The Skylanders series has taken the games and toy world by storm, mixing physical action figures with an interactive adventure game where players can see their characters come to life within their TV. The latest evolution in the series, SWAP Force is set to unleash a mix-and-match component to the formula later this year, giving Skylanders fanatics a whole new way to play.

“With Skylanders, we didn’t just create a beloved new franchise, we actually created an entirely new category that brings the world of physical toys and video games together like never before,” said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. “And now with Skylanders SWAP Force, we are pushing the genre we created forward with another big innovation: customization. The idea that kids can customize their own characters in the physical world and have their unique combinations recognized in the virtual world is an idea as big as the concept of bringing toys to life itself.”

In Skylanders and Skylanders Giants, players can place one of the game’s action figures on a “magic portal” that transfers that character or item into the game world. Swapping out characters is as easy as placing a different character on the portal. While SWAP Force will offer 32 new normal action figures, the main attraction will be the 16 characters with interchangeable bottoms and tops, creating more than 250 unique power and ability combinations for players to check out.

The SWAP Force game and action figures will first be shown off at Toy Fair 2013 next week in New York. The full game and toy line is expected to launch later this year. As always, all of your old Skylanders action figures will still be usable in the new game, only now they’ll actually be able to jump (an ability that was inexplicably left out of the two previous games).

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