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With the new Skylanders: Giants there's a bunch of new characters. Only, they're not all new. Many of them are "reprints" of old characters. These "reprints" seem to be compatible with the original game. Not a big surprise, since it's the same character.
The question now is this: what's the game/play difference? I don't much care about the fact that the character is in a different pose, or is coloured differently, or lights up when you place it on the portal, those are all cosmetic differences that I am uninterested in. Are there new or improved powers? The starting stats seem higher in some cases, does that mean that the 2nd edition characters will be more powerful with the same advances as the 1st edition character?
For instance, it seems that the new 2nd edition figures can go up to level 15 or something? The 1st edition characters stop at level 10. So if I take a 1st edition figure into Giants they won't go above level 10? But a 2nd edition will? And if I then take the level 15 character into the base Skylanders game will it continue to be level 15? Or will it be "rolled back" to level 10?
Basically, I'm looking to fully understand what the different capabilities are of each figure based on the 'type' of the figure.

Thanks!

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2 Answers

Legendary/Dark variants of characters have different stats than their "normal" counterparts. Legendary stats start and end a bit higher that normal versions, Dark stats seems to be just distribute differently. Color variants (gold/transparent/glow in the dark, etc.) seem to be the same as regular versions, I'm not sure the color differences reflect in game at all.

Series 2 figures of characters already available for the first games (otherwise known as "re-posed") are identical in stats and usage between games, however, they have extra abilities available in the 2nd game, called Wow Pow upgrades, so if you have a choice between buying a 1st or 2nd series variant, I'd get the 2nd.

Lightcores are compatible with the first game (if the non-Lightcore character was in the first game), although it states on the packaging it isn't. I've tested this personally with Lightcore Drobot (illest of the Skylanders). I couldn't find online if there's stats difference between Lightcore and normal versions, there are Lightcore only abilities, though, so it's possible.

I cannot tell how Skylanders leveled higher than 10 behave when placed back in the first game, I assume they'd still be capped at level 10 and new "Giants only" abilities/hats will be unavailable. This is just my assumption.

Here's a nice handy chart detailing character/item compatibility between the games (like stated before, the Lightcore incompatibility isn't true): enter image description here

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That's a handy image indeed. We'll see if we can nail down a couple of those "don't know for sure" parts this week. –  Task Dec 31 '12 at 17:21
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The 2nd Edition figures, Cynder, Chop Chop, Slam Bam etc also have a new upgrade in the shop. Its called a Wow Pow and it seems its only the repeat characters that have it, it will add some new or alter an existing power.

Ignitors is called Blue Flame! and chages his flame form to blue flames and leaves a trail behind him

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