Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve dreamed of owning my own droid just like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Granted, I also wanted to learn the ways of the Force, but I think having an Astromech droid will be slightly easier with the Droid Factory experience launching during Star Wars Weekends 2012. Fans will be able to build and name their own R-series Astromech droid action figures. I spoke with product developer Cody Hampton who said this experience was in development for three years!
“We began discussing the Droid Factory in 2009,” explained Cody. “We know that personalization is an important aspect of the popular build-your-own light saber experience. We felt the same thing could be done with action figures but on a much larger scale.”
Large scale indeed – the Droid Factory has 71 different pieces to create the 3 ¾-inch figures! To get started, guests chose a dome, a body and legs offered in a variety of colors and styles (Cody said that availability of various parts and colors may change). There are optional third legs and novelty hats that can be added.
“We wanted lots of options for [the Droid Factory],” continued Cody. “There are literally thousands of combinations making each droid unique. Guests can also name their droids with sticker sheets provided at checkout.”
Three domes – R6, R8 and R9 – were created exclusively for this experience at Disney Parks. Cody also told me the multi-colored ear hats were inspired by Jedi Mickey’s Astromech droid, R2-MK. Four additional hats arrive later this summer including a Goofy hat, a pirate hat, a fedora and a Yoda cap.
Cody and fellow developer Brad Schoeneberg built Astromech droids for this article.
“My favorite droid is named R7-C4,” Cody continued. “He has an orange body like my favorite clone trooper, Commander Cody. He wears the Yoda cap as a nod to the actual hat created in the 1980s when I fell in love with Star Wars.”
Brad built R9-EIU in honor of Eastern Illinois University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree. He explained, “[The droid] would have been great to have around while I was in school.”
I can’t wait to create one for my office. Happy building!
For more updates on Star Wars Weekends 2012, see the posts below:
- Cast Yourself in Carbonite with the Carbon-Freeze Me Experience During Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Shopping in ‘Darth’s Mall’ for Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort
- More Visiting Celebrities, Details & Tips Announced for Star Wars Weekends 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort