With Force Friday almost upon us, and Propel releasing some awesome battle drones, we present to you, our own opinion on those extra terrestrial aircrafts, with the pro’s and con’s of what can only be described as a collector’s dream!!
In official partnership with the Star War’s brand, Propel have been releasing a set of 3 classic battleships/aircrafts made famous from the films for a number of years, while consistently striving to innovate their products to truly captivate audiences and fans around the world.
So you have Darth Varders TIE Advanced X1 (has a totally badass look to it) which comes with a black darth vader looking controller, to the Empires 74-Z speeder bike (which seems to have ridiculously fast bursts of acceleration), and the X-Wing star fighter (a white controller). With an ace up their sleeve, propel even went one further and revealed that Han Solo’s millennium Falcon will also be released.
Retailing for a pricey £199 you’ll be asking yourself, why should I pay a rather excessive amount of money for a drone? When there are drones on the market at lower price range that can be accessible and fun.
Well for a start the attention to detail on these gizmo’s are phenomenal. I really cannot emphasize how lifelike the drones appear. Each drone is hand painted to superb detail, and the rotors are all neatly fitted on the underside of each drone. The only negative to this would be to take care when launching the drone, if for instance up the park etc.
The drones have Infra Red transmitters which prove useful during duels with other drones, to determine who is the better pilot, wich will be logged on the VR companion app, this also launches alongside the retail release. Additionally you can upgrade to a laser should you want the full experience at an extra cost. The laser’s do look awe-inspiring, and each drone has it’s matching colour as per the films.
Going back onto the design aspect of things it’s not just the drones that impress. The unveiling of each drone from its packaging is arguably worth the price tag alone. Each box has a wax seal that requires slicing through, and as you lift the top of the box upwards, you’re embraced with some epic music, sound effects and lights from the films. It’s certainly a real mark out moment, and collectors/fans alike would find it very special.
You’ll also find extra’s including spare parts, a cage, screwdriver, the controller, 2battery units and a charger, plus the manual. Yet the awesomeness doesn’t stop there, the drones have LED lighting, 360 rolls, speeds of up to 35mph, auto-start and landing, gyroscope calibration, a barometric pressure sensor (for fixed altitude hovering), controller feedback, and swappable Li-poly batteries for continuous play.
The Star Wars drones are very light in weight, and remarkably durable, you could smash it against the wall and there’s a strong possibility you’ll re-calibrate the drone and it’ll be fine, with perhaps a slight scratch at worst.
Battery life last’s for roughly 8minutes and it can take around 40mins to fully recharge. Sadly one feature I’d of loved to see, would of been a drone-cam to catch those awesome dog-fights from the view of the cockpit.
The controller is standard in layout with twin sticks but instead of the left stick controlling rotor speed its used to adjust your altitude with the drone automatically maintaining its current altitude, Along with a button for taking off and landing the star wars battling drones are the most accessible drone I have ever flown and the most fun. The controller also has fitted speakers that will communicate your battle score, ship damage, and play soundtracks from the films.
With staying in the air being done for you, its all about driving, more than it is flying, and that is very satisfying and entertaining. This coupled with the main focus been on battling, leads to only a few crash tests before new pilots start getting the hang of it.
While taking off and flying you are treated to some familiar sound effects complete with shipboard lights, The controller also has a headphone jack that you might want to utilise in flying close to yourself as the drones do not run quietly.
So to summarise these drones are superb and certainly represent good value for money. Star wars fans will love the detail on each drone and will no doubt suit collectors needs too. The battle tournaments and companion app system also add further intrest and value to these gadgets. My only gripe would be issues with the unclipping of the battery units. Sometimes being akward to remove, and battery life, would be nice to squeeze a little more juice out of these fascinating pieces of tech.