To begin I want you to understand that I am not writing this out of anger or even frustration. This article is being written in order to save me a lot of time and allow me to focus on the new releases that are just a few days away.
I have always stated (and will continue to state) that if you have a question about Skylanders, please feel free to contact me. Just know that if you ask about Yawn Traps, you will just get a link to this post.
If you have been sent to this article by myself, a friend, or even a complete stranger, please do not be offended. I'm just trying to save us all some time and a few headaches.
Over the past few months I have literally answered hundreds of emails, Facebook messages, and tweets from fans like you wondering where the Yawn Traps are. And over the past few months my responses have basically stayed the same.
With that being said, these will be my final words regarding the Yawn Traps.
What are the Yawn Traps?
In the fourth game, Skylanders Trap Team, there were collectible Traps in addition to the standard Skylanders figures we've grown accustomed to.
There were a number of different molds used for these Traps. All the Traps using the same mold were typically released within the same Wave. So by the time we hit Wave 5, only the Yawn Traps remained unreleased.
Why is it such a big deal?
Each of you could probably come up with your own reasons why this is a big deal, but here's two common ones…
As you can see in the pictures above, one of the unreleased Traps is a Light Trap.
In total, there were only 3 different Light Traps created. As many of you know, the new Light (and Dark) element(s) turned out to be quite popular. Additionally, there were 4 Light Villains that could be trapped.
You can already see a discrepancy in the numbers, but the problem is exemplified when only 2 of the 3 Light Traps have actually been released.
The second reason mostly pertains to collectors, but then again there are a lot of collectors out there.
Between the Collection Posters and the in-game Collection Menu you know they are pushing you to collect them all. The worst part is that these Traps appear on the in-game Collection screen and right now it's basically impossible to complete your collection.
Are we sure they were actually produced?
The Yawn Traps had a very limited release in Australia. That was the first (and as far as most people know) the only sighting of the Yawn Traps.
I do know of one gentleman who, due to extreme circumstances, acquired the Fire and Life Yawn Traps here in the US.
But as you can see in the picture below, it was not in a standard retail setting.
I am not going to reveal the specifics of this case. While the Traps were obtained legitimately, the circumstances that resulted in the acquisition of these Traps cannot be replicated.
My point being, we know the Traps are out there.
If the Traps exist, why aren't they in stores?
I don't have the right contacts or enough information to say 100% “this is why”.
However, based on what I've learned about Activision and Skylanders over the past few years, combined with my background in retail operations this is my best guess at what might have happened/be going on.[box]By now you should all know that Skylanders are shipped in Waves. These Waves are determined well before the first case of figures have shipped.
I think it is safe to assume that the Yawn Traps were scheduled for Wave 5.
In order for a retail store to get Skylanders they must place an order with Activision (or one of their distributors). However, when placing these orders the stores do not get to specify which individual characters they want or even which Wave they want.
Stores simply get to order 1 case of Trap Masters or 1 case of Core Skylanders or 1 case of Traps.
It is then left up to Activision to determine which cases get sent out first and when to start shipping new Waves.
By Wave 3, the casual fan had all the Traps they needed or wanted. Traps just sat on the shelves for weeks. The stores weren't seeing sales, so they had no reason to order more Traps.
As we moved into Wave 4 and Wave 5 the problem grew as more Traps were scheduled to be released, but very few stores saw a need to order more Traps.
(Keep in mind that the stores are viewing this from a sales standpoint and not a collector's standpoint.)[/box]
Will the Yawn Traps ever receive a proper release?
At this point, I think it is far too late to ever see them released as intended.
It is always possible that Activision could come up with a new plan for the Traps, but I wouldn't count on that.
Right now I expect one of two things to happen:
The average retailer keeps a small stock of figures for the previous Skylanders title (or two). As new folks discover Skylanders and venture into the older titles, the Traps will sell and some stores may order a few more cases.
If this happens we may see a slow trickle of Yawn Traps over the course of the next year.
This has happened a few times in recent years.
These may not be the answers you were hoping for, but it's the best I can give you.
I will not be talking about Yawn Traps again unless we see signs of a release.
If they are released, I will make a big deal about it. So if you don't see me talking about it, then they haven't been released.
Please feel free to share this article with anyone who is inquiring about the Yawn Traps now or in the future.
If you have any questions not regarding Yawn Traps, please feel free to contact me here.