Best Star Wars gifts: May the 4th be with you

Season 2 of The Mandalorian is over. It’s time to move on from Baby Yoda and spider swarms to new forms of entertainment. But if you’re a Star Wars fan, it really never ends. This is a franchise that has been monetizing merch for more than 40 years and shows no signs of stopping. After all, now that Star Wars is a Disney brand, we can expect Star Wars merch to be available far in the future, when we get our own galactic empire.

In this guide, we present you with a dozen fun Star Wars gifts, ranging from the merely cute or cool to the downright WTF. The lawyers at Disney seem to be open to licensing merch for just about anything, and creative folk who try to fly under the copyright radar are willing to try just about anything.

And with that, we present our list of gifts from the Star Wars universe. I have spoken.


Everyone needs a $59 Baby Yoda

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So this little guy is all of 7.2 inches tall, but he’s got sounds and movements which will amuse you and annoy the dog. Probably the biggest feature is “force activation” where tapping his head three times will make it appear like he’s tapping into the force. He’ll raise his arms, close his eyes, and, well, that’s it. You didn’t think this toy would actually levitate your couch, did you?

That said, it’s cute.

*Technically, he’s called The Child (and — spoiler! — gets a name later in the series). But to me, he’ll always be Baby Yoda.


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Is it worth $129? Definitely.

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I think my favorite new Star Wars ship is the Razor Crest. It has a lot of personality and character. Watching it get beat up episode after episode was a bit hard to take, but it’s a tough old bird.

LEGO is offering a thousand piece Razor Crest model. At $129, it’s definitely pricey, but if it’s something within your budget, you’re bound to have a ton of fun building it. Plus, it comes with a bunch of minifigs, including a minifig mini-Baby Yoda.


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Mando in your pocket

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Image: Hasbro Pulse

For those who groove on action figures, this little 6-inch pre-Beskar Mando replica is gorgeous. The Black Series is an affordable, yet collector-quality series of fine detail collectables by Hasbro Pulse.

This little guy is a great example. At under $25, he’s relatively inexpensive for a collectable quality piece. Would we prefer if he were bigger? Yes. But he’s still very cool. For this is the way.


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Incredibly unfortunate, almost must-be-a-joke Chewie mask

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Look, we’ll admit this thing is ugly. It’s hard to tell whether it was designed to look like Chewbacca or whether it’s really just a repainted Wolfman mask. But we’re honoring May the Fourth here and if you’re going to do it right, you have to have a roaring Chewie mask, no matter how bad it is.

Look, the thing is <air quotes>only</air quotes> about 30 bucks, but it has 5,500 reviews averaging 4.5 stars. Reading the reviews, buyers seem to love it, so we consider it a service to the Rebel Alliance to share it with you.


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At $42, it’s ridiculous

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Look, I have no right to tell you what to buy or not to buy, but please don’t spend $92 for a Hot Wheels Razor Crest. That said, I had to show it to you, because if two brands don’t go together, it’s Hot Wheels and Star Wars.

That said, here you go. For your hard earned $92, you get what one of the reviewers calls a “rip off” and “a five dollar toy.” But if you live for the convergence of Hot Wheels and Star Wars, I guess this might be something you’d want. Or, you know, not.


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You can’t wear it, but it will show you “this is the way”

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I wanted to recommend a full-size Mandalorian helmet, but most of the reviews of those available on Amazon were for crap. So rather than point you to another over-priced fan-driven toy, I wanted to share with you a novelty that’s cute and quite reasonably priced. 

This is an LED night light that lights up dusk-til-dawn. At about seven bucks, it’s a worthy gift and would be fun to have around. And if you’re desperate for a Mandalorian helmet, at least no one will try to steal it for its beskar. 


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Interactive app-based robotics

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If you’re talking about robotics and kids, the very best place to start is Lego. Lego has long been an innovator not only in the maker space but in robotics as well. In this guide, we kick off our exploration of goodies for geeky girls and boys with a Star Wars-themed robotics kit.

