The race for holiday toy of the year is on. We’ve already seen at least one promising candidate, but at IFA this week, Lenovo has just shown off what is almost certainly the horse to beat in Star Wars: Jedi Challenges. After all, what other toy is going to give you a lightsaber and a bunch of stormtroopers to fight?
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is the combination of an augmented reality headset, a controller shaped like a lightsaber hilt, and an orb that acts as a tracking base for the headset. Disney first teased the kit at their D23 fan expo last month, showing off an AR experience that would put you right in the middle of a Jedi training program, padawan.
It won’t be a standalone kit, though. Jedi Challenges will require a smartphone (you can check out the list of compatible phones here). You’ll need to download the Jedi Challenges app, start it up, then slot the phone into the front of the headset — same thing we’ve seen with most mobile VR headsets out there. Once the headset is on, you can grab the lightsaber, turn to face the tracking orb (the smartphone will always need to be able to see the orb), and get to work. This is still augmented reality, though — Kylo Ren will be visiting your living room, rather than you blasting off to wherever’s he’s been sulking since The Force Awakens.
Like Disney teased at D23, there will be three modes of play. The first is the best — lightsaber battles. The lightsaber hums to life when viewed through augmented reality, and in battles, there will be another lightsaber humming to life, too. You’ll face off against Star Wars villains like Kylo Ren and Darth Vader to hone your lightsaber skills. Strategic Combat will drop you into larger set pieces, getting thrown into fights — against Light or Dark, your choice — that will thrown in ships and droids from the series, too. And, when it’s time to cool off, there are also the promised Holochess games, too.
It’s a pretty neat way to package augmented reality, but it’s still a toy first and foremost. While the lightsaber is replica-like in the clear attention to detail involved, it’s still light and plasticky — it won’t be mistaken for a collector’s item once you pick it up. Still, Lenovo and Disney have managed to give the lightsaber a cool metallic look, and swinging around a lightsaber in any form can only be described as satisfying.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges will be available online and at Best Buy stores in November for $200. Best of luck actually getting one!
Check out more of our IFA 2017 coverage right here!