Disney Infinity 3.0 Toy Box Summit Brings Star Wars, Marvel, Disney Together

At the second annual Toy Box Summit for Disney Infinity, the focus is, naturally, on Star Wars - [...]

At the second annual Toy Box Summit for Disney Infinity, the focus is, naturally, on Star Wars - but that's far from the only thing featured in this year's new edition of the game. "We consider the release of 3.0 as the end of our introductory phase for Disney Infinity," VP of Production John Vignocchi said during the day's introduction. The panels were put on for the 20 "Toy Box Master Artists" who were flown in from all over the world, select press, and about 50 fans who were chosen through contests on social media. After the panels, the Master Artists will compete in a live Toy Box Creation challenge overnight, using the brand new tools from Disney Infinity 3.0 about two weeks before it hits store shelves.

"Marvel, Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars are all now together in this amazing brand," Vignocchi continued. After the intro, the first panel began, featuring Jeff Bunker (Vice President, Art, Disney Infinity), Matt Fillbrandt (Executive Producer, Lucasfilm Franchise Management), Bill Rosemann (Creative Director, Marvel Games), Mike Jones (Executive Producer, Marvel Games), and Pixar Art Director Albert Lozano.

The panelists, led by Vignocchi and Avalanche's John Blackburn, talked about how they came to be part of this larger Marvel-Disney-Star Wars family. Jones came to the family via Capcom, Midway, and originally doing localization for Japanese game scripts. Rosemann was at Marvel Comics and helped bring together the modern Guardians of the Galaxy team before moving to the games division. Fillbrandt started in LucasArts' legal department. His first project as a producer was Republic Commando, and he also worked on Force Unleashed, The Old Republic, and more. Lozano's last project before joining Pixar was actually the first two seasons of South Park, though he's now been with the company 16 years. Bunker claimed "best job" out of all of them since he's working on every property.

Fillbrandt talked next about the process of bringing Star Wars characters and experiences to Disney Infinity in an authentic way. "We worked to find the right blend, bringing Star Wars to life inside the Infinity aesthetic. We had a lot of fun with things like Sarlaccs and other things in the game. I think we have a lot of surprises," he said, noting the humor they had fun with.

Much of what became the Inside Out play set in the game was stuff from the cutting room floor, Lozano said. "We probably left about 90% of what we created out of the movie," so they were able to use some of those ideas and assets inside Disney Infinity. He said that one character has a surprising connection to Darth Vader: "Like Darth Vader, Sadness doesn't run!" he quipped, noting that's important to the character. Bunker said the mix of what's best for the game is his side, while what's best for the characters is each of these guys' side, and "somewhere in the middle we find what's best for everyone."

"These characters are real people to us," Rosemann said. "We live by the mantra that with great power, there must come great responsibility. We want to make sure that when you read a comic, play a video game, watch a movie, that character is right, it's everything you want out of them. They live and breathe."

Vader vs. Thor? "The Dark Side of the Force is way too powerful for Thor," Fillbrandt instantly replied.

As fan questions started, Rosemann said he loves figuring out the poses for the characters when they're developing the figures. "Then Jeff says, well that's not going to fit in the box," he said with a laugh. Many of the other panelists said the best moment is getting the game out into fans hands, and, bringing it full circle, seeing the Toy Box creations fans develop on their own.