I remember the Christmas when I was sat around with my boyfriend and family and we were all eagerly opening our presents. For me, it was the usual things, socks, jewellery, make-up and clothes. For my boyfriend, it was a comedy toaster. I can remember thinking; that thing is not going in my house! Am I snob? Probably a little bit, but either way, I am not a Star wars fan! When I first saw the toaster, I just thought it was a moulded cheap looking piece of black plastic, I did not realise that it made "Darth toast" until I heard my 27 year old boyfriend squeal in pleasure!
The toaster which was a present from his brother and wife cost £40.00 and I believe they purchased it from Play.com as they kindly left the invoice in the packaging in case we wanted to return it, however there was no such luck.
I will now attempt to review this product in a rather impartial way...
The toaster looks quite cheap and is made from black plastic with the star wars logo printed on the front. Inside there is room for two slices of toast. There is the standard pop up toast action and an adjustable temperature gauge at the side so that you can have your toast a little browner if that is how you like it. The toaster runs on an AC mains cable which is around 1 m long. Next to the temperature gauge is a couple of buttons for cancel, heat from frozen and reheat.
The clever thing about the toaster is that it imprints the iconic image of Darth Vader's helmet on the bread. As much as I dislike this machine, this is in fact really very cool and it looks really good. The toast comes out every time with a perfectly formed head on it.
I was quite eager to see the toaster in action, so we set it up in my mum's kitchen and tried it out. The whole house wanted some Darth toast and even I, the snob that I am, wanted to give it a go. As a gentleman, he let me have the first go with the toaster. I popped in a couple of slices and selected the temperature. I like fairly anaemic looking toast so I put it on the lowest setting. After a few minutes I heard the auditory pop of the toaster and there, looking out from the top of the toaster was Darth's mask. My toast was fairly pale about from the Darth mask in the middle. I smothered him in butter and started crunching. The novelty tasted quite good! My boyfriend likes his toast quite dark, so we were quite eager to see if the mask would still be as noticeable. Surprisingly it was, the toast was as dark as he likes it but the face was darker still and very visible!
We brought the toaster home but sadly it is not great for an everyday toaster, I like to heat up pitta breads and toasted tea cakes and the toast cages are just not big enough for them. My boyfriend took the toaster into work, which is where it now lives so that all the geeky office boys can enjoy their Darth toast.
This toaster is a great idea and I think that the inventors need a slap on the back; it is such a novel idea and it is really successful. The toast is exactly how you would have expected it to be. I can imagine that lots of little boys would love having this toast for breakfast every morning, as I can imagine that all the grown up boys do at the office!
I feel quite bad for turning my nose up at the machine and describing it as cheap looking. It does look cheap but it is designed in the iconic Star wars style and as far as toasters go, this one is fairly heavy and quite robust.
I was surprised to find that it had a frozen button and temperature gauge as I just thought that the whole thing was a gimmick but having these useful buttons means that families can enjoy the toaster as it caters for everyone's needs. On the same tone, i was pleasantly surprised with the length of time it took to heat up, it was quite quick and no longer than any other regular toaster. It is a shame that tea cakes and larger items can not fit, however if you want it for purely toasted sliced bread; this is the machine for you.
I would fully recommend this toaster. It is novel, fun and kitsch and definitely a talking point. Perfect for a toast guzzling Star Wars fans!
==Darth Vader Toaster==
Jack really did get spoilt this Birthday like he does every Birthday even though we had vowed to not really spend that much on him ourselves because of our impeding house move and the fact that we want him to appreciate the smaller things in life. However this wasn't to be the case because far too many presents were purchased from family and friends and the smaller gifts we had bought some how got left to the bottom of the pile.
==Price and Availability===
So seeing as Jack's uncle bought him this item I can't say exactly how much was paid and I would think knowing his uncle it was on some sort of offer (or from the back of a lorry) but having had a look online I can see that the standard price for this item is a not too cheap £50. I guess you could say that for a toaster this isn't a exceptionally bad price and is probably a mid range price however the fact that I don't really know what make this toaster is I can't really tell whether it justifies this price bracket. No where on either the toaster itself or indeed the packaging it came with does it say who actually makes it but I could hazard a guess it is Delongi!
==Look and Design==
Although at first I thought this was a really strange gift to get a small boy after having used it a few times and seeing how much Jack likes it I think it is a really good idea. Okay so we have had to get rid of our old toaster and in its place put this one but to be honest it really makes no difference. This probably wouldn't' have been the case were this Darth Vader Toaster hideous to look and but seeing as once on the side and tucked away you can hardly tell it is anything other than a normal toaster I am okay with that.
It does have all the buttons that you would expect to find on a toaster such as this and there is the large push down button which allows the bread to be pulled into the toaster and begin to cook, there is a defrost button along with a reheat and a cancel button. This is all pretty basic stuff it seems to be made to a fairly high standard and all these buttons are tough and appear pretty hard wearing.
The whole look of the toaster is rather sleek and stylish and does have that Darth Vader helmet type look to it. The black glossy finish makes it look nice but does mean that it is always in need of a good polish up with a dish cloth after each use. There is also the Star Wars logo written on the front which I can't say I like but I have managed to get it into a position where it is still easy to use but this logo isn't noticed.
