In today’s examination of one of the 25 best toys of 2015, I actually have four different toys to consider. Each one is a Star Wars Force FX Lightsaber. Here’s what I’ve got:
Read on for full details of these highly realistic and super awesome lightsaber toys. I’ll confess right off the top—these things are big favourites for me!
When I first heard that these sabers were coming, I was super excited. When they finally arrived, my mind was blown! Everything after that is kind of a blur… I don’t think I’ve ever been more ready to test a toy in my life. I love these things! I have a couple of the kids’ versions of them that I really love to play with. They light up as well, and they’ve got a certain coolness about them, but these high quality versions are the real deal—true to life replicas with shiny metal (real metal!) hilts, heaps of realistic detail, just the right amount of heft / weight (some more-so than others), realistic light effects, and authentic movie sound effects! They’re also the perfect size (scale) for adult fans and collectors to wield, unlike the much shorter (and entirely plastic) kids’ versions. All up, my initial impression of these things couldn’t have been
Charting the Key Considerations
How much set up time is required for the Force FX Lightsabers?
With all 4 of these sabers, all you have to do is insert the batteries and start playing. It couldn’t be easier.
What type & quantity of batteries do the Force FX Lightsabers use?
|Not all of these sabres have the same battery requirements. The 3 larger sabers (Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, & Kylo Ren) each use 3 AA batteries. The odd man out here is Yoda. His smaller saber also uses 3 batteries, but his are AAAs.|
What are the mobility characteristics of the Force FX Lightsabers?
|These lightsabers do not move on their own. As role playing toys, they move only as your individual swordplay skills allow.|
|Do the Force FX Lightsabers feature any special lights & sounds?||
Of course they do. They each light up very brightly in the chosen blade colour of the individual Star Wars character that they represent. They also each make realistic lightsaber sounds (including the classic lightsaber hum, the clashing lightsabers sound, and the waving lightsaber effect). Additionally, Kylo Ren’s lightsaber has 2 short mini blades running perpendicular to the main blade (at the top of the hilt) that also light up.
|What is the suggested age range of the Force FX Lightsabers?||
These sabers are suggested online as being for those 14 and up, though the outside of the box simply refers to each saber as an “adult collectible” (which is a pretty accurate description). There’s no doubt that kids much younger than 14 can easily play with these sabers, and are sure to love them as well. However, it would be a real shame if these awesome sabers were used in the very vigorous way that most kids play with toy swords. They’re far too nice (and expensive) to be thrashed and crashed about.
|How much of a WOW factor (on a 0-5 scale) do the Force FX Sabers have?||
I just love these sabers! For the first time in my examination of the best toys of 2015, I’m awarding a full 5 out of 5 on the WOW scale. There’s nothing like a really realistic role playing toy, and these sabers certainly fit the bill! They look brilliant when lit (even in broad daylight), they’re made of high quality materials (including metal hilts), they feature movie realistic sound effects, and they’re super fun to play with. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Testing & Play
Playing with these sabers was an absolute blast. I may have driven my wife half crazy, but I had the time of my life doing it! I didn’t have any Jedi robes to wear, so instead I donned my Ralph Lauren bath robe to become… The Bathrobe Jedi! It wasn’t easy getting these silly photos, but I sure enjoyed the process. With the realistic lights and sounds, you immediately begin to feel like you’re actually in one of the Star Wars films. That’s what I most appreciate about these lightsabers—that they’re 100% role playing toys. I always did want to be a part of the action.
Another cool thing about these sabers is that they actually come with nice display stands. This way, after you’re done playing with the sabers, you can place them on display for all of your friends to see and envy. See below for a shot of Kylo Ren’s saber displayed in its stand.
All through my testing, the lightsabers performed exactly as advertised. The light they emit is very very strong in comparison to my kids’ version Luke Skywalker saber (I’ve included photos in the mini gallery of the 2 of them together—one with them ignited & one with them off). The sound effects are very loud as well, and there’s no way to turn down the volume. Not that that’s a complaint or anything. While ignited, they constantly emit the classic lightsaber hum—music to any Star wars fan’s ears. These things are fun in every sense of the word!
For & Against
The biggest factor in favour of buying one (or all) of these lightsabers is the overall level of realism at play here. As an adult toy collector myself, I really appreciate this. It is true attention to detail that makes these toys special. My favourite is the blue bladed Luke Skywalker saber—mostly due to its perfect weighting and beautiful blue blade. The amount of detailing on the hilt is amazing, and the feeling of the metal when holding it in hand makes one feel like an actual Jedi Master. If only I had someone like the Legendary Jedi Master Yoda to train me… (By the way, that was a little hint: I’ll be reviewing the Star Wars 16″ Legendary Yoda Interactive Robotic Toy very soon). (Also, see the photo at left for a direct side-by-side comparison of Luke Skywalker’s hilt in both the kiddie version of the saber [L] and the highly realistic Force FX one [R].)
For the first time in reviewing this year’s very best toys, I have nothing whatsoever to place in the “Against” column. At least not for these sabers on the whole. I simply love them! On an individual basis, I do find the Kylo Ren saber to be considerably heavier than the others, and it’s a bit clumsy to to play with as well (the mini, hilt-guard blades tend to get in one’s way). I honestly don’t know how Kylo Ren is going to avoid accidentally cutting off his own hands when he tries to get creative with this saber in the upcoming film. For example, if you try to twirl the saber (or perform any other fancy maneuvers), the 2 mini blades tend to have a go at your wrist. If Kylo isn’t careful, he’ll end up being just another of the many mechanical handed Star Wars characters (assuming he’s not already).
Vader’s saber is a bit heavier than I’d like as well (but not uncomfortably so), and Yoda’s sword is considerably shorter than all 3 of the others, though it’s not so small as to be unappealing. It’s probably my second favourite one actually, after Luke Skywalker’s.
Examining the Video Evidence
Please check out my short supplemental video discussing all 4 of these Star Wars Force FX Lightsabers…
I wonder if any final thoughts are really even necessary today…? I love these things! Enough said. Go get em!
Have an excellent day and I’ll see you soon with more in-depth reviews of the very best toys of 2015! May the funds be with you!
Mini Gallery of Additional Photos