Light Sabers are FUN! They are so fun that sometimes at an event when we take them out of a package- not only do the children grab them in excitement- but sometimes also the adults! Everyone loves them- they light up, some make sounds, and they are fun to whirl around! If you are going to have a Star Wars Themed Light Saber Party- they are almost a necessity! Picking out what light sabers to buy and use at a party can be tricky however.
First not all light sabers are made equal. We had tried many, many light sabers before we settled on ones that we felt offered optimal safety based on what's available on the market. Some thoughts to consider when selecting a light saber:
Age of the Group: This is very important to consider. The younger the group, the lighter weight material they need to be able to pick it up and play with it. For older children, more durable light sabers may offer better options.
Materials of Sabers: Some are made of foam, light weight plastic, heavy density plastic, fiberglass, glass, metal and special filaments that allow the saber to light up.
Glass: The very high end ones are generally custom made of an interior that will light up with a hand blown glass coating. They are beautiful works of art. They are also very expensive and not a great idea for a kids party.
Fiberglass: There are similar variations made by the Star Wars franchise that are much more safe, durable and kid friendly. Those work great as a gift to keep but as something to use with your guests are still not cost effective depending on the amount of guests you will have at your party.
Light Weight Plastics: these are generally less expensive and light weight. The lightness of the material makes it easy for young children to play with these. They have features that light up and makes sounds so they can be fun. If the children use them to hit anything however they frequently break. They break in a way that the light saber is destroyed and has sharp edges. We tried out several different types of these and found that we thought these were the most dangerous to use at parties. They seem like a good option because you want to provide something nice for all the guests but when they break they could possibly hurt someone. Sometimes we have clients who supply their own light sabers and use this kind and we've never seen anyone get hurt but we have needed to take their light saber away immediately and that is generally the end of their playing with the light saber for the party. If you are giving them as a goody bag favor and they are not to be used for any kind of play fighting- these are a great option.
Heavy weight Plastics: There are heavy weight plastics that are durable and don't break easily. If you want to go for a good durable, cost effective option this is probably the best bet for something that won't break easily and is an actual saber.
Foam: These are generally the safest. There are variations that light up and ones that don't. They are not technically sabers however but the ones that light up are still very fun for the kids and keep in the spirit of Star Wars.
Inflatable: These do not light up usually but are light weight. Depending on the type of inflatable light saber they can either be seamless at the edges of the saber tip or they can have seams. We highly suggest the seamless tips. Since they are so light weight sometimes children will swing these very hard not thinking they can do any damage and very often they do not. However with the edged seems it could scrape another child if swung with enough force. The seamless one do not posses much risk.
Pool Noodles: Some people make light sabers out of pool noodles and these are probably the safest one available because of the extreme flexibility of the material. They are very pliable and so when a child makes contact with another child, it would actually be slightly difficult for them to hurt one another. I'm sure it can be done, but out of all options this seems to be least possible damage.
Cost: There's lot of price differentials for light sabers. They can range from being a few dollars each to being a few thousand each.
Low Cost: Foam, Pool Noodles and Inflatable Light Sabers. Some light weight plastics light sabers can also fall into this category. These can range from $1 up to $10 each.
Mid Range Cost: Heavy Plastics and Fiberglass Plastics. Some light weight plastics light sabers may also be in the group. Some of the light weight plastics light sabers could start low and go up to $20+ per light saber. The heavy weight plastics usually start at about $8 and up. The fiberglass light sabers are usually $28 and up each.
High End Cost: These can start anywhere from $100 up for a regular store light saber and go all the way up to the $1000's range. I was actually amazed at an advanced light saber class that we took, some people had light sabers they had custom made that cost them around $5,000. This is obviously for someone who is an aficionado and not the typical user.
Overall we found the best type of light sabers that we prefer for parties are either the foam that light up or the heavy weight plastics that never break in pieces. Occasionally these pop apart but the edges are molded so they are very smooth and they pop right back together. We have found that those will last through the party and much longer if your guest wants to have fun with them.
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