Star Wars Drones
Star wars fans and collectors have something new to look forward to. Propel RC Toys unveiled at London’s Star Wars Celebration four themed Star Wars drones that you will be able to fly at speeds up to 40 MPH and engage in real-world laser battles with others. Propel is creating Star Wars-themed battling quadcopters modeled after the Millennium Falcon, TIE Advanced X1, T-65 X-Wing and 74-Z Speeder Bike.
Each of the models sits comfortably in the palm of your hand and is powered by swappable lithium-ion battery packs. They have four props a piece, made from a clear polycarbonate plastic that’s buffed to look as glassy as possible. The end result is that you can’t see the blades too clearly when they’re in motion. These drones have the capability to hit a top speed of 40 mph in 3 seconds, while the Millennium Falcon has a top speed of 50 mph.
Attention to Detail
The rotors are positioned upside down to build air pressure underneath the craft, a system that Propel calls reverse propulsion. This means that instead of being sucked up into the sky, the drones push off from the ground. “That allowed us to make ships that didn’t have holes in them, so that they appear intact,” says Propel CEO Darren Scott Matloff.
The attention to detail on these quads is what sets them apart from other star wars drones we’ve seen. The models themselves are plastic molded and painted by hand. Propel says it’s currently arranging for more detailed molds for the final consumer versions of the quads.
The quads don’t just fly either but do battle with lasers. When a ship is hit by a laser from an opposing ship, its paired controller shakes in the pilot’s hands. After three direct hits, the drone will slowly spiral to the ground and the game is over.
Propel has put an incredible amount of detail into the packaging too, with each quad coming in a presentation case with a relief model of the ship or bike on the front. Lift off the top and speakers start playing the Star Wars theme or some relevant quote. Each model is individually numbered, and for the real hardcore collectors, will ship with a wax seal. That’s “for the people who are never going to open it,” says Matloff. He adds: “We wanted to speak to the older Star Wars fans, who are real collectors. And I wanted to create something I could put on my desk and geek out about.”
How to get one
Getting your hands on one of these quads might be tricky. They’re currently only licensed for sale in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and Matloff says that while they’re keen to negotiate to sell in the US, there’s no deal in place yet. American fans will have to buy them from online retailers instead. Interested fans can reserve their model online on the Propel’s official website. It is not confirmed yet but some sources say that The Millennium Falcon will cost $300, while the other models will cost $250
The company expects to start shipping the quads in September, and then getting them out to stores in the following months. “Going to the movies, seeing Star Wars; that was my time to become present in the moment and let the whole world slip away,” Matloff says about his childhood experiences with the franchise. “I think it’s really essential we don’t lose that. We can create that magic at the movies, but we can also create it with the products, and the toys, we make.”
Author: -Ali Vaqar. A budding engineer, wanting so much from life and making each day count.