So apparently there's a new Star Wars film out this week. Star Wars. You know, the mega-movie-franchise about good and evil battling throughout the galaxy? No? Oh well, this article probably isn't for you then.
Assuming you're not one of the unlucky souls who's either not heard of Star Wars or who doesn't care about it (shame on you if you're in the latter group), you're probably getting rather excited about the release of The Last Jedi on Thursday (14 Dec).
We're pretty excited about it too. And to prove it, we've hunted down these awesome Star Wars-related gadgets.
[ Photography Mitch Payne ]
It must be hard designing new spaceships in the Star Wars universe – there are so many iconic designs already that you just end up smoothing things out, sharpening them up or simply making them bigger.
Take Kylo’s new TIE Fighter as an example – it looks a lot like Darth’s original classic, only pointier at the front and a tad slimmer. Maybe these improvements make it less prone to spinning out of trenches and off into space… anyway, we’re pretty sure the Lego version of Darth’s didn’t have firing lasers, or come close to the 630 pieces in this easy-to-build kit.
As a bonus, Kylo comes with a double-sided head, so you can choose whether he’s a fully angry emo or merely disgruntled.
I’ll admit I’m not the most capable drone pilot, but when I was handed the controller for Propel’s X-wing battling drone something remarkable happened. Reader, I became Luke Skywalker.
This newfound aerial confidence might’ve had something to do with John Williams’ famous theme blasting from the box as I removed the lid, or maybe it was the sheer authenticity (each model is hand-painted) or the easy one-button launch. All I know is that I was born to fly that Starfighter, and sending it careering into the curtains wasn’t going to deter me.
These mini quadcopters are even more fun when your mates bring their own along for a dogfight; each has AR cannons and target zones. There's also a training mode to help you ease into your new career as a rebel pilot.
A Pringles tube, a water bottle, a postbox, an AA battery, a dustbin, a pack of Trebor mints… nope, there really never has been a more loveable cylindrical object in our lives than this guy.
With spritely whistles and bleeps, mini Artoo does not disappoint. This LED-clad ’bot can take the occasional tumble and is speedy to set up, meaning you can have him up and ready to explore your home as soon as you’ve downloaded the app and charged him up.
Does R2-D2 look lonely? Sit him next to one of Sphero’s other Star Wars droids and they’ll have a bleepy chinwag. As well as choosing control modes, the app allows you to select an icon to trigger a classic Artoo act. I like watching him fall over. Sorry.
My flatmate has been pushing me to get a lamp for six months now, but I don’t want to spend my money on sensible adult things – I’m not ready for that kind of commitment. However, when I saw the Death Star Mood Light, I couldn’t wait to banish the dark side of my bedroom, especially since it looks it’s floating in mid-air thanks to that transparent stand.
You’ll need to make sure this lamp is within the orbit of a plug socket, as it can only be powered via a microUSB charger, but it's otherwise a lovely buy: this is no cheap knock-off and expertly replicates the real Death Star from 1977. Well, not the real one, but you know what I mean.
Now my mate has stopped nagging and I have another nerdy gadget for my collection. I just hope the rebellion doesn’t charge into my room at the dead of night.
There are two ways of looking at this. One, it’s an expression of hardcore Star Wars fandom – the kind that’s not limited to a back room you’re slightly embarrassed about, but sits proudly at the very heart of your home. Or two, it’s the perfect piece of merchandise for people who aren’t even into over-hyped sci-fi flicks, because it qualifies as kitsch and actually does something useful: namely, makes real, edible toast.
For those of you who fall into the former camp, you'll be delighted to hear that it also burns the Star Wars logo into every slice of toast you make, and rather than having a dial marked from 1 to 5 you select between Dark Side and Light Side. Lovely stuff.