While walking through our local mall this weekend, Lindsey and I stopped by the Disney Store to check out the latest Star Wars merchandise. The line between park merch and Disney Store products has blurred a lot, but we occasionally find some gems on our trips. This was one of those times. We happened upon the new detachable blade lightsabers. Because it was the will of the Force, we picked up a Disney Store Yoda lightsaber to review.
A New Standard for Toy Lightsabers
I’m (barely) old enough to remember the dark ages of Star Wars fandom where you had to make your own toy lightsabers. Wrapping paper tubs, old broomsticks, and pool cues were fantastic – albeit dangerous – substitutes. Then came the collapsable, officially licensed models. They lit up and made “real” Star Wars noises, but they weren’t the strongest weapons. Battle too hard and you found yourself with a bent blade. Those days are gone.
The new standard for toy lightsabers is the models with hard plastic blades and a light tube inside. Igniting the blade brings not only the classic sounds but also the classic sights of a saber igniting. If you’ve built a saber at Savi’s Workshop or purchased a Legacy Lightsaber at Dok-Ondar’s, you know this feeling well. But those expensive models are more for displays and cool photos. These beauties can battle! They’ve been available at stores and the Disney Parks for a few years and it’s been great. The one drawback was you couldn’t remove the blade and wear the hilt on your belt like you can Savi’s or Legacy sabers. Now, those days are gone too!
Plastic Legacy Sabers
To be frank, these new models are just plastic Legacy lightsabers. This goes right down to the details of the detachable blade. It uses a very similar construction with very similar blade connectors. These new models have five (5) prongs compared to three (3) so the blades are unfortunately not compatible. Otherwise, it’s easy to mistake the two.
The sizes and designs of these toys match really well with the Galaxy’s Edge options and even offer a character otherwise not available – Yoda. The plastic construction makes the difference between Parks-exclusive sabers and these new store versions pretty noticeable in your hand, but on display, there isn’t much difference.
The blade itself is 26″ excluding the connector, matching the smaller Legacy blades available in the parks. I did not measure the diameter to ensure an exact match but based on the eyeball test they’re the same size.
The plastic construction is the most obvious difference between a Disney Parks lightsaber and these new detachable blade toys, but there are a few others. For one, there are no battle sounds. The previous toy models sold at Disney Stores and in the parks had battle sounds when the blades were struck. The Legacy and Savi’s sabers are also missing these sounds, so it’s likely due to the detached blade.
The other key change is the battery pack. The new toy version uses AA batteries, but the batteries take up a majority of the hilt’s interior. Instead of unscrewing the endcap the way you do most Legacy and Savi’s lightsabers to expose a removable battery pack, this toy just has a flap. The flap is secured with a small screw though, so it won’t easily pop off when dropped or played with too hard.
The last main difference is the sound the hilt makes when a blade isn’t attached. Rather than sounding like an electrical short circuit firing, it comes across as an engine sputtering. That there is a sound at all is a nice touch though.
Several Character Options
Our local Disney Store only had Rey and Yoda lightsabers available, but a quick search of ShopDisney.com revealed Darth Vader and Kylo Ren options as well. I found the Yoda option particularly exciting because the design is not currently available at Galaxy’s Edge. Perhaps if this sells well, we’ll see it make the jump?
Affordable Price Point
What’s really great about these new toys is they are not expensive. At $32.99, they run slightly more expensive than the current Disney Parks toy version ($29.99). That being said, the non-detachable blade version also on sale at our local store was listed at $32.99. It appears a price increase is happening across the board. Regardless, it is still significantly cheaper than the least expensive Legacy option at $129.99.
In addition to the hilt and the blade, the blister packaging also includes a small, plastic belt clip. It’s a nice touch, but I don’t expect it to hold up well to wear and tear when the $17.99 version at Galaxy’s Edge doesn’t do so hot.
A typical number score doesn’t really make sense for products, so I’ll keep it simple. If you or your child is looking for a lightsaber to play with, buy this toy. It has all of the design and functionality of a Legacy lightsaber at a fraction of the cost. Trips to Disney World are never cheap, so being able to spend that extra cash on other toys and experiences in the parks can be a blessing from the Force. Even if you’re not on a budget, pick up this toy to play with, and save your Legacy blade for that awesome night shot in front of the Millennium Falcon before it takes a place of honor in your collection.
For more looks at the Yoda version of this new detachable blade lightsaber toy, check out the gallery below.