Of all the merch pouring out of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland, the “Build Your Own Droid” experience seems to be at the top of everybody’s list. Why is everyone so quick to shell out $100 (plus tax! No discounts!) for a space toy? Well, compared to the $200 lightsaber, the droid seems like a steal.
The droids are popular with both adults and kids alike since they are basically remote controlled toys. There is definitely some cool factor since they talk to each other and interact with Batuu surroundings. This means that droids are better with friends (yay droid playdate!) and you just might end up coming home with two. You can also buy an option $13 personality chip to make your droid part of the Resistance or the First Order. If you take a Resistance Droid to the First Order part of Star Wars Land, it will make sounds like it’s nervous.
- Droids are $100 before tax, no AP Discounts apply
- You can chose a BB (spherical) unit or an R2 (think R2D2) unit. There are a few different head shapes for both BB and R2 models.
- The pieces come in a variety of colors, and you can mix and match them. You can ask before paying if the depot is out of a certain color.
- You assemble them yourself with the help of a cast member. Most adults can build them themselves, but kids will definitely need some assistance. The experience takes about 20-30 minutes.
- After they’re built, you can carry them around Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, but they can’t roam around on the ground (something about them being a tripping hazard).
- The droids are controlled by remote control. Both the droid and the remote control run on AA batteries.
Which Model should I choose?
Originally we were drawn to the BB unit because the spherical shape looked so cool, but we heard from multiple people that the BB units are very fragile. On the other hand, if you have a lot of carpet at home, the R2 unit will be more sluggish than the BB unit. Each option has its pros and cons:
- BB Unit
- Pros: great on carpet, looks super cool
- Cons: you need to take it apart to turn it on and off, head detaches easily, but is also easy to place back on
- R2 Unit
- Pros: easy to turn off an on, very durable, easier to control
- Cons: gets stuck easily on uneven surfaces
Since there were so many pros and cons to both models, we ended up getting one of each (for the sake of research!). After playing with them for awhile, the girls gravitate to the R2 unit more since they get frustrated when they have to put the BB head back on. I’m happy to report that the BB unit is not as fragile as I thought. As long as you line up the arrows correctly, the sphere stays together nicely–almost too nicely. It’s sometimes hard to open to turn on and off. A child would definitely need adult assistance with opening the BB droid whereas the R2 unit switch is easy to access on the bottom of the droid.
Is it Worth It?
Sure, $100 sounds like a lot of money for a plastic toy, but if you think about it like an experience, the price is worth every penny. The process is similar to Build-a-Bear where you can easily spend the same amount on a stuffed animal. With the droids, adults and kids will have a great time bonding over the STEM process of building a robot. The cast members talked to the girls a lot about being “Droid Mommies” which made them connect to these toys on a very personal level. At home, they care for them as if they were their babies and I often catch them kissing them goodnight and talking to them like a real person.
We usually don’t drop $100 on a single toy, so this was also a great lesson on saving money and delayed gratification. The girls were interested in buying droids after their best friend got one with her birthday money, so they spent the next few weeks cleaning their room and selling some of their pre loved toys to earn money to buy their own droid. They learned to prioritize their purchases and understand where they wanted to put their money. Since they worked so hard to pay for their droids with their own money, they were more deeply connected to their droids.
For us, the experience was definitely worth it. We’re a Star Wars family so this was something all of us could enjoy. I’d much rather them spend $100 on something with a small footprint that they’ll actually use than on random stuffed animals that will wear down over time. If I were to just pick one, I’d go with the R2 unit, but I’m also glad BB is in our family!