Tuesday 21 February 2023

FEATURE: Damiensaber Lightsaber Review - Be one with the Force!

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These days Star Wars fans are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes high-end lightsaber replicas. Jedi or Sith, no force wielder is complete without arguably one of the most iconic weapons in science-fiction history. In this special review we'll be looking at one of the models from Damiensaber, a lightsaber company specialising in both replica and custom RGB lightsabers suitable for display and duelling. 

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This particular model is their "Luke Saber Force FX Heavy Duelling" Lightsaber, based on Luke's second lightsaber that first debuted in Return of the Jedi and more recently appeared in the season two finale of The Mandalorian. If Luke Skywalker isn't your thing though their Character Collection offers a wide range of hilts from across the franchise - from favourites like Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn to more specialist entries like Starkiller, Darth Revan and Ezra Bridger. All of their sabers are available in three different versions - Baselit 9sound, Baselit 12sound and Xenopixel. The one being looked at in this review is the Baselit 12sound version. As the name suggests, here both the emitter and all of the electronics are stored within the hilt itself, with the light solely coming out though the top of the hilt. The Xenopixel versions differ in that its the blade itself that lights up in addition to the electronics in the hilt.

Of course, there's also the difference in price to take note of as well - for this particular model, the Baselit 9sound version retails for around $139, the Baselit 12sound version around $169 and then the Xenopixel a big step up at $259. That all said, these prices are pretty comparable with other options like the Black Series Force FX or Disney Parks Legacy Editions. We'll get onto the differences a bit more further down when we ignite the saber and look at the various functions on offer, but you'll definitely want to keep these costs in mind when choosing the perfect one for you.

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Above you'll see some comparison pictures with a hand-built lightsaber from Savi's Workshop at Galaxy's Edge. As you can see not only does the chrome finish of the Damiensaber make for a far more eye-catching hilt than the matte look of the Galaxy's Edge one, but overall its a slimmer and much lighter hilt as well. While the modular construction of the Galaxy's Edge does have its own appeal (the internal Kyber Crystal gimmick is very cool despite its limitations), you don't necessarily need to go all the way to Disneyland for a custom saber. In addition to the Character Collection Damiensaber also offer a variety of Custom Saber hilts, many of which have their own unique designs and colouring (there's even a Sailor Moon Moon Stick hilt which looks INCREDIBLE). Hilts are further customisable through the various Lightsaber Accessories they have on offer, including alternate emitters, pommels, grips and more. 

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Together with the lightsaber itself you'll also receive a charging cable, acrylic display stand, screwdriver tool and an accessories bag containing replacement screws and panels should anything go amiss. The screwdriver is a particularly handy item to have because the screws that lock the blade into place are pretty small, so you might not have a correctly-sized one lying around otherwise. Including a display stand is a really great touch too, simple as it may seem. If you're not too into duelling and would rather simply show off your hilts, this gives you an effective way to do it. Displaying them without the blade attached sure saves on a lot of space too! The aforementioned accessory section of the site also has blade plugs on offer too, which are perfect for testing the electronics on your saber without having to attach the full-sized blade and will protect the emitter from dust if you're displaying the hilt only.

Recharging the saber is as simple as unscrewing the hilt's pommel (revealing the charging slot) and plugging the cable in, at which point the lightsaber will proudly exclaim that it has entered "charging mode" and continue about its business as usual. Unscrewing the bottom of the hilt might seem a little daunting at first, but rest assured the construction of these hilts is top notch and not having the charging port always on display definitely gives it that more authentic look.

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Blades are available in a variety of thickness and diameters, and slot comfortable into the socket at the top of the hilt. From there they can be screwed into place via the tiny screws around the circumference of the socket, holding them comfortably into place. It's a little more unwieldy that the straightforward "plug and play" blades of the Disney Parks sabers, but for all the added functionality you get (as well as the security whilst duelling) it's definitely worth the trade off.

I brought the weight up of the saber earlier in the review, but it's with the blade attached that this factor really comes into play. While impressively sturdy thanks to its metal build, it's also lightweight enough that, combined with the durability of blade, makes it both ideal as a duelling lightsaber and one for practicing your tricks. As Anakin Skywalker once said, "I'll try spinning - that's a good trick!"

Damiensaber Lightsaber Colour Demo

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Turning on the lightsaber is as simple as pressing a small silver button on the hilt, which depending on which version it is may or may not be surrounded by a red ring of light (in the case of Luke's saber, the button is located underneath that gold striped panel, so just pressing down on that will do). Once the hilt has announced the power is on, the saber can ignited either by pressing down on the button again or (thanks to the added motion controls these sabers have) a simple twist of the wrist. This is where things really starting getting fun - not only does the 12sound saber have a number of colour options for the blade (red/orange/yellow/blue/cyan/green/white - and some shades in between) but it also has a full range of sound fonts for the different types of lightsaber sound there's been across the saga. But what's perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the saber is smooth swing technology it has. The hum and crackle of the saber follows your every hand movement, making it really feel like you're holding on to the real thing.

A full rundown of the various functions the saber has and how to access them (changing the blade colour or sound font, toggling the sound/motion controls etc.) can be found in the included instruction booklet. This is the one area where they type of hilt you have can make a big difference. Accessing each function requires holding the button down for a certain amount of time, which is accompanied by the red ring flashing a certain number of times. For example, to scroll through the blade colours you need to hold the button down for one second which is equivalent to two LED flashes. If you have a hilt that doesn't have that LED ring around the button, getting the timing down can be a little difficult at first. Practice makes perfect though, and it won't be long before you're swinging your saber like a pro.

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Again a comparison with the Galaxy's Edge Saber is pretty telling. Not only is the Damiensaber version brighter, but it also has the light shine all the way up to the very tip of the blade. Of course, it helps that the Damiensaber blade has a pointed white tip whereas the Galaxy's Edge one has a curved clear plastic tip. But even setting the marginal difference in brightness aside, the Damiensaber just has so much to offer. For example, to change the colour on a Disney Park saber blade (whether it be a Legacy or Workshop one) you require a corresponding Kyber Crystal, which not only adds the hassle of swapping them out but also comes at an additional cost. Here, every colour can be yours at the simple touch of a button.

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So is the Damiensaber worth it? There's no denying that even at the cost of the more basic 9sound version these lightsabers are a bit of an investment, but the build quality and sheer amount of functions these sabers have speak for themselves. Even the ones at the lower end of the price range will have the same bright lighting, colour variety, sound effects and motion-sensitive swinging sounds that make them so enticing in the first place. With the baselit 12sound version this impressive, I'd LOVE to get my hands on one of the higher-end Xenopixel versions one day and see how they compare.

Whether it's for duelling, cosplay or just for a sweet display piece to add to your Star Wars collection, I cannot recommend Damiensaber’s lightsabers enough!


SaberDefiant said...

Wow, this lightsaber collection is truly impressive! Each blade is a work of art, showcasing unique designs and vibrant colors. From the sleek elegance of the Jedi sabers to the menacing allure of the Sith's red blades, this collection captures the essence of the Star Wars universe. It's a dream come true for any fan and a testament to the enduring popularity of custom lightsabers . May the Force continue to shine brightly in your collection!

Sky Rock said...

The Xeno lightsaber and the Neopixel lightsaber are currently the most realistic lightsabers on the market, and in a lightsaber duel, they can be very realistic to the movie scene, and I'm proud to own both.