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My sons have had a fairly recent interest in the Star Wars series. They had been fascinated with my nephews light sabre for ages, so when the movies were on the telly every week for 6 weeks recently they sat and watched them all. When we took a visit to the toy shop and they spotted the light sabers and star wars toys, they really wanted to buy one.
I persuaded them against the more expensive light sabers with battery operated sound effects as I could just imagine how quickly they would be broken, and at a cost of £25 I thought it was too much money to waste. However, Smyths did a range of light sabers that were more basic and retailing for about £8, which I thought a lot more reasonable. These light sabers were styled to match certain characters such as Obi Wan Kanobi, but both my children got it into their head they wanted a light sabre that is red so they both picked the Darth Vader light saber.
Now for your £8, you don't really seem to get a lot. There are no bells and whistles on this one. It does not light up, it does not make any of the cool zhume, zhume noises when you use it. The light sabre does extend and retract however, so it is quite fun to play with. When the light sabre is in compact form with the red blade in the handle, the handle is 29cm in length. It is an attractive grey and black design. There is a belt clip to attach it to your clothes, and on the side of the handle is a slide switch which looks a bit like a control panel with buttons. Moving this slide switch allows you to release the light saber blade. The blade comes in 4 sections. When you release the switch it slides out smoothly, and its full length is 80cm. I thought this would be quite flimsy, but it is actually made of quite tough plastic.
In play, I keep telling my sons that the light sabers do not bash against each other, but being small boys, they quite quickly forget this. I did think that the blades would snap really quickly, but they are made of tougher stuff than they look, and this is actually quite a sturdy toy.
This came with minimal packaging, so we had quite a fun shopping trip when we bought this with boys keep extending their light saber in the shop. Luckily we escaped without hurting anyone or knocking anything off the shelves. I have to say, the boys have been quite good as they have been careful with these and only played Star wars with them rather than using them as something to bash each other or knock my ornaments off shelves.
The safety instructions on this one did make me chuckle. In small print on the handle, you are advised not to use this to poke or jab people or animals.
For the price, Hasbro have made a toy that is quite tough, and still quite fun. Children do not mind making noises for themselves when they play, after all, they have been doing car noises for years by themselves, so the noise of the light saber is easy. I've been quite impressed with this, and the boys have had lots of fun.