As we rush towards the end of the year, two things are coming more frequently to market. The sort of thing that makes for a good Christmas present and anything themed with the Star Wars brand. Star Wars Starfighter Workshop is both of these things; it’s a book-shaped stocking filler designed to be given to children and those with child-like glee.Despite the name, this is not a Haynes Manual-style book that explores how one would maintain and equip a garage for keeping Star Wars spaceships in full working order, though it is likely that someone at Disney is already working on that (we hope so anyway).
Instead what we have is a thick book with very few pages. This is because about two thirds of Star Wars Starfighter Workshop contains printed foam card. It’s a kids’ constructor set disguised as a book. You simply pop out the various pieces and suddenly you have enough bits to make a single X-Wing and a single TIE fighter.
This is actually a pretty impressive achievement. Each ‘page’ is glossy and sturdy enough to survive the mishandling of tiny but enthusiastic hands - it’s aimed at age 7 and up, and this is about right. A little bit of care is required; both the X-Wing’s laser cannons and the TIE’s wing support sections are a little thin and can be easily bent. Foam card is resilient, but it’s tricky to fix if torn or broken. The various bits slot together easily, and though a how-to is available it’s more fun to watch people figure it all out for themselves. The TIE looks a little deformed (it’s hard to do sphere’s with flat card) and the R2 Unit is more a suggestion of a droid than an actual model, but they both make for fun toys.
The inside front cover of the book comes with an activity section. In addition to the instructions (which have plenty of diagrams), we also the usual fare; some blank spaces to ‘draw your own space ship’, a spot the difference, a maze and so on. If you have excitable people in your life and you need them to calm down (maybe because you’re on a family outing to see some sort of big deal sci-fi movie), then this might be just the thing. It’s an activity centre in a book-sized format, and though you’ll need some crayons for the booklet, it’s pretty much complete and almost certainly going to get you ten minutes worth of peace and quiet. Great Fun.STAR WARS STARFIGHTER WORKSHOP / PUBLISHER: EGMONT UK / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW