In case you somehow weren’t aware that Star Wars fans are a devoted bunch, a Kickstarter campaign for ACWorldwide’s upcoming Bluetooth speakers shaped like the heads of C-3PO and Stormtroopers is absolute proof. The company launched the campaign on Sept. 30, only to shut it down on Oct. 2 after it’s early buzz turned into an offer from a deep-pocketed investor. In only three days, the speakers had already gained 242 backers pledging more than half of the £60,000 goal (about $91,068 at the time of publishing).
As Disney knows all too well, Star Wars equals solid gold.
After celebrating the 100-backer milestone on Oct. 1, ACWorldwide quite suddenly added an update the next day announcing that it was ending the crowdfunding campaign because “a tech business investor … made us the biggest offer of all: all the funds we need to complete this project and bring our speakers to you all.” It’s an exciting development for the company, as well as for those who managed to get their pledges in before the campaign was cancelled. The company assured backers in the update that it would still deliver on the pledges that came through before the campaign halted.
Given the speakers’ awesome aesthetic, it’s not a surprise that the company was able to garner as much buzz as it did. The company apparently spent some time getting licensing approved by Lucasfilm and Disney before launching the campaign, which allowed the brand to nail the characters’ likeness. Better still, the speakers even use iconic Star Wars phrases. For example, the C-3PO speaker will drop the famous line from Return of the Jedi, “I do believe they think I am some sort of god” when it’s paired with a smartphone or tablet. It’s enough to set any Star Wars-loving heart aflutter.
We all know that looks aren’t everything, so fortunately these speakers were designed with functionality in mind, too. Along with Bluetooth wireless connection, the speakers can be plugged into your PC or external audio system using an aux cable. Another cool feature is that when the speakers are paired with a phone and music is playing, the music will automatically pause when a call comes in.
Naturally, sound quality is slightly suspect in such a novelty item, but the company claims to have made that a point of serious focus. In addition to being Star Wars fans, the team is comprised of audio experts who say they’ve made sure to deliver the sound expected from a high-quality speaker. “Our 2.1 system combines stereo sound with a down-facing ported subwoofer offering truly awesome, powerful bass that’s loud enough to drown out a Wookiee battle cry,” writes ACW.
During the campaign’s (short) run, the most popular pledge was the £99 offer (approximately $149), which came with a Stormtrooper helmet speaker. A total of 116 people opted for this pledge, with C-3PO trailing behind with 42 backers at the same pledge price. Of course, having the set is also appealing, as shown by the 48 backers who spent £198 (approximately $299) on the duo. Other (more expensive) options included special editions of the speakers, like the early serial number collector’s editions, the rose gold plated C-3PO, and the white gold plated Stormtrooper.
Based on the overwhelming response to the products, the investor who got in on the action made a good call. It’s unclear how the new offer will affect the team’s manufacturing timeline, but originally the intent was to have the speakers ready to ship beginning in January. Of course, just when the rest of us can get our hands on the speakers remains to be seen, but there’s a lesson here: When it comes to grabbing badass Star Wars gear, it doesn’t pay to delay.