I had a chance to visit Disney recently and got a sneak peek at some up and coming Star Wars toys from Sphero and Hasbro.
The first of these was a range of Star Wars Force Link toys that use wearable tech that sense when the related Star Wars figures and ships are held in the hand. It then plays lights and sound to augment the play.
Then there was the new Sphero BB-9E and R2-D2 app controlled droids. These follow up the ever popular Sphero BB-8 for The Last Jedi and look to be just as popular.
Finally, we had hands on time with the new Augmented Reality Jedi Challenges experience. This uses a Lenovo AR Helmet that houses a smartphone to create a surprisingly impressive AR experience. We played the Lightsaber battles and it worked well for the whole family.
Not only did the tech respond quickly to my boys jumping around to battle Darth Vader in augmented reality but the kit itself also felt really good to hold. The Lightsaber has a light up end — not dissimilar to a Move controller — and you place a glowing globe in the room to help the game orient itself.
It also offers a strategic combat game that has you marshaling the forces of the Republic, Rebel Alliance, and Resistance on the living room floor to battle the Separatists, Empire, and First Order. Then there is Holochess, that recreates the game first seen on the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.