It is a sad truth that toys-to-life video games have a finite lifespan. While the toys themselves can be reused (especially in the case of Lego Dimensions), the NFC-based toy boards that ship with the core titles have limited prospects.
Although the Disney Infinity figurines look good on a shelf, the boards are less impressive. But while your first instinct might be to shove the boards into a drawer and forget about them, it’s possible to repurpose these devices. This opens up some interesting DIY project possibilities…
To get started, you’ll need the NFC-Base Color Changer app for Windows, which you can download from this Mega file share (Linux users should follow this guide). Developed by a group of contributors on GitHub, the app can be used with Disney Infinity boards, and Lego Dimensions boards for all platforms except Xbox 360 and Xbox One. (This is due to a firmware issue which may be overcome at a later date.)
The Lego Dimensions game board and the Disney Infinity board may look different, but they’re very similar inside. Essentially, these are USB devices with multiple NFC readers and LEDs. In the case of Lego Dimensions, the board can also read NFC chips found beyond the game pieces. This is a feature that may be explored in future versions of the tool.
With the color changing tool installed on your computer, you can then manipulate the board. Each of the lights can be enabled or disabled, and RGB sliders configure the precise color you want to use. In the case of Lego Dimensions, the software can also read the data from an NFC tag.
Hacking a Lego Dimensions or Disney Infinity toy board is straightforward, and thanks to USB connectivity it has possibilities for many SBC-based projects.