Geek toys review: Star Wars FX Lightsabers

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There are certain moments in life I'll never forget. That time I forced my brother down a make-shift zipline constructed of clothesline rope and a wooden dowel that served as a “pulley,” and then watching him plummet into the earth, breaking his wrist (his fault—he shouldn't have let go). Or the time when I first beat Battletoads on the NES. (OK that never actually happened.) And know what? I'll never forget the first time I wrapped my fingers around the glorious hilt of a Star Wars FX lightsaber and fired it up. I mean yeah, the first time I held one was, like, 6 hours ago, but still: I know I'll remember it for eternity, because this toy is quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to me. Ever.

While the FX versions aren't quite exact replicas of the movie props (they're a bit bigger overall, and the on/off switches are small sliders attached to the side of the handles instead of buttons), the lightsabers feel agreeably heavy, and they're constructed from high-quality metal and rubber. I guarantee it'll send tingles through your skin the second you activate one (like the movies, the glowing effect travels quickly upwards and downwards instead of just instantly appearing on or off). Waving around a powered saber results in different pitches and tones in the warbling hum, and whipping the blade into random objects sends out those iconic energy-clash-on-impact noises (and all the sounds are thunderously loud—sleeping parents and roomates beware!). It requires four AA batteries to run, but they're cleverly hidden inside the casing, and they'll last you for hours of mock-decapitations and de-handings.

The FX lightsabers also come with a posh display stand to show off the hardware. Sadly though, you can't remove the white, semi-translucent tubing with these models. So when you have sophisticated dinner guests over, and it's sitting on your fireplace mantle, it'll look a little funky turned off with the blade still there. Of course there's an easy solution to that: keep it turned on for a fantastic supper-light ambiance! (Can table-candles stab through metal and bring about galaxy-wide peace? No. No they can't.) If you fancy yourself a Star Wars nerd, or even if you've only seen the movies a few times, or hell: if you just enjoy things that are awesome, for crap's sakes: buy an FX lightsaber. Nowish.

Grab one at: Think Geek

It'll cost ya: 100 of the best dollars you'll ever spend

Wielding one in full-contact cosplay is a bad idea because: The blade, while fairly rugged, will most assuredly shatter on impact if swung with considerable force into another lightsaber. Driving one into a Jar Jar Binks'-themed beanbag or an inanimate poster of George Lucas is fine though (and encouraged).