Yoda's on the smack. He told me so in the toy isles of Target last night. His grizzled little paw reached out to shake mine, and all he could talk about was getting medicated. Yeah, he's toking the herb and eating peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. Which explains a lot. Trust me, I hate spoilers, but I honestly believe this is a major plot point of the new film. Hasbro's CALL UPON YODA! Interactive Storytelling Master, released in conjunction with the latest line of Star Wars toys, didn't seem interested in telling me a story at all. Instead, he kept yammering about his meds. Like a junkie slug suffering from hyper-delusional bouts of depression. His animatronic, rubber covered mouth came alive and told me in five different ways that he needed his fix. Apparently, he can use the force that much better with the black tar coursing through his veins. The scary little midget damn near leaped off the shelf and started singing, "Gimme that, Gimme that, Gimme that Smm-a-a-a-ck!" Ala Justin Hawkins. It was truly one of the spookiest things I've ever seen, and now we know why he's such a hippie speed freak with the munchies when Luke Skywalker first meets him on Dagobah.
I'll admit it. I love Star Wars toys. Sometimes, I feel like they're the only things I have to live for. Trust me, I realize that's incredibly sad. And if a girl ever ventured into my apartment, she'd probably run screaming. The place is crammed to the brim with molded pieces of plastic. I should give up the ruse at this unlikely age. It's a juvenile hobby, and it makes me even more of a weirdo than I should be. Hell, I'm comparable to Ed Gein. His skull clutter and human flesh sculptures would probably seem preferable to any prospective dates we as a team could have culled from the local logger bar. "Action Figures or a couch made out of some young girl's ribcage?" She thinks to herself, "Hmm, I think I'll have a seat and tell B. Alan to get out of my face." I know it would play out like that. I do. Depressing, but true.
J. David didn't stop at the first display blocking the front door. The one that preoccupied and snagged all the enthusiasts. He knew a larger bounty awaited him at the back of the store. J. tagged me with his fingers, pointing in the direction of the bathroom, "It's a trap!" We hightailed it to the center isle where an untouched treasure awaited us. I barely got a naked C3PO figure off its hook before the stampede arrived. It was like a herd of rhinos, and I've never been shoved as hard in a death metal mosh pit. Suffice it to say, we reigned victorious that night with a reward greater than any we could have possibly imagined. (Thanks, Dave, for having the money in your pocket to cover our plastic habit!) We snagged all the cool toys.
A few months later, I realized my quest was in vein. Those little polyurethane people cluttering up my living space have never done anything for me.
Maybe that's why I felt so disillusioned this past Saturday. Part of me wanted to join in on the midnight fun. But then part of me just didn't care. Seriously. When I die, what's going to become of this mess I've accumulated? I doubt it will bring joy to anyone's face. It'll probably get thrown in the garbage. Stuff is useless, especially a bunch of dumb toys that sit around wasting precious space. Oh, but they look so cool. I was torn, I truly was. Spend money or sleep? I did neither.
Still, the next morning, my curiosity got the better of me. Even though I tried to ignore those new toys, I knew they were waiting for me. As soon as I could get myself in that beat-up Tercel, I drove my still-shaky drunk self to both the local Target and the Toys R Us. My only hope was that I'd not reenact the inebriated activities that almost got me thrown in jail the last time I visited a Toy Store hopped up on some off-sort of bronze elixir.
I breathed in that fresh, green smell. I took her retirement funds. Then I headed for Target.
For the first time in my life I didn't buy one new Star Wars figure; that grass mowing money clinched tight in my fist trying hard to draw blood. The disappointment was heavy, and I couldn't lift it past a weak smile. There were a few cool things, but I just couldn't dredge up the enthusiasm I needed to get them to the counter…
Here's what I saw:
STAR WARS BOARD GAMES: If I had anybody to play them with, I probably would have bought the whole line. These are only second to the talking Yoda in the cool department. For people with friends, they'd make a great purchase. For people like me, they'll just sit in the closet and collect dust. Kind of like the Original Trilogy Trivial Pursuit game my Parents gave me for Christmas some years ago. I've always wanted to play it, but felt a little lame sitting on the floor with it by myself. The damn game is still wrapped in cellophane. This Sith line offers a new Trivial Pursuit game that covers the entire series, from Episodes 1 through 6. It comes with 2 interactive DVDs and it looks like a lot of fun. The new Monopoly game also spans Episodes I through VI. The little metal figurines included are pretty rad. The coolest game is a Clone Trooper version of Risk, where you can choose to be on the side of either the New Republic or the Separatists. There's also a Jedi Lightsaber TV Game that includes one of those little blind balls for swinging at, and a Saga Chess set that comes with articulate character pieces. Oh, and lets not forget about the puzzles. I always love these. I can do them alone. Sadly, the Attack of the Clones Villains puzzle I bought back in 02 is still sitting uncompleted on my coffee table. (A)
WEAPONS and ACCESSORIES: Obviously, the best thing seen in this line-up is the DARTH VADER voice changer helmet. Too bad it came out last summer. No surprise there. The new lightsabers are basically the same as before. Anakin's changes color, from red to blue, depending on which side of the force you wish to affiliate yourself with. The Yoda lightsaber has a tutorial that you can activate while playing with it. All three available blasters are updated, repainted versions of things we've already seen. Chewbacca's Bowcaster is now bronze instead of silver, but it's basically the same one that arrived in stores almost seven years ago. The same goes for the Clone Trooper blaster. It's a variation of the one that came out in conjunction with 2002's Attack of the Clones. General Grievous' blaster is the newest model being offered, yet it doesn't look much different than the Clone variation. (C+)
Now, where's my Sith coloring book? I need a beer and some crayons…
Dont't forget to also check out: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith