A video game includes a component that senses the presence and identity of proximate toys. Each of the toys includes an identification device such as an RFID tag. Each of the toys is also associated with a corresponding game character or object. The toys further comprise audio, visual and other effects, wherein said effects are activated when the toy is proximate the gaming platform or a peripheral to the gaming platform. Effects may also be activated based on characteristics of the game character or aspects of the game play sequence thereby enhancing the user's gameplay experience.