Should you buy Star Wars Lightsaber Forge toys?

Lightsabers are some of the coolest props in pop-culture, and the Star Wars Lightsaber Forge toys know it. Regardless of whether you’re a youngling or full-grown Jedi Knight, there’s something awesome about activating your own laser sword and pretending to do battle with the worst the galaxy has to offer (making your own sound effects while doing so is mandatory, of course).

But does the result live up to expectations? Considering how quickly costs can rack up for toys these days, it’s a fair question. And to give you an answer, I went hands-on with multiple Star Wars Lightsaber Forge products to see if they’ll stand the test of time – or if they’re Star Wars gifts that are best left forgotten. 

An elegant weapon

The idea powering Star Wars Lightsaber Forge toys is undeniably great. Allowing users to combine parts and create their own unique design, it’s the toy version of pick-and-mix candy. Besides letting a child’s imagination run wild (and make no mistake, this is for children), it encourages them to treat the range like massive Lego Star Wars sets. Want to add Luke Skywalker’s saber handle to parts cribbed from Darth Maul’s weapon? Go for it. Eager to fit the Darksaber’s blade to a hilt inspired by Mace Windu? No problem.

Toy lightsabers

Star Wars Bladebuilders advert

(Image credit: Hasbro)

Lightsaber Forge isn’t the only option if you’re hunting down toy sabers. The most common alternatives are the customizable Bladebuilders (with left-field features such as ‘lightdaggers’ and spinning connectors), Lightsaber Squad toys for particularly young kids, and Scream Sabers that allow you to record your own sound effects.

Basically, combining parts is as easy as screwing the pieces in question together. So long as there’s a central unit with a ‘kyber crystal’ underneath it all (read: a cunningly hidden button and some AAA batteries), you’re good to go.

What follows is straight-up awesome. Sure, getting a combination of lightsaber bits will cost you in a very literal sense. But being able to craft your own laser sword just as they do in the movies and animated shows is a treat for any young fan. Throw in a light-up blade and sound effects for maximum delight.

However, there’s a difference between concept and execution. While these toys are on the money in so many ways, it’s not quite a home run.

…for a more civilized age

You see, they don’t always feel particularly secure. The pieces aren’t going to fly off and hurt someone, but they do rattle together in use. That makes the whole thing feel cheap, and there’s a definite whistling noise when they’re swung around too. I was concerned about their longevity as a result.

They may not suit younger children either. I tried three different models, and the blades were always too stiff. Extending them is simple enough, but retracting them again might be beyond small kids – you have to really twist them. Plus, they don’t fold into the hilt itself like old toy lightsabers used to. Rather, the base of the blade sticks out by half a foot or so. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it is unwieldy nonetheless.

Custom Star Wars Lightsaber Forge toy

(Image credit: Future)

Fortunately, the build-quality of Lightsaber Forge toys didn’t end up being as poor as I’d feared. They may feel cheap, but they can really take a beating – at least in the short-term. I smacked them against one another quite fiercely, and they never gave up the ghost. 

Similarly, the hilts are sturdy enough to survive some punishment. If my time putting them through their paces is anything to go by, they won’t break on your child after a few hours of play. That doesn’t mean they’re indestructible, but it does offer a degree of confidence if your kids are going to be battling one another every now and then.

The concept behind it is cool enough to paper over most issues

To be honest, I’d be surprised if any child cared enough to be truly unhappy with Lightsaber Forge products. The concept behind it is cool enough to paper over most issues, and they’ll just be happy to create their own laser sword that makes all the appropriate “vroom, swish, crash” noises. As such, it’s worthwhile overall.

Be aware of the costs involved, though. This can rack up quickly if you buy lots of parts to mix and match.

Should you buy Star Wars Lightsaber Forge?

Buy if:

  • It’s for children
  • You’re looking for a cheap toy lightsaber
  • Your kid really loves Star Wars and imaginative play

Avoid if:

  • You want something that’s going to last for ages
  • You have particularly young children
  • You don’t want to buy multiple lightsabers to mix and match 

For more buying advice, don’t forget to check out these ultimate gifts for gamers. You should also take a look at the best Disney gifts, Star Wars action figures, and board games for kids if you’re after present ideas, too.

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