The Jenga connection puzzled me, and even after seeing the toys in stores, I'm still a little bit puzzled. Half go the upcoming toys are branded as Jenga, and at a glance, that branding only seems to add dice to the mix. The non-Jenga toys come with the same style bricks (which I would have thought were the Jenga reference), and they come with the same style figures. The dice makes it more of a game, but doesn't scream Jenga to me.
Either way, my Angry Birds obsessed children freaked out. They've been playing anything Angry Birds for the last month (it is strange how fast this obsession developed) and bought the terribly reviewed last set of toys. And they love them. My 2 year old son will actually sleep with his Angry Birds toys in-hand. It's that intense.
So, buying the Star Wars sets wasn't even a question. We bought the non-Jenga-branded Cantina pack and some of the blind packaged bird/pig figures. Click through the jump for a look at both, as well as information on whether or not the all new slingshot actually works.
The first thing that I should mention is that these are much smaller than any of the previous Angry Birds games. These are about the size of a small bouncy ball, and about double the size of Squinkies. But they are made of a much tougher material. Still a little rubbery, but tough enough to hold a solid sculpt.
The second thing I should mention is that they didn't just go with the main characters. Or even just the secondary characters. The Cantina set comes with three figures and one of them is Ponda Baba. The other enemy/pig is Greedo, so you can blast him once and for all with the Han Solo bird.
There is a new slingshot too. If you recall, the last one barely launched the birds. This one launches them too far! But I'll take that. You can just set everything up further away, and it's perfect. The slingshots are all different types of lightsabers, each set has a different style. That's a great touch.
The one odd part of the slingshot is how the birds (and pigs too, if you want) sit on top. They have a hole in the bottom, and they just kind of sit there at this weird angle. You would think the hole would be in their back, right? It's just a little awkward when flinging.
I mentioned there were blind packages. This is what sold me the most, especially because of the characters that you could get. I dropped to childlike levels when I saw the Han Solo in Carbonite bird, and felt-up every package until I found one. The Carbonite bird flings more awkwardly than any of the others, but I'm drawn to its bizarreness.
In the blind packages I ended up with Han Solo in Carbonite and two boring Hoth birds.
On the evil side, I only ended up with one.. but it was the one I wanted the most. THE RANCOR!
Overall, I'm actually excited about this mix of new and old licenses (although I still don't know how Jenga's grubby hands made it in). The screenshots of the upcoming app look promising to Star Wars fans as well, and the toys are cute and make my children smile. The way I see it, there have a been a whole bunch of shittier, non-fun uses of the Star Wars name and imagery.