the north side, near your headquarters (the building with the giant statue). The vault is on top of a building slightly west if you're facing away from the HQ, across the bridge to the city.
Cars: As soon as you start the map, you should be pointing towards a giant mountain range (one off to the right side -- not the big mountain in the center). Go under the mountain and into the caverns to find it. If you're lost, it's northeast of Luigi's in Radiator Springs.
The Lone Ranger: This vault is near the town of Colby. Face the train station, then head directly west to find it attached to a mountain range wall. This is the only vault in the game that only needs two characters to open, and can be opened within the confines of one Play Set pack. It's also the most fun campaign in the game.
Spinning for pieces in Toy Box:
By completing tasks in Play Sets you'll earn "Infinity Tokens," which earn you spins in the Toy Box for more extras like Pride Rock or Scrooge McDuck's Money Bin. You can find this contraption at the Disney Infinity home base, under the yellow icon.
My suggestion is to get at least 16 tokens, and shuffle the board until you find a piece you really want (like the Cave of Wonders for example) -- then, randomly spin until you get that piece, even if it takes you the entire board. As long as you don't shuffle the board, it won't switch the pieces around.
- In the Lone Ranger Play Set, make sure you find the five bone charm locations to unlock the ability to fly around the map at will as a crow. The last charm you'll typically find is the one on top of a large tower after building the second railroad track to unlock the third area. This is how you get those seemingly unobtainable power-ups flying in the sky.
- If you find yourself losing races in the Cars Play Set, buy all the turbo you can get your hands on. You'll need it to beat the last race in the game. To earn turbo, you can use tricks (the right analog stick) in the air, grind rails (powerslide on certain lips), and pick up gas cans. Typically, I use turbo as soon as I get it, until the last half of the last lap, where I save all my boosts to use at once.
- The best power discs to use to save time during Play Sets are the Tron disc (extra experience) and the Pirates disc (extra gold). Everything else is fairly superfluous.
- When using the hoverboard in the Incredibles Play Set, you won't be able to glide unless you "let it ride" into the air. If you attempt to jump beforehand you'll start falling. For maximum air, let it ride, then jump as soon as the board starts dipping.
- If you're wondering why you can't use all of your abilities in the Incredibles set, you have to unlock your HQ first, then go to the kung-fu trainer to learn your core power. If you're curious as to what the most effective abilities are, Dash is extremely useful for covering a lot of ground when vehicles aren't an option with his super speed.
- Some campaigns have repeatable missions that don't influence the core story. For instance, Cars has randomly generated objectives like "tow the speeder" or "rescue the tourist." You don't have to do these to beat the Play Set, but repeating them can earn you extra experience and cash.
So what's coming next?
The only Play Set that's currently confirmed is the "Toy Story in Space" set (which will most likely be priced at $34.99), which contains Buzz, Jesse, and the Toy Story campaign. You can buy Woody separately to use in this set. The "Frozen" pack is also coming later this year, and will contain the characters Anna and Elsa (no Play Set) as well as two unique Power Discs.
Individual characters for Series 2 are coming from October on, including Jack Skellington, Rapunzel, Wreck-It Ralph, Vanellope von Schweetz, Phineas, Perry, and Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey. As of the time of this writing, the individual characters for Series 2 will not have their own Play Sets/campaigns -- meaning, they have to be used in the Toy Box.
You may have seen a Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey toy floating around online for $200 -- this is a special character given out at Disney's 2013 D23 Expo. It will arrive eventually as a Series 2 or Series 3 figure in the future.
can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.