Star Wars Force Friday has finally arrived! If you couldn’t make it out to one of Best Buy’s 191 locations across Canada to see this event in person, or to one of the 3 major events at specific stores in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, read on to see what all went down. I was personally on hand at the Cambie store in Vancouver for the big tech toy reveal there, and this is my report on some of the fun happenings and amazing toys that I saw.
Leave it to Best Buy to do Star Wars Force Friday right. On hand for the event were not only the coolest new Star Wars tech toys, but also skilled experts to demonstrate them, and even a fierce Jedi warrior! That’s him on the right making quick work of a nasty First Order guard. In fact, this 3-D image is part of the Find The Force Scavenger Hunt, a cool new feature within the Star Wars App. If you’d like to play the game and see the amazing AR enhanced images, simply go to findtheforce.ca to download the app and begin looking for the special Star Wars graphics at Best Buy locations across Canada. When you see one of the graphics, use the “Find The Force” feature of the app to scan the image and make a 3-Dimensional version of the image appear. It’s really cool and the game has additional elements that make it even more fun to play.
As for the Star Wars Force Friday event, it lasted from store opening (9:00AM) until 2:00PM, and a number of exciting new toys were revealed. There were awesome droids from Sphero, super flying drones from Propel, and a very cool kit with which to build your very own R2-D2 droid, from littleBits. All of these toys were most impressive, and some of the younger visitors to the store looked as though they were about to burst with excitement as they came through the doors. I suspect that many of them weren’t previously aware that a major Force Friday event was taking place, so it must have come as quite a surprise to some. It was really a lot of fun, and everyone seemed to be very excited about the new toys. None more-so, however, than the many adults that passed through the store during the course of the event.
Sphero Star Wars Force Friday Droids
In what’s quickly becoming an annual Star Wars tradition, Sphero has once again amazed fans with some seriously cool new droid offerings. One such bot is the Sphero Star Wars R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid, which is every bit as impressive as it sounds. I really want one of these myself!!
In a most shocking reveal, the newest ball shaped droid for this year’s Star Wars frenzy is the Sphero Star Wars BB-9E App-Enabled Droid. This is actually an evil droid… I really can’t wait to see how that turns out. In the mean time, this Sphero version is sleek and stealthy in its black colour scheme. I almost have to wonder if BB-9E might be Kylo Ren’s own personal droid? I guess we’ll find out in just a few short weeks.
Finally, there’s an old favourite, the Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App-Enabled Droid. This time around BB-8 comes with a fun new stand as well as several cool new features. Among them are the Droid-to-Droid Experience (which all 3 of these bots have), so BB-8 can interact with both your Sphero R2-D2 and Sphero BB-9E droids. Things should prove very interesting indeed whenever these 3 bots happen to come together.
Something Really Cool from littleBits
One item that really stood out to me personally was the littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit. You assemble it yourself from over 30 individual pieces, so it’s kind of like a 3D-R2-D2-puzzle. Cool! I really hope to be able to get my hands on one of these myself. I asked one of the vendors how long it takes to assemble, and he mentioned that it only took about 20 or so minutes for him to complete. Of course, he may be an expert, so I’ll give myself at least a half hour.
Cool New Star Wars Propel Drones
Among this year’s Star Wars related drones are the Propel Star Wars Speeder Bike Battling Quadcopter Drone, the Propel Star Wars TIE Fighter Advanced Battling Quadcopter Drone, and the Propel RC Star Wars X-Wing Battling Quadcopter, and all 3 are super cool! I especially like the Speeder Bike Drone because of how unique it is. In every case, the propellers are underneath the actual drone. But for the Speeder Bike Drone, there’s an actual trooper sitting there expertly riding the speeder everywhere it goes. He’s such a good rider, in fact, that he can even endure mid-air flips without falling off. I assume he’s permanently attached to the rest of the drone, but even so, it’s very cool to see this little guy in action. The other 2 Propel drones are also interesting. They can all do the same cool flips and stunts, and they all look remarkably like their Star Wars movie counterparts (see more photos in the mini gallery below).
Additional Newly Revealed Star Wars Toys
In addition to the awesome tech toys discussed above, there are many other cool new Star Wars items that are also now available (or coming soon). There are The Last Jedi themed LEGO sets, some cool new items from Hasbro, a pre-order for the Star Wars: Battlefront II video game from EA, and some seriously huge action figures from Jakks Pacific.
Possibly most exciting of all, though, is the Lenovo Star Wars: Jedi Challenges VR Headset with Saber & Beacon, which is currently available for pre-order through Best Buy. The idea with this one is that you view other Star Wars characters (you being a Jedi yourself) through a filter and use the hilt of the lightsaber to do virtual battle with them. Take on enemies like Kylo Ren, and actually see both your sabre and his in their full lit-up glory. I have a feeling that this may end up being the Star Wars toy of the year, so check out Best Buy’s product page for more details.
Below you will find my complete video report from the Cambie, Vancouver event. In it I show most of the cool new tech toys that are now available, as well as some of the fun that went on at the event. In addition to the toys themselves, pay particular attention to how smoothly the new Propel drones fly (the pilot on hand was a real pro) and the lone Force user on hand (a Jedi warrior will skills in both the use of a staff and of his Kilo Ren style lightsaber):
Did you think it was all over? Well, this report may be finished, but the Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi fun is only just beginning. Check out Best Buy’s Star Wars Force Friday Hub for more images and info, and let the Star Wars mania begin!
Gallery of Additional Force Friday Photos