We have a new guest at our house. Behold, Legendary Yoda!
This semi-robotic interpretation of Yoda was one of the countless Star Wars themed concoctions foisted upon an unsuspecting world by the diabolically brilliant minds of Disney. Note, that in the thirty-odd years of his existence, no one ever said, “Gee, I really want a voice-responding Yoda to fling his lightsaber or cane at me like a drunk uncle on New Year’s Eve.” Yet here he is, because someone at Disney thought that this would be a great idea for indoctrinating young children and man-children into the Star Wars mythos.
Now, behold Legendary Yoda’s price:
That’s not a typo, by the way; these puppies went for nearly $180. (That’s a whopping $190.07, with tax, my friends.) Outrageous, you say? Maybe. But then again, I do recall seeing a few of these fly off the shelves just before Christmas. I’m sure that they terrified the living daylights out of more than their fair share of toddlers and pets, too, on Christmas morn.
Imagine my surprise, therefore, to find dozens of these Yodas collecting Force-dust at the various stores around town. It seems that after the holidays, Robotic Yoda just wasn’t that much of a draw anymore. Unlike the real Yoda, these things just won’t disappear when they’ve reached the end of their cute-cycle. The photo above? That Yoda’s been marked down to a “respectable” $99.99. I’ve seen others that were marked down as low as $69.99. None seem to be moving any faster off of the shelves. But then I was in a Walmart that realized the true meaning of the word “Clearance.” Legendary Yoda was marked down to the legendary price of just twenty bucks. That’s right – this Walmart just declared a unilateral “Screw it, these have got to go,” and marked him down nearly 90% to a grand total of just $20.
You know that I just had to get one. And so I did.
Six C-batteries (a mini-fortune in its own way) bring Yoda to life. While he’s on the floor in this photo, he’s currently residing on the dining room table – the one place that the instructions are explicit that he should not be. Yoda responds to select questions – ask them (or a variation thereof), and Yoda jerks and gyrates, throwing his clawed hands into the air and menacingly pointing his light saber or cane. The instructions tell you the questions – there are about six of them – and those are the only things that get Yoda’s attention. Those, and a strong wind that hits the sensors, it seems.
The questions aren’t particularly good ones: “Am I ready to be a Jedi?” (He’ll answer if you only say, “Jedi,” if you’re short on time.) Yoda responds by telling you that there’s a “much training” before that happens. Ask him about the Dark Side, and Yoda frowns and warns that it’s “always a threat.” The problem – and why you should never activate it on a table – is that with each answer, Yoda literally goes nuts with his dance moves. The funniest part (to me) is that you can “test” your own control of the Force by thrusting your hand at Yoda (much like a traffic cop trying to stop traffic). If you do it right, the shift in air pressure hits the sensors, and Yoda rolls backwards about two feet and announces how “strong you are” with the Force.
Until I figure out what I’m going to do, Legendary Yoda is now Tabletop Yoda. If I ever clean out that Raiders of the Lost Ark basement of mine, then maybe I’ll find a space for him. But until then, he’ll stay right where he is until I turn on the power and seek his backwards-talking advice.