Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens opens in less than two weeks, and we have a lot of questions. What are Finn and Rey's surnames? What have Han, Leia, and Luke been up to for the past 30 years? Does Kylo Ren know what a crossguard is actually supposed to do?
And of course, most importantly: What awesome Episode VII toys and gadgets can we geek out over?
1. Sphero BB-8
This is definitely the droid you're looking for.
BB-8, the soccer ball-shaped astromech droid that rolled across an alien desert and into our hearts in the first official Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer, can now be your app-controlled companion. Sphero, a company best known for its robotic ball toy, has made a pretty convincing BB-8 replica that moves (sort of) like the real thing.
The $150 Sphero BB-8 pairs with a smartphone app that lets you guide it, talk to it, and even use it to record holographic projection videos (thanks, augmented reality!). According to the company, this little droid also has an "adaptive personality," which means its "attitude" and actions evolve as you interact with it. (Too bad Jar-Jar Binks didn’t have that feature.) The Sphero BB-8 can't grab coffee or fix your starship, but it can roll around and look adorable (which is kind of why we love BB-8 anyway).
2. ThinkGeek BB-8 Desktop Lamp
The Sphero BB-8 is an awesome toy, but aren't astromech droids supposed to be...useful? Let your BB-8 love boost your productivity with this $40 BB-8 Desktop Lamp from ThinkGeek.
The 8.5-inch-tall aluminum lamp features three lighting modes (natural white, amber, and warm white), as well as dimming (for natural white and amber). Just bop—er, tap—BB-8 on the head to turn him on and switch through different lighting modes, or touch and hold his noggin to activate the dimmer.
3. Thinkway Toys AT-AT U-COMMAND with Remote Control
Why should the light side of the Force have all the fun? This $100, remote-controlled AT-AT U-COMMAND is the toy you've been waiting for since the original trilogy dropped. The AT-AT U-COMMAND is 10.5 inches tall, and has lights, sound effects, and a head that swivels as the unit walks.
And it does walk. The dual-joystick remote lets you guide the AT-AT forward, backward, right, and left, and it has 10 buttons that you can use to program action sequences. Movement appears to be pretty realistic, but that can probably be attributed to the fact that AT-AT walkers aren't exactly known for their graceful, gazelle-like movement (brontotherium-like is more like it). But unlike the Sphero BB-8, this remote-controlled AT-AT has a flat back—which means it can probably carry your coffee for you.
4. Air Hogs Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad Drone
Remote-controlled droids and walkers are great, but Star Wars is all about starships. Specifically, everybody's favorite rogue smuggler ship: the Millennium Falcon.
After all, why roll/walk when you can fly—really fly—with Air Hogs’ $110 remote-controlled Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad drone? This sweet quadcopter has lights, sound effects, and a hyperdrive feature (which, unfortunately, doesn’t actually put your drone in hyperspace; it's just a sound effect). The Millennium Falcon Quad comes with a dual-joystick remote control that works from up to 200 feet away and the aircraft is made of high-density foam so it can take a beating (or a crash landing). The Millennium Falcon Quad delivers only 6 to 8 minutes of straight flying time on a full charge, but it's a quadcopter so you'll have precise control over its movement.
If $100+ is beyond your budget, Air Hogs also makes a smaller single-rotor Millennium Falcon drone for about half the price.
5. Hasbro Battle Action Millennium Falcon
Hasbro’s Battle Action Millennium Falcon ($140) does everything except fly. This huge 22-inch Millennium Falcon replica has lights, motion-activated sound effects, and a pop-up Nerf dart cannon that shoots two Nerf darts (included).
The spacecraft comes with three figurines—Chewbacca, Finn, and BB-8—and it opens to reveal an interior playset (complete with a fixable hyperdrive unit). Sure, it doesn't fly, but it's a far more impressive and detailed replica of the on-film Falcon than Air Hogs' drone is.
6. Nerf Chewbacca Bowcaster
Chewie is back in Episode VII (in fact, he's the only cast member who hasn't aged a bit)—and so is his bowcaster. While it's not an exact replica of the Wookie weapon, Nerf’s $25 Chewbacca Bowcaster lets you attack unsuspecting coworkers from up to 65 feet away. Plus, Nerf darts are safer and more fun than bolts of energy.
The Bowcaster fires one dart at a time (it comes with five, and can store four) from a crossbow-like configuration and it’s configured with a removable scope. Admittedly it's a lot smaller than Chewie's movie-verse Bowcaster, but that's probably a good thing because Wookies are about 7 feet tall.
7. Disney 14-Inch Star Wars Episode VII Talking Figures
Figurines are the perfect collector's items for subtly displaying your geekiness. But figurines aren't designed to do anything—unlike these awesome, 14-inch, posable, light-up talking figures from Disney. For $30 a pop, you can pick up Finn, Kylo Ren, or a First Order Stormtrooper.
Finn has a light-up blaster and 11 different phrases and sound effects from the movie, while Kylo Ren plays 15 different phrases and sound effects (his self-constructed crossguard lightsaber also lights up). The Stormtrooper sports a light-up blaster rifle and produces eight phrases and sound effects when you tap the button on his chest.
8. iHome Star Wars Episode VII TIE Fighter BT Speaker
iHome’s Star Wars Episode VII TIE Fighter Bluetooth Speaker ($50) is another collectible that will do more than just collect dust. Classily perched on a translucent acrylic stand, this Imperial starfighter is also a Bluetooth speaker that's compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices (Bluetooth v. 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, and 2.1+EDR).
An auto-link button on the TIE Fighter lets you quickly connect your phone to the speaker, and an included cable fits into a 3.5mm headphone jack in case your device doesn't have Bluetooth. The fighter/speaker is about 10 inches tall and it runs on a rechargeable battery (one full charge should get you about 8 hours of playback).
9. Lego Star Wars Episode VII Playsets
If you feel the need to build a First Order fleet or an updated Millennium Falcon, Lego has you covered. Lego has produced several new Episode VII playsets—including a $120 Kylo Ren Command Shuttle (complete with extending wings and spring-loaded shooters), an $80 Poe's X-Wing Fighter (featuring retractable landing gear and wings that open), and a $150 Millennium Falcon, which has a detachable cockpit and all your favorite characters.
10. Disney Kylo Ren Voice Changing Mask
James Earl Jones may be the voice-acting star of the Star Wars universe, but Episode VII's Kylo Ren also has a cool mask and an electronically altered voice. Disney’s Kylo Ren Voice Changing Mask ($25) is the crowning touch—literally—for next year's Halloween costume.
This plastic helmet has an attached cloth hood that completely conceals your identity, as well as a voice-changer that lets you speak in Ren's emotionless tones. (If you're not sure what to say during an epic cosplay battle, the mask also has a special button that spits out movie-verse phrases.) Now all you need is an unhealthy obsession with fallen Sith Lords and a lightsaber that you’ve cobbled together yourself.
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