After 40 years, the conclusion of the Skywalker saga is just around the corner, as fans await the final chapter in a story far, far away.
The various toys and merchandise that have been unveiled and launched at the recent Force Friday have no doubt fueled the hype, but aside from LEGO and Funko, Hasbro is the other major toy maker that has taken the cake when it comes to some of the most eye-catching entries.
Their Star Wars Black Series has always been a major talking point for many collectors, with the various iconic helmets of some of the most popular characters of the Star Wars universe made in 1:1, wearable form. The latest in this series is the Star Wars Black Series Luke Skywalker Electronic Helmet.
You know – the one Luke wore when he destroyed the Death Star.
For many a Star Wars fan, this helmet needs no introduction. The red/white Rebel paint job is replicated as faithfully as possible, all the way to the various emblems on the sides, as well as the weathering, making it look like the battle-hardened skull protector you see in the movies. There’s even a fake adjustable microphone to boot, as well. And yes, before you ask, this is made in the same sculpt as the one Mark Hamill wore back in 1977.
On the inside, you’ll find three removable inner pads that are attached by small patches of velcro, along with a chin strap. In between these patches, you’ll find three mini-speakers (two on the sides of your head, and one on the back) that will emit the sounds from scenes from the movies (more on that later). Just below the back speaker, there’s a switch that toggles the sounds from the Battle of Yavin from Episode IV: A New Hope and the Battle of Hoth from Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. And below that is the housing for two AA batteries.
From our use of the helmet, we’ve found that the velcro patches are rather flimsy, and they come of quite easily, which can be quite frustrating if you’re wearing it multiple times, or even if you just want to make the smallest of adjustments. Furthermore, the chin strap gets in the way of the pads sometimes, causing them to dislodge and forcing you to have to readjust them again (cue more frustrated sighs). It might’ve been better to make the velcro straps stronger or larger, or even reduce the size of the pads, especially on the ears, so they won’t have to keep fighting with the chin strap for space. But this was probably in an attempt to make it as screen accurate as possible, though at the cost of ergonomics.
Size-wise, it’s a little on the larger end of the spectrum, even with the padding and chin strap, though those with generally larger heads may not complain. That said, the pads are there to provide added grip, so if you remove those, you might be struggling to keep it on your head as it will wobble about.
When you strap on the helmet, you’ll want to push on the big, red button (on the right side of the helmet) to start the sound effects. And if you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan (which you’re encouraged to be if you’re purchasing this helmet), then what comes out of the speakers is pure nostalgic bliss. The familiar cries of “Gold Five, stay on target!” by Davish “Pops” Krail, “Use the Force”, by Alec Guiness’ Obi-Wan Kenobi, or even “Cable detached!” are just amazing to hear. Not to mention the various beam sounds and explosions made by the X-Wings, A-Wings and TIE Fighters all add to the immersion.
As cool as the sound effects are, it would be nice if the helmet came with some form of volume adjustment, as some of the sounds are rather soft, and would need you to be in a relatively quiet space in order to hear them properly.
On the underside of the visor are a pair of LED strips that light up when you play the sound effects, for added awesomeness. However, do take precaution if you’re purchasing this for someone who is prone to epilepsy, as the various blinking lights can prove quite the nuisance sometimes.
Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series helmets are always a joy to use and even put on display. However, it seems they have taken a back seat with the Luke Skywalker helmet, with its rather lacklustre interior build quality, with the loose padding and awkward size, miring its otherwise faithful recreation of the iconic character’s headpiece. Its US$99.99 (S$199.99) price, however, may be somewhat of a consolation, if you’re considering this or the Black Series Darth Vader Electronic Helmet, which is much superior in quality.
The choice is yours, Padawan.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Roleplaying as Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing has never been more immersive, thanks to Hasbro’s new Black Series helmet. However, its shoddy interior ultimately hinders its overall quality.
Aesthetics - 9/10
Build Quality - 7/10
Value - 8/10
Geek Satisfaction - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.