The app-enabled BB-8 stole the headlines, but this interactive Jedi training Yoda had a lot of wow factor too

Currently, everyone is enjoying, evaluating and dissecting every aspect of the The Force Awakens. One of the superstar toy products to come out of the film was the BB-8 App-Enabled Droid from Sphero. It was so popular it even became a focal point of our Force Awakens contest with Chris Schaben snagging it as the grand prize.

Sure the new droid is getting a lot of love, but I have a soft spot for a second product that proved just as fun to experience. While walking down a side lane at San Diego Comic-Con this year, I heard a familiar voice call out to me saying “now you I will train”. It was the unmistakable voice of Yoda and standing 16″ tall he may have been a bit pint sized but he still impressed catching my attention. That first look at the toy design is captured in this photo I snapped at the time.

In the minutes that followed, I was invited to play with the Legendary Jedi Master Yoda from Spin Master in advance of the general public and the experience was nothing short of fun. With 360-degree movement, a mountain of interactive replies and full voice recognition, this was a toy with quite a bit of heart and potential. At first I didn’t even realize this was going to be a commercial product. I just thought it was a really fascinating part of the Spin Master display.  I quickly found myself falling into the conversation with it even if it did jump off script from time-to-time (which still proved at least funny).

Here are the official details…

“Train to become a Jedi with Legendary Yoda! Small in size but wise and powerful, Yoda has trained Jedi’s like Luke Skywalker for over 800 years. Now it’s your turn as Legendary Yoda guides you on the path to becoming a Jedi Master. Standing an impressive 16 inches tall, Yoda’s dynamic motorized body movement and full voice recognition make him the most realistic Star Wars toy ever. He speaks 115 phrases that will lead you to Jedi Wisdom and Lightsaber mastery. And with dynamic 360-degree movement, Yoda comes to life with never-before-seen Lightsaber action! Discover 3 distinct modes of play on your path to becoming a Jedi Master:

WARRIOR MODE: Learn from the greatest warrior of all time as Yoda swings his signature green light-up Lightsaber! Seven motors power his breakthrough 360-degree, lifelike movement. You can send him on the attack, or follow along with his advanced Lightsaber techniques as he guides you on the path to Jedi Mastery.

FORCE MODE: Learn the ways of the Force as Yoda unleashes iconic quotes from the Jedi Order. When the dark side threatens, Yoda’s hand lights up with a glowing “force blast!” Learn to force push and send Yoda flying back.

WISDOM MODE: While holding his cane, Yoda answers your questions and senses whether you’re strong in the force… or the dark side. His voice recognition has six key phrases and he will answer yes or no questions revealing his secrets and wisdom. As the wisest Jedi of all time, Yoda is equipped with a dark side sensor to determine if your intentions are good or evil.

Legendary Yoda is an authentic collectable with highly detailed premium latex skin. Wearing a real fabric robe and wielding his light-up Lightsaber, this fully interactive Jedi Master brings all the wisdom and power of the Jedi Order right into your room. ‘Do, or do not. There is no try.’ Train to become a Jedi with the incredible Legendary Yoda!”

BB-8 may have caught everyone’s attention, but as far as feeling like you are seeing a fresh product, Yoda scored well with me as a fan. Since then, I’ve been a bit surprised that this toy didn’t rate higher. I expected it to contest the holiday buying season “must have” lists a bit more. Getting solid reviews, it just didn’t seem to “wow” fans like it’s app-based, spherical, technological alternate. Considering it’s currently marked down from $179.99 to just $99.00 on Amazon, this could still be a fun choice for your post holiday play time!

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