The Star Wars toys that let you play the movies
The Star Wars films are back in the cinema once again, this time in glorious 3D, and what better way to enjoy and celebrate the fact than by embracing the merchandising machine and buying a stack of toys to let you enjoy the film beyond the cinema screen?
As you might expect toy companies are falling over themselves to embrace the Force. So, here are the best Star Wars toys to look forward to this year:
Scalextric Star Wars Death Star Attack and Scalextric Start Star Wars Battle of Endor
The two biggest toy brands of your childhood; Star Wars and Scalextric are joining forces in 2012 bring us the Micro Scalextric Star Wars Death Star Attack set that will cost £69.99 and the Scalextric Start Star Wars Battle of Endor which costs £99.99.
The first sees you and a mate trying to knock each other off the track in a split time trial race X-Wing versus Tie-Fighter, while the second features a bigger 1/32 scale track system racing as Luke Skywalker and the other as an Imperial Scout on the Speed Racers from Return of the Jedi.
RC Jumbo Inflatable R2-D2
The RC Jumbo Inflatable R2-D2 stands 26-inches (65cm) tall and is controlled in much the same way as a normal remote controlled car giving you an almost life-size, life-like R2-D2 for your home.
Coming out in Q3/Q4 this year (autumn/winter time), the RC Jumbo Inflatable R2-D2 is expected to retail for around £40 and should give you plenty of fun around your house. Blaze, the makers of the remote control droid, also say that other characters will be coming too. Sadly Princess Leia doesn't come in the box for dads.
R2-D2 phone safe
When we were kids our secret storage was an old shoe box that we had coloured in with some felt tip pens, but that's old hat, today's kids want something a little more high-tech.
In steps the R2-D2 safe that is unlocked by your iPhone, iPod touch or Android smartphone. Rather than using the latest cutting edge technology like Bluetooth, Wireless or NFC, the app works by sending a receiver a series of lights as if it was Morse code once you've docked the phone.
That also means that you can work it with Android handsets as the company behind the new gadget told Pocket-lint that there is an Android app coming as well. The lack of expensive technology means that the safe will cost just £19.99 when it comes out in the UK in June.
It isn't as big as a shoebox, but it should be big enough to store some of your favourite (small) trinkets.
Darth Vader bedside lamp
We've already seen Lego Yoda and Stormtrooper lamps, but have you seen the Darth Vader one with glowing lightsaber? Thought not.
Due out later this year the Dark Sith will be happy to take a break from doing no good to lighting your kids bedroom come bedtime.
There are two versions available - one with the lights shining out of his feet, the other from the lightsaber. Both should be on sale in the coming months.
Yoda Air Hedz by Bluw
Air Hedz are the heads of your favourite Star Wars characters in giant size filled with air that you can then wear on your head. If that sounds simple and stupid enough that's because that's exactly what it is (as you can see by the picture).
Costing £11.99 all you've got to do is slip them on your bonse and you're ready to look like a dork. Just don't expect to be able to easily walk through doors. Those not impressed by Yoda will be glad to hear you can get Stormtrooper hedz as well.
Han Solo in Carbonite Silicone Tray
For Star Wars fans who feel that their lives aren't quite complete, this could well be the answer. Not only can you recreate the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where everyone's favourite intergalactic smuggler is placed in suspended animation for delivery to Jabba the Hutt, but you can also produce some spectacular ice cubes for keeping yourself tipple cool and impressing your sci-fi savvy mates at the same time.
The tray comprises one large "Han", which is very roughly the same size as an old-school Star Wars figure, along with six miniature versions and costs £6.49. We recommend you try it with chocolate rather than ice though for better results.
Operation Star Wars R2-D2 Edition
Hasbro is releasing an R2-D2 version of the popular game Operation that sees you having to use your steady hand to get out bits of droid rather than the odd funny bone.
"The Rebel Alliance’s favourite astromech droid has developed all sorts of mechanical maladies, and it’s up to your skillful surgical hands to get the little guy feeling right again," reads the official statement. The new game costs around £20.
Multi Troop Transport Droid Carrier
If you really want to go full out on the action toy front though you'll want the Multi Troop Transport Droid Carrier from Hasbro. In keeping with the dozens of other character action toys you can get, this is one mega set.
For those that need a quick refresher, it is the Droid carrier from The Phantom Menace that is used in the attack on Naboo. For £150 you'll get the Star Wars Class III MTT Vehicle and 20 Droids to attack rebel scum with. Three AAA batteries ensure that it makes plenty of noise. It will be coming in Autumn.
Star Wars Darth Maul Double Bladed Lightsaber
We've seen plenty of Lightsabers in our time here at Pocket-lint, but this new offering from Hasbro is the one that Darth Maul uses in the Phantom Menace and can be split in two for full fighting effect allowing you to either fight with two lightsabers or just the one double bladed option. Unlike the one that is currently on the market, this version lights up giving you that extra realistic effect. Scary.
Lego Star Wars Planets
The LEGO Star Wars Planets, priced at £9.99, are a series of planets from the Star Wars Universe that includes a model, display stand and name plaque all in a planet. There are three to collect with a further three designs coming in Autumn 2012.
Nicely each one has the ability to be hung up making them perfect for the Christmas tree later this year.
Lego X-wing Starfighter and TIE Fighter
Costing £99.98 for the pair, the two sets will allow you to recreate the famous sequence at the end of Star Wars after you've built the spaceships of course.
The 9493 X-wing Starfighter features wings that fold into attack position, proton torpedoes, retractable landing gear and opening cockpit and comes with Luke Skywalker, Jek Porkins, R2-D2 and R5-D8 minifigures.
The 9492 TIE Fighter is equipped with dual flick missiles and opening cockpit alongside a TIE fighter pilot, Imperial officer, Death Star trooper and R5-J2 droid minifigures.
Star Wars Fighter Pods
Think the Lego minifigs that you can buy blind in a bag for a couple of quid and you'll get the idea. Here, instead of a Lego character to build, you get a plastic character from the six Star Wars movies that lives in a clear plastic Death Star like pod. There are over 100 Star Wars Fighter Pods to collect suggesting you could be here for some time.
Those that don't like to take a gamble can, of course, cut corners by buying one of the many sets Hasbro is selling where you can see what you are going to get. Star Wars fans will be able to buy a 4-pack, 8-pack, 12-pack and even a mega 16-pack to guarantee a complete set.