The merchandising companies might not have realised their full potential back in the day, but Star Wars toys have long been big business. Now, of course, with The Force Awakens on the horizon, the merchandising ship has jumped to light speed with products of all shapes, sizes and… flavour (Yes, Star Wars soup is still a thing) hitting shops. With Force Friday – a global event to launch lots of new products – in full effect, we thought we’d look at 10 of the toys that would make our inner kids start jumping for joy, even as our bank balances start wondering if they’re being force choked…
(Naturally, we should caution the spoiler-conscious that there is the chance for some new details to be revealed here, though we’ve stayed largely film info-free)
Sphero BB-8 Remote Control Ball Droid
Already something of a breakout character after just a couple of trailers and his big in-person (in-droid?) debut at Star Wars Celebration back in April, BB-8 has become one of the more exciting toys to be revealed. Around the size of a baseball, the toy responds to both button and spoken commands from its smartphone app, rolls around using gyroscopic propulsion and can apparently learn as you interact with him. He can be guided around with the app or set to patrol a specific route and sent off to do his droidy thang. His stand is a charging station and he runs for around an hour on one charge.
Talking Kylo Ren/Finn Figures And More
Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren has been notably silent in the trailers thus far: in fact, not many of the characters have spoken. Now, though, with some of the action figures, we can hear both Ren and John Boyega’s Finn chattering away, offering up some random phrases from the movie. We won’t list them – you can read speculation about all that right here – but Ren sounds like Driver with a little metallic audio manipulation, while Boyega swaps his Sarf London tones for an American accent. And they’re just two of the many figures available – there are die cast metal versions of almost every main character, for example – plus huge Ren and First Order Stormtrooper figures that feature motion sensors causing them to spout lines from the movie. Perfect for scaring the dog. Or children…
Poe Dameron & Black X-Wing
No fussy old white X-Wing fighter for Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron, oh no. Clearly at some point in the film, his Resistance pilot will be at the controls of this nifty black X-Wing, complete with BB-8 in the droid slot. The toy comes complete with a 3.75-inch Dameron figure, described as the leader of Black Squadron (sounds like there will be several of the black X-Wings, then) with a projectile cannon and wings that open and close. You may have to provide your own “nneeeeeooowwwwoooosh!” sounds.
LEGO Play sets
LEGO has been in on the Star Wars action for years, and naturally has a range of Force Awakens toys. Of course, there’s a new Millennium Falcon, which opens up to allow six figures (supplied) inside and is comprised of 1300 pieces. Possibly more exciting for those anticipating the new film is Kylo Ren’s command shuttle, his personal ride, which features figures of Ren, Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux (with presumably a tiny version of his awesome coat) and a selection of First Order crew, including a Stormtrooper. Also on the way from LEGO? A First Order Snow Speeder, Poe Dameron’s Black X-Wing, a First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter, a First Order Transporter and Ren’s speeder.
Millennium Falcon Quad Copter Drone
Such is the appeal of Star Wars’ most iconic ship that people have been building their own versions of this drone for ages now, and Hasbro has a smaller model for sale. The new official, Disney-backed quad copter model is hitting stores at last, with more manoeuvrability and the chance to annoy your neighbours with a faster little gadget. It has Falcon sounds and, helpfully, is built from high-density foam in case someone takes a cricket bat to it. In related news, there’s an X-Wing version built from the same material. Red Five, standing by!
Battle Action Millennium Falcon
More Falcon action, if the drone version doesn’t appeal. The Force Awakens take on a toy many people back in the 1970s and 80s owned and loved (and has been replicated since) has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, including more sounds, a pop up main turret and a big Nerf cannon that appears from the front. Please be aware that Nerf darts do not work against real TIE Fighters. Included are action figures of Chewie, John Boyega’s Finn and – because he clearly gets everywhere – BB-8.
Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber
We still want to call it the Broadsaber. Ren – played by Adam Driver in the movie – has his own, custom-built lightsaber. You know, the controversial one with the extra beams in the handle and the crackling, growling, unusual sound. All those are replicated in the toy version. It lights up, as you’d demand from a toy lightsaber, but leaves you to supply your own cloak and mask.
BladeBuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber
If your tastes turn more towards the traditional lightsaber, but you want options, Hasbro’s BladeBuilders, which were announced back in February but are finally on sale, have you covered. mix and match components to build their own unique lightsabers. Double-sided lightsabers, interconnecting hilts, disc-shaped weapons — the possibilities are endless. The Jedi Master set is the most expensive, but there are cheaper options, including the Electronic Lightsabers and Foam Lightsabers sets.
First Order Star Destroyer
This Micromachines vehicle – Kylo Ren’s giant flagship, in case you were wondering - conceals a play set that reveals some hints about the plot we won’t even go into here. But present inside are a tiny version of Poe Dameron’s X-Wing, a First Order TIE Fighter and figures from the film. The toy includes firing cannons and lots of detail.
Hot Wheels Escape From Jakku Play set
Hot Wheels might not necessarily be the first company you’d expect to be involved with a franchise that has a distinct lack of traditional vehicles, but it has gone all in on The Force Awakens. Top of the heap is the mechanised Escape From Jakku play set, which lets you control the Falcon flying (on rods) against TIE Fighters. And beyond that, there are new Hot Wheels cars based on several characters including Kylo Ren, BB-8, a First Order Storm Trooper and a Resistance Pilot (probably Poe Dameron). Ren’s car in particular looks like Knight Rider’s KITT got pimped by the Fast & Furious crew).