@viin: It is primarily a money making tool, but it allows them to expand and carry over things between versions of the game. Sure each story mode is exclusive the the version your playing, but that's not likely the reason you'd be buying it. The figures are basically like DLC to an extent. It's aimed primarily at kids and combines video games with toy collecting, sort of like with pokemon cards and toys in the nineties, but these serve some kind of function to the game itself. It's gimmicky, you can tell that just by looking at it, but at least they put effort into making cool designs and it is with characters people know. You can honestly just buy the figures without the game if you like the design, it that way it's not really that different from a PVC figure or statuette, except if you happen to have the game you can scan them in. Kids seem to enjoy it and it's generally harmless.
This is pretty much the best X-book right now. Each issue has brought a tear to my eye at some point. Also, love the FireStar/Iceman team up! Just need a spidey cameo to bring me back to Saturday mornings as a child :-)
Just wait until April when Pete gets back, then the magic can happen.