Well, I've been steadily catching up on my FX Saber info these past several weeks, mainly by reading these forums, and patiently awaited some reviews on the new Luke ROTJ before diving in on my first purchase. In Canada, the only retailers I've seen carrying the FX are Futureshop and Toys 'r' Us, and I've seen NOTHING in stock save one Vader ESB that was a display model. No thanks. I was debating what seemed like forever on whether I should wait and just buy an Anakin when I found one locally, or get one through less direct channels. When I read that Borders was going to be carrying the green Luke, I was more than a little curious about trying to get one. I love the green saber, and I knew that not many Canadians would get one since Borders has not yet been allowed to open in Canada (we have rather bizarre 'Canadian content' laws that extend to book sellers being forced to push Canadian product, and Borders is seen as a threat to chains like Chapters in Canada). I was still not sure whether I would prefer the Anakin or the Luke since I love both designs, and even prefer the Anakin graflex hilt, but xxx did I love the idea of getting something NOT AVAILABLE IN CANADA!
So, living in Vancouver, BC, I called the nearest borders in Lynnwood WA, no small trip. The first time, the sabers weren't in stock and they wouldn't hold them until they physically had them. I called on October 7 and hey hey, they were now in stock and yes they would hold one for three days. Done.
The next day, I hopped in the truck and headed to the border (the coincidence that I was going to Borders bookstore is not lost on me). I Had to wait around 40 minutes at the border to get across. Traffic was a mess.
After about 2.5 hours, I arrived at the store, and there was my saber right behind the counter. Coupon and batteries in hand, I paid for it and explained to the cashier that I was gonna fire it up right then and there, just to be sure it worked as I didn't want to drive 2.5 more hours only to find out I got a $101 U.S. paperweight. VRROOM, tada, it was perfect, no visible flaws. People were gawking immediately, and one little old woman asked if that was the thing they had on that t.v. show Big Brother, heheh. I was told by the manager nearby that the store received 12 on their first shipment, and mine was one of two left. This was the day after they began selling them.
Saber in hand, I then went to the nearest Jack In The Box (another thing not in Canada), and stuffed myself with a Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger. Burp. My American experience was complete, heheh. Of course, there was the small issue of paying duty on the thing, but I elected to lie to the customs official and say I had no merchandise. He bought it, which saved me about $20 Canadian. Also, did I mention that FX Sabers in Canada cost from $149.99 to $159.99 Canadian? That means I actually SAVED money on the Luke ROTJ, if you don't count the gasoline. :-\
Since I can't compare the Luke ROTJ to any other sabers as it is my first and only, I can only say that I am thrilled with my purchase. The sounds are loud (not film perfect though, which I can tell even without seeing or hearing an Anakin ROTS) and the blade is brilliant with Duracell Ultras. I concur with others that the hilt lacks film accuracy, but it's obvious why. And it IS sharp around the grooves, I noticed, so be careful. I'd say my only real complaint other than the sound being unfaithful is the orage paint on the hilt, which should be less garish in hue as the real hilt is not this colour at all. Nonetheless, firing this saber up and swinging it around is the near-fulfillment of a lifelong childhood dream to own a frikkin' lazer sword! My girlfriend, who thinks this 31 year old professional is a tool for wanting this thing, is beginning to understand now that she's held this sweet baby.
Overall, I drove almost 400 kms, and spent around $30 Canadian in gasoline, but I'm guessing I'm one of a handful of Canucks who have a Luke ROTJ in their possession ;D. I might get the Anakin or Vader when a Canadian store finally gets them in again, but that likely won't be until ROTS is released on DVD, from what I've gathered.
Take off, you hosers.