Skylanders Kickoff Countdown to Release Next Week

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The new Skylanders Kickoff Countdown figure announced just two weeks ago will soon have a date with a retailer near you. The Skylanders Kickoff Countdown toy has been available exclusively at Toys R Us since Sunday (May 18), but the SWAP Force toy will be released in all other retailers starting next week.

Skylanders Kickoff Countdown has an obvious soccer-themed appearance, as you can see from the in-game screenshot above. Kickoff Countdown is the only Skylander with the head of a soccer ball that appears both on the toy and in-game.

It’s a tad early to call this a 2014 World Cup tie-in, but it’s hard to imagine another motivating factor. I mean, how else would you explain the sudden desire to make Countdown’s head go from a bomb to a soccer ball? It certainly couldn’t have been just to make jokes about it “being a kick” to take the new Skylanders Kickoff Countdown toy into Skylands to battle Chompies and Trolls.

Quite the contrary, the new figure even has a backstory.

Apparently, Kickoff Countdown was initially discovered by a group of Yetis who were snowboarding. As they were carving the snow they happened upon a big bomb encased in ice. After bringing it back to their cabin, they were shocked when it actually came to life. For those of you taking notes at home, the “bomb” was the original Countdown character.

Apparently no one, not even Countdown, knew where he came from or how he ended up frozen in the mountains. Since becoming a Skylander, Master Eon had been trying to help piece together fragments of his past. Unfortunately this task had proven difficult, as Countdown loses some of his memory every time he explodes.

Naturally, he figured he was a soccer (or “football,” outside the U.S.) fan. So somehow, magically, his noggin turned into a soccer ball.

Dude, it doesn’t make any sense to me either. But the new Skylanders Kickoff Countdown figure is cute as hell, and I’m interested to see how my kids respond to him. You can get your hands on him too, once the widespread Kickoff Countdown release date hits next week. If you can’t wait, just mosey over to Toys R Us right now. You can always order the toy from Amazon, but you’ll have to wait until next week for that one to arrive as well.

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