A remote-controlled flying-toys company has come up with possibly the best toy idea ever – drone toys of famous Star Wars ships such as Han Solo's Millennium Falcon and the rebels' X-Wing Starfighter.
Propel, which already sells a wide range of model helicopters as well as consumer unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), showcased its new Stars Wars Battling Quad drones at the Star Wars Celebrations convention in London, which took place over the weekend (15-17 July 2016) at London's ExCeL Centre.
The drones are made from polycarbonate plastic and feature rechargeable lithium-ion battery backs. They also feature a patent-pending reverse propulsion system with invisible blades, and they are able to go from zero to 35 mph in less than three seconds.
In addition to flying like a regular small UAV, the drones will also be fitted with lasers that actually fire, and users will be able to perform aerial stunts such as 360-degree turns. There are three settings to suit everyone, from beginners to advanced pilots.
Star Wars fans will be able to use the drones to play an airborne laser-battle game, whereby each controller paired to the relevant UAV vibrates when hit in mid-battle. After three successful hits, the drone will refuse to respond to user commands, and instead will land on the ground to signify that it has been shot down.
Testing out the Star Wars drones
Each Star Wars Battling Quad is hand-painted and it comes packed in a special limited-edition collector's display box with its own certificate. When the display box is opened, the box plays Star Wars music and relevant dialogue sound clips from the movies.
At the Star Wars Celebrations event, one of the attractions was drone racing hosted by Propel, where fans were invited to go into a special enclosed arena, completely roped off by protective netting, to watch Propel's pilots showcase the drones in different miniature room-sized stage sets complete with props, special lighting and matching sound effects, as captured by the Star Wars Flight Academy fan community.
Propel is making 15,000 units available for die-hard fans before launch, and is currently accepting reservations. Each reservation will be held without obligation until 28 days after the official launch date, which is set for the end of this year, probably to tie in with Christmas and the release of the Rogue One movie. To secure the drone, customers need to make full payment on or before the official launch date.
Nevertheless, Gizmag says it is rumoured that the Millennium Falcon drone will retail for around £300 ($398), while the T-65 X-Wing Starfighter, the Tie Advanced X1 and the 74-Z Speeder Bike will all retail for about £250.
For the moment, the drones are only licensed to be sold in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but anyone can buy them online.