By: Chris Hodges, editor-in-chief
In case you haven’t heard, it was announced that the Disney Infinity franchise will be coming to an end, meaning no more sequels, playsets, or individual character toys. It’s too bad, not just because it was still the #1 selling collectible toy-based video game by a considerable margin and was still very popular, but because they are leaving so many potential Infinity toys/characters forever unused. Here are some of the best/most interesting of those overlooked characters and/or entire brands that never got touched.
People tend to forget that Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm also means that they now own Indiana Jones as well. And maybe I’m just speaking as someone who has only ever been a casual Star Wars fan but a huge Indy fan (I’m even a Crystal Skull defender), but Infinity 3.0 should’ve been the “Lucasfilm edition” instead of just the “Star Wars edition” and had at least one full playset devoted to Indiana Jones characters and worlds. One playset for classic Star Wars and one for Force Awakens would’ve been plenty if it meant that the third was all-Indy.
Probably the least-popular of the late-80s/early-90s Disney Afternoon cartoons, but Duck Tales and Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers already have plenty of video game fame and the original Jungle Book version of TaleSpin‘s Baloo alread has an Infinity toy. Plus, Darkwing Duck was just cool, and would make an awesome vdieo game character. A playset would probably be pushing it, but if they’d done one, it could’ve been stealth-based to shake up the Infinity formula a bit.
The non-Disney Kingdom Hearts characters
Yeah yeah, I know, Square-Enix likely owns these characters outright. That doesn’t mean it would’ve been impossible for them to show up in Infinity. Square let Nintendo use Cloud in Smash Bros., so they’re obviously not opposed to that type of thing. And this is a bit different than just picking some random non-Disney characters for Infinity since Sora and company already have a nearly 15-year history of appearing alongside Disney characters and entering Disney worlds. Plus, it would’ve given Disney the excuse to release special Kindgom Hearts variant toys of Donald and Goofy which would’ve drawn in some cash from Kingdom Hearts‘ still-rabid fanbase.
Once Disney makes a movie about something they didn’t originally create (which is a lot of their movies), they seem to have permanent rights to those characters so long as they are based on their movies. So I have no reason to assume that they wouldn’t still be able to put The Rocketeer into a video game as long as it was clearly modeled after their own movie of it. The Rocketeer is just a cool-looking character, with that very much of the 1940s yet still somehow always fresh and relevant look that he shares in common with characters like Captain America. Also…he has a jetpack. Still not convinced? Maybe adding Jennifer Connelly’s character to the roster too will get you on board the Rocketeer bandwagon.
A rare flop for a Disney animated movie, Treasure Planet was a technical marvel for its time and smartly modernized Treasure Island as a “pirates in space” adventure. The movie deserves much better than to be looked at as a forgotten Disney failure, and what better way than by reviving the brand for video games? Especially since we likely won’t ever see a sequel to Skies of Arcadia, a Treasure Planet playset in Infinity would’ve maybe scratched that sky pirate itch a bit as well. Word has it that one of the planned playsets for future Infinity installments was yet another Pirates of the Caribbean one. Yawn. This would’ve been a much more interesting choice.
Pixar may already comprise a disproportionately large percentage of the straight Disney portion of Infinity characters, but if stupid Cars can have a whopping four separate toys (five with variant) and there can be a Spot toy from the unremarkable The Good Dinosaur, then surely there could’ve at least been a single WALL-E toy as it’s a far better movie than those two (and WALL-E himself a far better character).
The Princess and the Frog
Disney made a big deal about how they were finally going to have an African-American Disney princess…and then she spent two-thirds of the movie as a frog. Tiana deserved better than that, and an Infinity toy would’ve been a nice gesture. But honestly, the movie is rich enough and has enough great characters that a playset wouldn’t have been unheard of. For one thing, the bayous of New Orleans are always a great setting, and for another, voodoo priest Dr. Facilier would’ve been a really interesting toy (and his witchcraft an interesting play mechanic).
In addition to Indiana Jones, another huge brand that people don’t always realize Disney owns is The Muppets. How there wasn’t even so much as a Kermit the Frog toy is beyond me. What made Infinity so great is seeing characters from different universes interact. There has never been any particularly good Muppets games, and that’s probably because the characters just don’t really lend themselves to carrying a video game on their own. But that’s another great thing about Infinity is that it gave characters like that who aren’t necessarily suited for an entire game a chance to still be video game characters. Also, I just like the idea of seeing Frank Oz’s two most iconic characters–Yoda and Miss Piggy–together in the same world (even if he probably wouldn’t have voiced them himself).
ANY Disney Channel Original Movie
There are now over 100 Disney Channel Original Movies, and to several generations of kids, they are just as big–if not bigger–parts of their childhood nostalgia than theatrical Disney movies. To have that entire legacy go completely unrecognized in Infinity was inexcusable. The premier of High School Musical 2 set the basic cable record for viewership of a movie broadcast at 17.2 million–that’s quite the draw. I’m not saying HSM is a great fit for Infinity toys, but it’s just an example of how popular DCOMs are. Xenon, Halloweentown, and Descendants are just a few examples of DOCMs that have characters that would make the transition toys in an action game quite well.
The X-Men and the rest of the (non-Avengers-related) Marvel Universe
The scope of the Marvel characters they mined for Infinity 2.0 was blatantly limited to The Avengers movies and their related characters. I realize that Marvel has a spider up their butts about not owning the movie rights to Fantastic Four and X-Men and wouldn’t have wanted to do anything to promote movies from “other studios,” but film industry politics should not have meant that 90% of the Marvel Universe went completely ignored in the Infinity world. The X-Men are my #1 choice for Marvel characters I would’ve wanted to see in Infinity, but there are countless others that are more than worthy and never got the chance just because of Disney’s preference for Infinity toys that specifically cross-promote current movies (which worked out so well for those Lone Ranger and Alice Through the Looking Glass toys that nobody wanted). Guardians of the Galaxy was a good movie and all, but come on…it didn’t deserve to be its own separate playset of just the three core sets in 2.0 when they had all of Marvel to pick from. The result is toys based on relative nobodies like Yondu and Gamora but none based on, oh I dunno, Wolverine, Human Torch, Daredevil, The Punisher, Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, Deadpool…
How about you? What’s on your (now impossible) Infinity wishlist? Share in the comments.