Since 1977, kids of all ages have been picking up sticks, broom handles, and plastic swords and imagining that they’re a Jedi Knight. Over the years, fans have been able to pick up anything from cheap plastic lightsabers to high-end fan-made replicas to virtual versions of the weapon. This fall, Hasbro will release a new Lightsaber toy: the Star Wars Lightsaber Academy, an interactive lightsaber game that uses a Bluetooth-connected saber and an app to teach kids how to wield the franchise’s most iconic weapon.
The Lightsaber Academy toy looks a bit like Lenovo’s Jedi Challenges, in which you use a physical lightsaber handle to practice your lightsaber moves, but this version is made for kids. The toy is an extendable lightsaber hilt that connects to a training app via Bluetooth and tracks your motion. The base set will retail for $49.99, and it comes with one of Hasbro’s Smart-Hilt sabers that allow players to shift between one of five Jedi practitioners (Yoda, Rey, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, or Kylo Ren). Then, the app guides you through different poses and attack styles, and the game scores and evaluates your progress. Players can also battle against one another.
Hasbro is also selling a series of lightsabers in the same line, although these do not connect to the app via Bluetooth. The Extendable Lightsaber Level 1 series retails for $7.99, comes in red, blue, or green colors, and can access some content on the app by scanning a QR code. The Electronic Lightsaber Level 2 assortment has the option of Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader’s lightsaber, and it can assess some training and character content via QR code. It retails for $19.99. Hasbro says that all of the toys will be out on October 4th, 2019.
Star Wars toys and the toy industry have come a long way since their debut in the 1970s. While you can still buy an assortment of action figures, Lego, and playsets, there’s been a push for immersion in recent years. The costumes that are now available to children (and adults) have become far more sophisticated in the last decade, while toys and games like Radio Flyer’s X-34 Landspeeder and Lenovo’s Jedi Challenges take you right to a galaxy far, far away.
- Extendable Lightsaber Level 1, red version Image: Hasbro
- Extendable Lightsaber Level 1, blue version Image: Hasbro
- Extendable Lightsaber Level 1, green version Image: Hasbro
- Electronic Lightsaber Level 2, Darth Vader version Image: Hasbro
- Electronic Lightsaber Level 2, Luke Skywalker (ROTJ) version Image: Hasbro
Update: February 15th, 2019, 10:30AM: Updated to include specific release date.