Death Star Planetarium

I usually try to keep things pretty positive on this blog. While I won't shy away from pointing out the flaws of a product, I mostly attempt to focus on the positives. Today's post is a little different, however - mostly because there's very little positive to say about this particular item. Long story short, my girlfriend and I recently came across one of Uncle Milton's Death Star Planetariums discounted down from it's usual RRP of $29.99US ($41.74NZ) to a ridiculously low $9.00US ($12.52NZ). We picked it up, thinking it'd make a neat conversation piece. We were very, very wrong.

The unit is essentially a model replica of the Death Star that sits atop a transparent plastic stand. The upper hemisphere of the battle station is then removed to expose the working parts of the planetarium, which consist of a battery-operated bulb and two layered domes. The first of these domes is transparent and inscribed with a map of the star wars galaxy. Ostensibly, when switched on, the light shines through this dome and projects the map onto the walls and ceiling. This is where things start to fall down, however. The map is fuzzy, distorted, and only really readable when projected onto a surface no more than a couple of feet away. It certainly isn't capable of sitting on a table and providing a legible viewing experience.

The Black Series 3 3/4" Admiral Ackbar, Ahsoka Tano, and Lando Calrissian

Now that I'm back in the US, I've been able to tap into Walmart's exclusive 3 3/4" Black Series line - the last bastion of super-articulated figures in this scale. While I'm strictly 5POA on new characters, the Black Series line continues to be a great way of getting hold of older figures that I missed the first time around. I recently picked up three of the latest releases - Admiral Ackbar, Ahsoka Tano, and Lando Calrissian - for $12.83US ($17.74NZ) a pop.

All three figures feature fifteen points of articulation, a fantastic paint application, an assortment of accessories, and - in the cases of Ahsoka and Lando - some soft goods detailing. In fact, it's pretty hard to fault any of these figures. My only criticism is that Lando appears to be a little bandy-legged; but this is something that I'm hoping a little hot/cold water treatment will be able to fix.

Death Star Waffle Maker

My girlfriend and I have had our eyes on ThinkGeek's Death Star Waffle Maker for some time now, so it was an easy decision to pick one up when they were recently reduced down to $19.99US ($27.85NZ) each!

Put simply, we're both phenomenally happy with this purchase. We've made a decent number of waffles already, and everything is working exactly as it should. Sometimes these kinds of things can come off as a gimmick - never really properly doing what they claim to do in the description. That certainly isn't the case here though. The waffle maker leaves a crisp imprint of the Death Star, and the resulting waffle looks damn cool indeed. Some online reviews have been critical of the time taken to cook each waffle - but we've had no issues so far. So long you allow the unit to properly heat up (a green light switches on once this is complete) you'll be able to completely cook a single waffle in around five to six minutes.

This unit definitely comes with our seal of approval - so if you've been contemplating this as a purchase, then keep an eye out for ThinkGeek's next sale and be sure to pick one up!

Star Wars Blueprints T-Shirt

The final new addition to my Star Wars collection this Christmas was this very cool blueprints t-shirt that came courtesy of my girlfriend's parents.

The t-shirt feature schematics of a number of original trilogy vehicles, including the Millennium Falcon, an x-wing fighter, an AT-AT, and Darth Vader's TIE-advanced. It goes without saying that I'm going to be wearing the heck out of this one!

Star Wars Chocolate Egg and Surprise

Any regular visitor to this blog will know I'm a sucker for anything blind-bagged - and this Christmas, my girlfriend fueled that obsession with a couple of these fantastic Star Wars Chocolate Egg and Surprise boxes.

Much like a Kinder Surprise, each packet contains a small chocolate egg with a miniature toy in a capsule (though due to US law, the capsuled toy merely comes with the egg, and not inside it). There's six toys to collect in total - each one being the bust of an original trilogy hero or villain. I lucked out and managed to get two different (and particularly iconic) characters - R2-D2 and Darth Vader!