Kids can use more than a thousand components to build R2-D2, a Gonk droid, and a Mouse droid. Then, with an app, they can program these fan favorites with a variety of different easy-to-access programming and learning tools.

One thing you may not know is that LEGO has a huge presence in the robotics teaching world. Through FIRST, LEGO reaches out to kids all over. I had a chance to speak with some of the FIRST team, and here’s something they wanted to share with you:

Working and playing with LEGO bricks is extremely beneficial for a child’s development. It fosters a wide range of abilities including motor skills, spatial skills, and divergent problem solving. Using LEGO bricks furthers exploratory, hands-on learning, encouraging youth to explore science, engineering and math.

As a global robotics community, FIRST expands access to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning for more than 679,000 students in over 100 countries around the world. This holiday season, FIRST is teaming up with Disney, Lucasfilm and the LEGO Group asking for kids to use LEGO bricks to build unique solutions that teach coding, creativity, and teamwork into Star Wars holiday-inspired builds. This contest is helping to deliver hands-on learning opportunities and mentorship to youth, empowering them to not only think big, but to develop the skills needed to become the next generation of diverse creators, thinkers and leaders.


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Because you want to spend a thousand bucks on a new full-time job

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There’s no doubt this is an insanely expensive kit, and I wouldn’t recommend it to you if there weren’t also a metric ton of much more affordable alternatives. But if you want the best Star Wars and Lego have to offer, you want this 7,451 piece kit. It’s the perfect lockdown project, because it will take weeks to build. And the detail is incredible.

Would I ever buy it? No, of course not. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I mean, seriously. You know you want it. 


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You can’t make this stuff up

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I started out this list fully intending to include a Baby Yoda plushy, a LEGO kit, and a few ship models. But as I searched for Star Wars-related gear on Amazon, I found items that were too irresistible to skip over. Take, for example, this throw blanket with sleeves. So if you’re cold, you can dress up like a warm and fuzzy Darth Vader and then curl up on the couch. 

I think it’s pretty clear by now that Disney’s brand licensing team doesn’t turn away any merch idea, no matter how blankety it is.


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Art from the Jedi Master of Star Wars artists

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If you’ve seen Star Wars, Close Encounters, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the original Battlestar Galactica, and even the Discovery in Star Trek: Discovery, you’ve either seen designs by Ralph Angus McQuarrie or designs influenced by him. Frankly, if you’ve seen any science fiction in the last thirty or forty years, you’ve seen designs influenced by Ralph McQuarrie.

This is a definitive, two-part coffee table book series that includes “the most definitive collection of the artist’s Star Wars work ever assembled, including hundreds of never-before-seen illustrations. Rare unpublished interviews, as well as recollections from McQuarrie’s colleagues and friends, complement and contextualize the art.”

It’s 800 pages, 21 pounds, and 13.25 x 4 x 17.5 inches of Star Wars insights and inspiration. Yes, it’s a pricey product, but it’s also quite amazing.


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Because Baby Yoda shouldn’t be the only cute little creature

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I’m not sure how successful you’ll be getting this Tusken raider costume (which the vendor calls “Rubie’s costume”) onto your dog, but it will be fun trying. You’re going to need a particularly cooperative pet, along with a certain amount of luck, in order for the tiny stuffed Tusken raider to stay put. That said, how cute is this?


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Original art, in custom sizes

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I’ve seen a whole lot of Star Wars art, but this set particularly appeals to me because it’s got a minimalistic feel, and yet stands out as a very modern, stylish set. With prices of about $14 and up, you can custom order a set on either paper or canvas, all for what’s actually quite reasonable prices for what’s on offer.


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For the person who has everything

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It’s a death star! It’s a cutting board! It’s a cheese set. What? Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. This thing has nearly 600 reviews averaging five stars, so it must have something going for it.


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