Free postage from FireBox throughout October

Good morning all, and happy Monday. I wanted to let you know that Firebox, the brilliant UK-based gadget and toy website, are offering free postage on UK orders throughout October. Perfect if you’re super-organised and already thinking about Christmas presents.

The free delivery option takes a little longer than their paid ones (potentially 7 days instead of 1-3) but if you’re thinking far enough ahead that shouldn’t be an issue!

Further details are available on their homepage, and I’m already looking through the site to see what would make a good present. Have a look around Firebox.com – I can almost guarantee there’ll be something that grabs your interest.

Feel the Force with your own lightsaber

Star wars me

Creative Commons License photo credit: magic_quote

I don’t know if it’s the iconic status of Star Wars or just because they’re cool, but lightsabers seem to hold a special place in the minds of children (both in terms of their age and even the overgrown variety). Give someone a coloured stick, or even a light-tube, and there’s a good chance they’ll swing it making a swooshing sound… even if only in private!

You have no doubt seen the toy lightsabers available in shops with the flick-out blade and light-up action, but what if you want something a little more “authentic”? Something you could really battle the Sith with? One option is the Handmade Custom Saber offered by ThinkGeek. This comes in two hilt styles and three blade colours, allowing you to choose the combination you want. The great thing is that the polycarbonate blades are tough enough to withstand “moderate fencing”. That’s a bit of a step forward from the Argon tube I once had that didn’t even survive the post! The custom sabers cost $139.99 for the hilt, and another $139.99 for a blade. ThinkGeek also point out that these particular sabers do not make a noise, so you’ll have to do that yourself.

So what if you don’t want to make the noise yourself and, perhaps more importantly, aren’t really up for paying $260 for a toy (albeit a very cool one). Firebox stock the Force FX Lightsaber: a replica of the film sabers (though it looks like they only have Darth Vader’s one in stock at the moment). These have digitally recorded sound effects, and accelerometers give the correct sound as you swing for your enemy. One of the sensors is even designed to pick up blade impacts, meaning careful duelling is possible with these as well. And you won’t have to argue about whether a move was a “hit” or not, as you’ll hear it! The Force FX Lightsaber costs £59.95 or $94.30 (at time of writing).

Right, so all that’s great and you can pick up a pretty good lightsaber without spending too much cash. But you know what would be great? A custom-designed saber… every Jedi had their own design. The story goes that each Jedi built their own saber, so each was unique. If you’re serious about geeking-out on Star Wars you’re going to need your own design too. Let me introduce JQ Lightsabers, a UK company specialising in replica and custom sabers. Many of their designs use polycarbonate blades, making them tough enough to whack your friends with (can you tell I think being able to use your lightsaber is important?) but it’s the hilts that really take the breath away. Their apprentice sabers are a simple chrome handle that will get you up and running for a mere £46, unless you want a double-saber in which case you’d pay £79. They also produce replica movie sabers (£210 and £230 for the ones currently on offer) and shadow sabers; shorter sabers for “two-handed combat” or “suitable for juniors” (would those be younglings? The icing on the cake, though, is their custom-built section. A combination of parts, light-up switches, machined sections etc. allows you to have that unique design you will need to convince your friends you are a true jedi. The path to enlightenment doesn’t come cheap though: custom sabers start at £165 and the price will vary depending on what you want done.

So, if you’re after that genuine lightsaber feel there are plenty of options depending on your budget and requirements. Question is, which would you pick?

This post contains affiliate links: if you purchase the FX lightsaber from Firebox we will receive commission on your order

Image Fun: Flickr Toys

Flickr is great, especially with the Picnik editor being available now. But what if you want to do something a little more creative with your photos and either lack the editing skill to do so, or just don’t want to pay for Picnik’s premium features? It’s been around for a long time, but Big Huge Labs’ (or FD’s) Flickr Toys provide a great, easy way to play around with your images.

Copyright MotivatorThere are a load of toys available: motivational poster generators, ID card makers, jigsaw tools, and a load more – I’m not going to list them all, have a look for yourself!

One nice touch is the ability to link directly with your Flickr photostream, both for downloading the original images and uploading your new creations (you need to give the Flickr Toys permission to access your account, but it’s all done securely). You can also upload images directly to Big Huge Labs, use photobucket, or specify an image from anywhere on the web by giving its URL.

Why not have fun with your photos? Explore Flickr Toys, and post the URLs of anything cool you create in the comments (all comments are moderated, remember).