Star Wars Lightsabers

Posted on 20th July 2009 by Star Wars Lightsabers in Star Wars Lightsabers - Tags:

C’mon, admit it.  Star Wars Lightsabers are the coolest invention of all time.  And, you want one.  I know you do, or else you wouldn’t be here.  Well, you’re not alone.

Sadly, until we discover some new law of physics, we are left with only cheap imitations and our overactive imaginations.

But, that’s ok.  Because there are some wonderful inventions that have sprung from other people’s imaginations, and even if we can’t have the real thing, we can have some fun alternatives.

When it comes to owning Star Wars lightsabers, there are four general categories, in my opinion:  Plastic Toy Lightsabers, Electronic Toy Lightsabers, Force FX Lightsabers, and finally Collector’s Lightsabers.  When choosing which to get, it depends on whether you’re looking to play rough with them, play gentle, or put them in your trophy case and admire them.

Plastic Toys

I’ve never been a fan of low-end, cheap plastic toys.  But, they’re great for 8-year olds who have no concept of toy values.  When you’re little (and, sometimes, when you’re all grown up, too), all you want to do is hack and slash.  So what if your lightsaber will be bent and broken within two or three play sessions?  It was worth it!  Young kids don’t care that their lightsaber doesn’t make cool noises.  So, getting the cheap, colored plastic blade that barely resembles a lightsaber works for the younglings.  Still, sadly, I’m a little older than 8 now (well, maybe not emotionally), so I rarely play with these Thrifty specials anymore.  

Electronic toys

The next step up is:  electronic lightsabers.  There are many different kinds of toy lightsabers that have electronics in them these days.  These are great, because they combine the cheap plastic (and, therefore, expendable) toys with cheap but realistic sounds.  These are great for kids, and early teens.  You know, when you’re just a little too old to feel comfortable making the lightsaber noises with your mouth as you attack your friends or siblings.  The coolest one I’ve seen in this category is Hasbro’s Ultimate Lightsaber.  Brilliant!  Totally customizable with blade color, design, and feel, and yet, at just under $40, cheap enough to not lose any sleep over when they inevitably break.

Force FX Lightsabers

 

This is my personal favorite category, and I could go on about these in depth.  Coming in at right around $100, Force FX Lightsabers walk the fine line between electronic toy and collector’s item.  They’re considered collectibles, but they’re durable enough to actually spar with (some restraint required).  The sounds they make are incredibly clear and realistic.  The colors in the LED blade are bright and vivid.  The polycarbonate blade is strong and durable.  For any teenager or adult, Force FX lightsabers are the most fun to play with, in my opinion.

The only downside?  You can’t remove the blade, so you can’t wear just the hilt on your belt.  Force FX lightsabers are definitely for using, not just admiring.

Collector’s Lightsabers

The last, and most expensive category is Collector’s Lightsabers.  Just like any collector’s items, these can go from as little as a couple hundred dollars up to mind-boggling dollar amounts. 

If you need an awesome looking lightsaber hilt with removable blade for your Star Wars Convention or party, you’re looking at a collector’s-level lightsaber.  The most reasonable I’ve seen are UltraFX lightsabers.  At between $200 and $300, these are awesome looking lightsabers, and are also very duel-friendly.  That’s because they’re actually Force FX lightsabers that are customized to have removable blades and use lasers in the hilt instead of LEDs in the blade.  So, if you break the blade, you can order a new one, and haven’t ruined the whole thing.  They’re a little pricey for my tastes, but if you’re willing to pay for the best, these are the way to go.  Order early, they take a while to get to you.

Above Ultra FX, then you’re getting into custom movie props, and other Collector’s editions.  And, at this point, it gets too scary to play with something that costs that much. 

I hope this little introduction to your weapon of choice was helpful.  May the force be with you!

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Force FX Lightsabers

Posted on 18th July 2009 by Star Wars Lightsabers in Force FX Lightsabers - Tags:

Force FX lightsabers are the perfect hybrid between authentic-looking collectible lightsabers and electronic toys for the uber Star Wars geek.

Many of the official-looking collectible Star Wars lightsabers out there cost several hundred dollars, or are limited edition.  They generally look awesome.  And, some are even durable enough to spar or duel with.  But, who wants to duel with a several hundred dollar item?  Trust me, it’s scary, and not very fun, worrying about cracking or breaking the blade.  Sadly, most collectibles are for just that:  collecting and hiding behind a glass case, rarely to be touched or used.

Force FX lightsabers, on the other hand, have an authentic look and feel, have excellent electronic sounds and lights, are durable enough to withstand a bit of dueling (not direct hits, mind you, but playful sparring), and are affordable enough to be played with, rather than put on a mantle and forgotten.  At just around $100, they’re inexpensive enough to buy two:  one for yourself, and one for the friend whose limbs you’re eager to sever.  (Metaphorically, speaking, of course.   Well, mostly)

Force FX lightsabers use LED technology to light up a polycarbonate blade.  This means they have a rich, bright color, and when you turn them on, the blade actually extends from the hilt outward, just like the lightsabers from the movies.  They use digital sounds directly from the Star Wars movies, so they make the awesome sounds we all know and love: turning on, turning off, and the ominous humming when they’re idle.  Best yet, Force FX lightsabers have motion detectors in the hilt, so they will make additional authentic noises when they can tell that you’re swinging the blade, rotating it, or hitting something with it. 

Originally designed and sold by Master Replicas, Force FX lightsabers were bought out by Hasbro, and are now sold more mass market than the original collectibles were, which is great for us, because it means the price is much more affordable.  They tend to have only a few models of lightsaber available at any one time, and each generation of lightsaber that comes out is a little better than the previous ones.  So, don’t-dilly dally if you see one you really like, as they go out of production. 

All in all, if you’re looking to have realistic Star Wars lightsabers to be able to play with and show off, Force FX lightsabers are the way to go.

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