It's a dramatic setting for your most intense Star Wars battles when the resistance clashes with the republic. The BB-8 2-in-1 Mega Playset from Hasbro is part of the full line of toys introduced for Star Wars:The Last Jedi.
Once assembled, the exterior looks like everyone's favorite new droid, BB-8, and there are light and sound features that kids can activate. But that's really only the beginning. To open it, lift up on BB-8's head, and tip it back. There are supports on the back to keep it open. In the open position, this is one impressive playset with 6 areas of play on the interior. Starting from the top, there's the Throne Room, Hangar Deck, Lightspeed Tracker Room, Trash Compactor, Garrison Corridor and Detention Block. There are also action areas that can be activate. The catwalk collapses, the trap door opens and the platform blasts off. There's also an interrogation chair for captured rebels.
This also works with Hasbro's new Force Link that can activate sounds and phrases in the figures and on the playset when players wear the Force Link handsets. The set comes with one Force Link handset and Force Link figures of Supreme Leader Snoke, a sinister representative of the Dark Side and leader of the First Order and one of his Praetorian Guards--in the red battle armor seen for the first time in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
This is a really impressive set full of lots of dramatic opportunities for imaginative play. But it's not without its problems. We think this is one example of what can happen when the designers' concept ultimately overwhelms the play. This took us more than two hours to set up completely. The directions are not very clear, particularly when it comes to applying labels. We know that toymakers ask consumers to put on the labels so as to make the finished toy less expensive, but this is one where we would gladly pay more NOT to have to do that. Once you figure out where they go, which isn't easy based on the drawings, making sure they're applied correctly is difficult, and some of them are TINY. Nonetheless, we persevered and got this thing together. Some of the other pieces require a bit of force and careful placement to attach.
The Force Link works intermittently with the three areas it's supposed to activate on the set, and it feels a little awkward. Wearing the Force Link and reaching into the playset is clumsy, and you You have to hold the handset close to the activation areas to make it work. For the figures, you have to hold the figures against your palm to activate them. It's fun to feel like the figures are coming to life, but it's not the way most kids hold action figures as they play.
Finally, while the playset is supposed to fold up again for storage and play with BB-8, we seriously wonder how often that's going to happen. This set is age graded for kids 4 and up, and any child in that range is going to need help doing this. Folding it up is an involved process that requires pulling off pieces and attaching them to the closed set, which isn't easy for an adult, let alone a child. Plus, it takes a fair amount of time and trial and error to do. Moreover, there are still extra pieces that don't fit inside, so it largely defeats the purpose of storage. And, though we wrestled with it, and we could never get it to close up completely.
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