The toaster does actually seem to work pretty well and in fact it probably cooks the toast to a better finish than the toaster I was using before did. The main draw for this though is the fact that this Darth Vader Toaster is no ordinary toaster and it will actually leave an toasted impression of Darth Vader on each slice of toast you cook. Jack was so impressed the first few times that we did this that I thought he would never eat his toast and was more likely to want to blu tac it to his bedroom wall.
However the novelty soon faded and the chocolate spread soon covered over the Darth Vader head. We have to make sure that we have a lightly buttered slice of toast with perhaps only a smidge of marmite in order to see the marks that are on the toast and seeing as Jack is a big Chocolate spread fan more often than not the chocolate will win over seeing Darth Vader. As well as having to choose your topping carefully I find that cutting up the toast does as well mean that it just looses all the special effects of the slice as a whole and Jack does need his toast cutting up into four pieces for him to eat it properly and not shove a whole load in at once.
I have real mixed feeling about this toaster because on the plus side, it looks really good and does actually cook a nice bit of toast for myself and Jack. It is easy to use and appears to be well made and hard wearing. However I feel that the gimmick side of things is really the draw for people buying it and this aspect doesn't always work out as I have said when it comes to the toast topping or the cutting of the slice.
I don't think it is a product that I would have bought from Jack but I must admit to being rather pleased with receiving it as a present. It does work well at making toast and I think with the amount of toasters that we have gone through that can't even do the basic task of that!
So overall I feel that a good score of 4 out of 5 stars is well deserved. The only minus mark is really for the fact that the special aspect of the toaster hasn't been that well thought through and could have possibly make four small Dart Vader's on each corner of a slice. But really I can't have it all!
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you.
~ STAR WARS MERCHANDISE IS EVERYWHERE !!! ~
In addition to the countless toys and games that have been produced over the years, Star Wars merchandise is slowly creeping into every aspect of our everyday lives. From bedding sets to bubble baths ... it's simply everywhere. You just need to grab your nearest Argos Catalogue to see for yourself just how many Star Wars products are currently "out there". You'll find watches, paddling pools, lunch boxes, bikes ... you'll even find Star Wars plasters !!!
Many of these products are nothing more than regular products which have had some kind of Star Wars related design added to them. And, to be perfectly honest, a skateboard with a Clone Trooper picture on it isn't innovative at all ... it's simply a cunning way to sell more skateboards.
~ THE DARTH VADER TOASTER ~
There is, however, a Star Wars themed product out there which is both functional and fun and that actually has been well thought out ... the Darth Vader Toaster !!!
Oh yes, you heard me right the first time !
The Darth Vader Toaster is a stylish multi-functional toaster that (wait for it) actually produces slices of toast that have the iconic image of Darth Vader "branded" onto them. (How cool is that ?)
From this day onwards the ultimate Star Wars Geek's morning is now complete. They can sit at the breakfast table in their Jar Jar Pyjamas, drinking tea from their Luke Skywalker mug and munch away on a slice of toast featuring an image of the Galaxy's greatest ever bad guy ...
Joking aside though, as an actual "toaster" this product is both well made and extremely reliable.
~ TOASTER FEATURES ~
* First of all this toaster looks pretty stylish. It has a sexy and glossy black finish with the famous STAR WARS Logo on the side in bold silver lettering.
* Secondly, it has a highly effective heat setting dial that produces great quality toast that ranges from lightly toasted to well done. More importantly, however, it never burns the toast (even when on the highest setting). There are also FROZEN, REHEAT and CANCEL functions on the toaster which add to the overall ease of use.
* Finally, there is of course the novelty aspect of the toaster. The fact that as well as toasting your bread it also leaves a branded image of Darth Vader on each and every slice is most impressive. Almost everyone recognises the iconic mask and helmet of Darth Vader and the image produced on the toast is of a high quality.
~ ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND PRICE GUIDE ~
Unfortunately, despite much research I cannot actually name the company who actually makes this toaster. Both the box and the toaster proudly display the STAR WARS logo but do not name the manufacturer ... I have also scoured the world wide web for any useful information but again the name of the company responsible for the product remains a mystery !!!
What I can reveal, however, is that the Darth Vader Toaster is a Star Wars Shop Exclusive Product that was launched at the 2008 San Diego Comic Convention. Lucasfilm licensed the product and were fully responsible for all the publicity ... it would seem, therefore, that as long as the STAR WARS Logo appears on the toaster then that is the only seal of quality that is required !!!
It currently retails at $54.99 (which is roughly £34) but can be found much cheaper on sites such as Amazon and of course eBay. However, if you would like your very own Darth Vader Toaster and can't be bothered to shop around then the link to the Official Star Wars Shop site can be found below .....
~ SUMMARY ~
The Darth Vader Toaster is a refreshingly original idea for a Star Wars themed product. It is a stylish looking item with a great novelty feature but more importantly it is a product that is both well made and highly efficient.
Any Star Wars fan would lclearly ove this product in their kitchen and if you had any young children who were relunctant to eat their breakfasts in the morning then maybe they could be tempted by the "Dark Side" of the toast !!!
Finally, while the novelty aspect of this toaster is clearly fun some people may find having an image of Darth Vader on their toast every day slightly annoying ... so maybe only a product for the most hardcore Star Wars fans out there in the Galaxy ???