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Sidekicks vs. Minis – What Are They and What Can They Do?

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Categories: News
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Skylanders 101 presented by SCL

I’m a little surprised that I still get questions about these little guys on a regular basis. However, when I think about it some more, it never really was explained by Activision. I’m not sure if this was intentional or an oversight, but either way I’m going to break it all down for you today.

I took the time to test out at least one figure from each “category” of Sidekicks/Minis in each of the four current Skylanders games. The results are below.

Spyro’s Adventure Sidekicks (Green Base)

Sidekick Trigger SnappyThese are the original Sidekicks. They were first made available exclusively through a Frito-Lay promotion. Later on they were made available again through various promotions at GameStop. Once GameStop ran out of figures they have only been available via third parties on sites like eBay and Amazon.

Included in this group are:


Test Subject: Trigger Snappy

When placed on the Portal of Power in…

…Spyro’s Adventure he appears as: Trigger Snappy
…Giants he appears as: Trigger Snappy
…SWAP Force he appears as: Trigger Snappy Sidekick
…Trap Team he appears as: Series 1 Trigger Snappy Mini Skylander

As you can probably tell from the titles they are given in the games, these green-based figures act as Sidekicks in Spyro’s Adventure, Giants, and SWAP Force. This means that they just follow your Skylanders around on the screen. You can’t control them and they don’t really have much purpose.

However if you use them in Trap Team, they become full-fledged Mini Skylanders. They are fully controlled by the player. They can level up and upgrade their powers just like the new red-based Minis that were released with Trap Team.

Giants Sidekicks (Orange Base)

Sidekick ThumplingJust like the original SSA Sidekicks, the Giants Sidekicks were first exclusive to a Frito-Lay promotion and then later available through various GameStop promotions. Now they are only available through third parties resellers.

Included in this group are:


Test Subject: Thumpling

When placed on the Portal of Power in…

…Spyro’s Adventure he appears as: A Toy on the Portal of Power can’t be used with this game.
…Giants he appears as: Thumpling
…SWAP Force he appears as: Thumpling Sidekick
…Trap Team he appears as: Series 1 Thumpling Mini Skylander

Very similar results here. While these figures can’t be used in Spyro’s Adventure, they still act as Sidekicks in Giants and SWAP Force. (This means that they just follow your Skylanders around on the screen. You can’t control them and they don’t really have much purpose.)

But once again when you use these orange-based figures in Trap Team they become full-fledge Mini Skylanders. They are fully controlled by the player. They can level up and upgrade their powers just like the new red-based Minis that were released with Trap Team.

“New” Trap Team Minis (Red Base)

Mini TerrabiteThese four figures were previously released as Sidekicks during Spyro’s Adventure. Because these are re-releases they behave differently in the first three games than the brand new Minis. This is why I am giving them their own category.

Included in this group are:


Test Subject: Terrabite

When placed on the Portal of Power in…

…Spyro’s Adventure he appears as: Terrabite
…Giants he appears as: Terrabite
…SWAP Force he appears as: Terrabite Sidekick
…Trap Team he appears as: Terrabite Mini Skylander

“New” Trap Team Minis (Red Base)

Mini BarkleyThese four figures were previously released as Sidekicks during Giants. Because these are re-releases they behave differently in the first three games than the brand new Minis. This is why I am giving them their own category.

Included in this group are:


Test Subject: Barkley

When placed on the Portal of Power in…

…Spyro’s Adventure he appears as: A Toy on the Portal of Power can’t be used with this game.
…Giants he appears as: Barkley
…SWAP Force he appears as: Barkley Sidekick
…Trap Team he appears as: Barkley Mini Skylander

New Trap Team Minis (Red Base)

Mini BopThis is the second half of the Mini Skylanders that were released with Skylanders Trap Team. These eight figures are brand new Minis. So as you will see in the results below, they do not work with any of the previous games. They can only be used in Trap Team.

Included in this group are:


Test Subject: Bop

When placed on the Portal of Power in…

…Spyro’s Adventure he appears as: A Toy on the Portal of Power can’t be used with this game.
…Giants he appears as: A Toy on the Portal of Power can’t be used with this game.
…SWAP Force he appears as: This Toy can’t be used with this game.
…Trap Team he appears as: Bop Mini Skylander


  • Benoît Vézina

    Good Test and thank for all explain 🙂
    But, I don’t know if this just me or not …
    But When a Put Mini-Jini Red Base On Swap Force, I see her like a Side Kick Like you say …
    but … it’s don’t give me the achivement Count for it … I don’t know if this is a bug or Swap Force not count Red Base for the Achivement Count 🙁

    In my head … a Mini-Jini is a Mini-Jini lol …

    Test with the 360 Version

    • Correct. The Red Based figures will not count towards the SWAP Force achievements.

      You can’t really call this a bug though because you’re using a new toy with an old game. There’s no way they could have tested these figures when they were making SWAP Force because they didn’t exist yet.

      If you want to complete the achievements in SWAP Force you will need the original Sidekick figures.

      • Benoît Vézina

        Yep, I understand, this is normal … but in my head … when I put the red Base and I saw the Game detect it Like a Sidekick… I’d think this is cool … but Just the game Detect not the achievement :(…

        But in an other subjet … do you plan to change the page of the forgotten 8 … for the Forgotten 5 ?? With Swap Force … 3 of them have a repost or “lightcore” effect !!! 🙂

  • Suzanne Maxwell

    It’s cool to hear about all these little quirks, I had one myself with hats in trap team the game. It will accept legacy hats from characters of past games In each separate game but will not accept a hat from another game on the same console that is a higher level in the collections of the lower game,even though the hats elemental power works as per usual on that lower level game.