I've been enjoying reading the eFX "Reveal" reviews from members, and thought I would add one of my own. Not much practical point, as I'm sure all the relevant concerns and questions have been addressed by this stage- however, for those who might still be on the fence about purchasing, I suppose the more reviews the better, right? Right. So, here we go.
[NOTE: pics are not "clicky", because I have no idea what I'm doing, but you can right-click and "view image" to see higher resolution]
I picked up my "Reveal" saber from a site called Toynk Toys, via Amazon. I think they still have several in stock if anyone is looking. I ended up paying just over $500 with shipping. Not exactly a "steal", but this appears to be the going price right now (outside of the guy on eBay who's pushing them for $899... ::)).
My saber is 0179 out of the 1000 limited edition run, which isn't too bad.
To start with, I will briefly mention that the saber does come packaged very nicely, and has a good amount of inserts and extras, including a high quality display base, acrylic stand, and metal display plaque (reads "Luke Skywalker 'Reveal' Lightsaber" and serial number). Other members have done a great job of listing and rating the extras, so I won't go into it too much here, though I was quite happy with the art print that eFX included. Good stuff.
The saber itself is a decent weight, and is made of durable and well-machined/finished parts. eFX hasn't skimped on materials from what I can see, and this pleases me as I had been slightly worried about encountering too light a weight because of the hollowed out accommodations for the reveal features. No worries, though- while the saber certainly isn't the heaviest RotJ hilt by a longshot, it's decently hefty and doesn't feel cheaply made.
For the most part, I would call it spot-on for the Hero: appropriately skinny neck, correct dimensions for the heat sink, grip, control box, etc. (to my eyes, anyway). The copper touches are nicely done- I can't tell if they're solid copper or just coated, but if it is coating then they've done a good job.
The "reveal" features are pretty seamless, and appear to function very well. So far, nothing is sticking, nothing is slipping. The detail on the mechanics inside the heat sink is very nice, and has both brass and copper components. They're pretty secure and don't jostle around at all, as far as I can tell, which is a good thing. I do, however, have to agree with Gil Gamesh about the pommel- it's pretty loose, and is sort of dissatisfying if you like your sabers to feel "solid", as I do. In general, the previous reviews which commented on the overall loose tolerances appear to have hit the nail on the head. The heat sink is fairly shakey, even when the saber is closed up. You can adjust the set screws at the base end of the heat sink, but they end up locking the saber so that if you want to get it open again you have to pull out your hex key. The emitter isn't anywhere near as loose as the heat sink, but it does have a bit of wiggle to it.
These photos show the pommel, which has a threaded end cap that unscrews to reveal the spring mechanism for the crystal chamber reveal. I'm thinking that the two nuts seen inside (on either side of the spring) might be able to be tightened, which might secure the pommel a bit more, but I haven't tried it, so I don't really know. Failing that, you might be able to simply replace the spring with a heavier gauge and possibly secure the pommel that way. If anyone tries this, let me know. The eFX and Lucasfilm brands are stamped on the end cap, which for me detracts from the beauty of the thing... but, whatever.
The electronics are well designed, and easy to use. The button inside the control box seems pretty sturdy, and- although the instructions seem to be suggesting that you can't- you *can* actually turn on both the arrow LEDs and the crystal LED at the same time. The LEDs are nice and bright, and will automatically terminate after a 20 seconds or so to save the batteries. Good deal all around, really.
As pictured, the LEDs are pretty impressive in lower light, and despite the crystal being plastic, it still looks pretty good, all things considered.
I took the saber outside in order to illustrate how it looks in natural light, as artificial light can often be misleading in terms of color and paint when posting these kinds of pics:
Ok, so hopefully these pics are doing their job and showing off what is, at the end of the day, a very nice saber from eFX.
That said, I do have a few head-scratching issues with the "Reveal" which are less complaints
than just why did they do that?
kinds of stuff-
- Like a lot of people, I'm really curious as to why eFX essentially ended up just remaking the Elstree prop (that most of us seem to agree is of dubious origins at best) when trying to replicate the Luke/cave scene. A full 3/4 of the reveal features we have here aren't even present in that 30 second clip, so why are they going out of their way to associate this saber with that scene? Frankly, I think they'd have been better off simply saying "here's an awesome prop with functioning electronics and full-reveal capabilities", which is entirely true, and have done with it. Instead, one is sort of left wondering why eFX is selling us "the saber that never was" when it wasn't really necessary for them to do that to begin with. Weird, you know? ::)
- I don't really get why eFX went with the elongated LED arrows when the scene in question clearly features a saber that has equilateral triangles instead of the elongated kind? Seems like it would have been just as easy to get that right as to get it wrong, but who knows.
- Not sure that the spring-loaded pommel was necessarily the best solution for the crystal chamber reveal. Personally, I'd have been happier with an approach that didn't involve forcing the pommel to be springy and loose. Kind of detracts from the enjoyment of holding the piece, and seems like it could have been just as easy to find a solid-pommel means of working the chamber reveal action. Not that I actually know what that might have been, but still.
- I'm thinking that some clever people would very easily be able to replace the plastic crystal with a real one if they wanted to. Just saying. ;)
In the end, I think the eFX RotJ "Reveal" is a beautiful
piece for display. It doesn't appear to be the SA reproduction of the cave saber that they say it is, but ultimately that doesn't mean for a second that it isn't an awesome piece of prop art to own and display. I'm going to agree with Gil and say that it doesn't look like you could do much to convert this one- and I definitely wouldn't put it on a belt, with the loose tolerances and all- but it looks great, and the reveal features do
work very well in the display context. $500 is no joke, and I don't know that everyone can justify that price for this piece, but I have no hesitation in saying that I'm very happy with my purchase, and it's a wonderful first step into what I hope will be a continuing line of officially licensed "Reveal" sabers.
Overall, good job eFX!