Electronic U-Control AT-AT
If your need for more Star Wars goodies hasn't been satisfied yet, or you're looking for something a little different, but a lot of fun, Thinkway Toys is here with some impressive electronic toys that fans of all ages can enjoy. I got the chance to play around with their remote controlled AT-AT and came away very impressed. Come inside for my full review.
There's been virtually no end to the amount of awesome new Star Wars merchandise that's been hitting the market since September 4th. If you're a fan/collector, it's undoubtedly been hard on your wallet. As such, I'd love to help you out by telling you that the Thinkway Toys' AT-AT isn't worth your money...But I'd be lying.
Thinkway’s electronic toys, couple iconic Star Wars characters and vehicles with incredible sculpts and electronic components. The AT-AT seems like a no-brainer for this type of collection, being one of the most iconic vehicles from the Star Wars saga, and something every fan would love to have.
It comes with a remote control so you can make the AT-AT walk around, fire it's 'lasers' and make all sorts of sound effects. As it moves, you can hear the walking sound effect play over, making it feel like it's coming straight out of the movie. It's a remote-controlled AT-AT, that's really all there is to it, and that's what makes it so awesome.
The controller connects via infrared, so you won't have to worry about any wires or antenna sticking out anywhere. It's all very neat and tidy, without any connection problems that I've encountered. As long as you're point the remote in the general direction of the AT-AT itself, you'll get the results you want. It's a far cry from the RC stuff I grew up with, and felt very smooth and responsive. Then again, I haven't had ANY RC devices since I was a kid (crazy I know), so my experience has been somewhat limited. Even so, I found that everything worked amazingly well, without any technical hiccups. There are no big delays between hitting a button and waiting on the AT-AT to do something.
— Jordan Maison (@JordanMaison) December 4, 2015
Why It's Cool
AT-AT toys have always been neat, allowing fans to play reenact one of the coolest battles in the Star Wars saga, and make up their own stories to boot. The problem with those, however, is they're stiff legged affairs, and even when they're more articulated (like Hasbro's massive one) you still have to move all those parts to simulate the movie. It's impractical for playing purposes, so it serves more like any other action figure you pick up and move around.
That's not the case with Thinkway's gadget. The AT-AT walks around just like it does in the movies. Seriously, watching the legs move one after another is pretty impressive, and shows a lot of detail the went into making it happen. The controls are pretty straight forward, allowing you to go backwards and forwards, and make turns in the same lumbering nature that we see on screen.
Speaking of which, let's talk about the mold of this toy itself. It's sleek. This looks like it was pulled straight from the film and into your hands. The details are impressive, right down to the 'scuff' marks and laser burns on the side. If you did nothing more than set it up on the shelf, it looks like a high-end model of the vehicle. It's better than a model however, as it looks great, and there is ZERO assembly required. What you see in the box on the shelves is what you get. Simply cut it out of the packaging, put some batteries in the remote, and you're off and playing. All told, it took me less than five minutes to start playing with the thing.
That ease of use is nice, especially considering so many toys in this size range (it's not overly huge, but big enough to be fun) have a bunch of things you need to do before getting to play with it. Hell, even the MicroMachines I reviewed not too long ago had a multitude of stickers I needed to place before I could get to the fun time. This isn't the case for the AT-AT, which is good to go right out of the box.
As I already mentioned, the sound effects are what really helps sell the effect. As it steps forward it sounds like a heavy piece of machinery walking around your house, ready to take on some rebels. The lasers light up and 'fire' at the push of a button on your remote, making it fun to walk around your toy and act like you're shooting down targets as you go.
More than just the fire and control buttons, the remote comes with a number of added things for you to play around with. It has some preset patterns assigned to buttons you can hit and have the walker go through (without your direct control). The movements are pretty simple, but it's a neat feature. If you REALLY want to make something cool with it, the toy gives you the opportunity to PROGRAM patterns of your own! So you can make your AT-AT do turns, fire the lasers, go back, or simply walk on a designated path, and save it to the remote for later. For those of you who like to make little movies with your toys, or just want to show off how cool it is, this is a badass option.
In terms of how it moves and sounds, the Thinkway AT-AT feels very authentic. It's fun to control and play around with, if only for the fact that it's neat to say, "I'm driving an AT-AT!" My kids all love it as well, and it's really hard to get any hands-on time with it myself between the three of them! Regardless of why you're picking it up (display or play), you're going to be very happy with it.
A Couple Downsides
Overall, the Thinkway AT-AT is a lot of fun, and a cool toy, but there are a couple minor issues. Perhaps the biggest thing I noticed, is that the toy doesn't really do well on any other surface but a flat/hard one. So if you're playing on tile, concrete, wood, etc. you should be just fine. It does NOT like carpet. At all. The fins on the feet get caught in the fibers because it can't raise legs high enough to clear them. While you can make some progress on the carpet, it's not effective and can actually fall over if you try to keep making it walk.
While that's not necessarily a huge deal, it can be a bummer if you the bulk of your living space only has carpet. I mean, not everyone is going to want to have to sit in the kitchen to play with this thing.
My only other gripe about the toy has to do with how loud it is. While the sound effects are great, offering up a level of realism to the toy everyone can appreciate...it is very, VERY loud. When you’re at home with three kiddos and parents trying to rest, it can be annoying at times. I would have really liked some way of controlling the volume and turning it down just a tad. Not entirely off, but an option to reduce it would be nice.
This is a fun toy, however, that’s great for fans of all ages. Even I think it’s worth taking out of the box.