It seems like only yesterday that Star Wars: The Force Awakens transported us all back to our childhoods. The fever has yet to die down, and now we have The Last Jedi, as well as next year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story to look forward to.
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And what do we always see accompany such big-budget movies? A truck-load of tie-in toys, of course. After all, the movie merchandise market barely existed before the original Star Wars trilogy.
But with so much choice available, how do you know which merch is worth your cash? Well, that’s where we come in. We’ve played with and tested a bucket-load of Star Wars goodies, so you can buy with confidence.
May the Force be with you.
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LEGO Star Wars: Luke's Landspeeder
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If you’re old enough to have started your Star Wars viewing from Episode IV, among the most iconic scenes of your childhood is surely when ol’ Ben Kenobi comes to Luke’s rescue, showing those Tusken raiders that crazy old hermits aren’t to be trifled with.
This LEGO set (no.75173) may not offer the greatest value in the number of pieces (149) or time to build, but if it’s nostalgic value you’re after, this is right up there.
The Landspeeder itself is a decent representation of the movie original, and is even raised on some clear pieces to give the impression of hovering. It’s a much better colour than the previous LEGO version (8092), although still doesn’t have a domed enough windshield.
The minifigures included are Luke (obviously), old Obi-Wan, C-3P0, and a Tusken raider. There’s even a tiny womp rat thrown in. It’s a shame there’s no R2-D2, but that’s probably just being greedy.
At the time of review LEGO Star Wars: Luke’s Landspeeder was available for £19.99/$19.99.
Star Wars The Black Series Kylo Ren Force FX Deluxe Lightsaber
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As soon as its flamey red bars were seen in the first Force Awakens trailer, the crossguard lightsaber used by baddie Kylo Ren got the interwebs talking.
This replica is one of the finest lightsaber recreations around, with a heavy hilt, vivid red glow and authentic sounds that alter depending on your swing.
Due to the high-price, however, we’d probably say this is more for the collector. It even comes with a slick stand that rams home the point further that this is meant to be stored on a sideboard rather than thrust into dual recreations.
At time of review the Star Wars The Black Series Kylo Ren Force FX Deluxe Lightsaber was available for £219.99.
Star Wars Nerf Chewbacca Bowcaster
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To create a truly authentic costume, pair the Wookie mask with Chewie’s weapon of choice: the Bowcaster – remade here by those fellas at Nerf.
Again, this one is aimed squarely at kids as a result of its size, but it has quite a powerful range and can spit out foamy bullets at speed. Four pellets are supplied in the package and they sit on the bow in a handy holster.
It isn’t quite the perfect replica – Chewie’s version wasn’t orange – but it’s no less fun nonetheless. The added bonus? It doesn’t cost the earth, either – unlike a lot of these toys.
At time of review, the Star Wars Nerf Chewbacca Bowcaster was available for £24.99.
Star Wars Bop It R2-D2
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If you’ve ever played classic Bop-It then you’ll know how addictive it is. The game has been reinvented for the launch of The Force Awakens in the form of this little R2-D2 version.
It lacks the diversity of the actions required on the main Bop-It game, as you can only “Bop It”, “Twist It” and “Pull It” here.
However, how you play the game is rather cute. You tap R2 on the head to Bop It, twist his head to Twist It and pull his legs to Pull It.
All commands are dished out using the dulcet tones of CP30, with R2-D2 reacting accordingly when you deal the various twists, bops and pulls.
Bop-It remains as addictive as ever, especially in this dinky R2-D2 form.
At time of review the Star Wars Bop It R2-D2 was available for £19.99.
Bladebuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber
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Although it might not be the best lightsaber on offer, the Bladebuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber is a great toy for those not wanting to splash out a tonne of dosh on the more expensive Star Wars toys.
There are three blades in total, the main blue lightsaber plus two additional short green blades. They’re added to the main frame using attachments.
It’s a great way to be a little more creative, even if it isn’t quite true to The Force Awakens.
The Bladebuilder does require a number of batteries, though – three AAA batteries for each of the blades. However, the noises that it produces are well worth the cost.
At time of review the Bladebuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber was available for £49.99.