Review: Star Wars Poster Activity Book

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Review: Star Wars Poster Activity Book (or, The One Where I Forget One Of Those Things)

You know, for a slim book this thing packs quite the punch. You may be tempted, like I was, to think little of the Poster Activity Book, published Egmont UK, and, well, you’d be right. What? It’s an activity book. No one really pays much attention to them. But this book knows this – that’s right, books have become sapient now. We’re doomed – and it’s evolved, becoming more than a mere collection of puzzles.

It. Has. Posters. Stickers, too.

Stop laughing. I’m serious.

Deadly serious.

Okay, okay. I see you’re sceptical, so let’s take it one thing at a time.

The activities: contained inside are the regular activities: spot the difference, sudoku, wordsearch, crosswords, mazes, etc. – all with their own Star Wars twist. They’re all light, semi-easy* fun. Each puzzle has its own story: ‘Here’s Kylo Ren with his army of stormtroopers … spot the odd one out’ kind of thing. They’re to be expected, no real complaints there; though perhaps I would have liked a bit more character to the puzzles.

And I don't mean just adding some more stormtroopers in the background, George.
And I don’t mean just adding some more stormtroopers in the background, George.

*I’d like to see you find all five differences in one go.

What I’d like to see is these characters doing more than just standing around; perhaps performing an activity instead. Or perhaps have the odd one out be wearing a humourous piece of clothing to give them distinction – you know, in a subtle way. I’m not asking for beach shorts over their armour, or a brightly-coloured sombrero. Actually, I’ve changed my mind. I totally want to see that.

But my point is, as enjoyable and as varied as these puzzles are, a little flair wouldn’t go amiss.

Now, the main attraction of the book: posters. Okay, you may have laughed, but I genuinely loved the inclusion of the posters. Every page can be pulled out, and every page – save for the first – can be used as a poster. That is to say, on one side is a puzzle, and on the other, the A4-sized poster, drawn* images based on the new film and the characters therein. And, though I must admit that some, particularly around the face, do look a bit weird, they are quite gorgeous.

*I say drawn, because they’re not photographic stills, but, at a guess, some sort of digital drawing. I think. I’m not an expert on artistic techniques.

Admittedly they are images that you’ve probably already seen – personally I’ve seen a lot of these on the Topps Star Wars Card Trader app – but that doesn’t take away from their beauty. And lo! I’ve managed to find one through Teh Googles:

Lip biting commencing in three ... two ... one ...
Lip biting commencing in three … two … one …

And you can simply pull it, along with its 10 siblings, right out of the book and stick them up on the wall, with ease and convenience. Not to mention the big honking laminated poster at the end; considering most posters go for roughly £5 on Amazon, and this book is about £6, that one poster makes the whole book worth the price.

Also, for those curious, the full list of images is: Kylo Ren, Rey, Sexy Beast (above), Chewbacca, Finn and Rey running away, stormtroopers, the droids collectively, and Rey on her speeder. That would be eight – the other three are schematics of BB-8, the Millenium Falcon and Kylo Ren’s shuttle. I adore schematics. Not even slightly technically minded (I collected car badges as a kid, but that’s about it. Shuddup, it was a bonding thing), but I love to see the ships that dazzledand enraptured me on screen displayed in intricately complex schematics. It’s silly, but it makes it seem all the more real to me.

(However, I should note that the Falcon one was poorly printed, with the schematic going beyond the line of demarcation.)

The stickers, too, are a lot of fun. My niece and nephew love stickers – Star Wars, sadly, not so much, but they looked past that little detail and were quite happy to stick them everywhere. Or on me. Or my stuff. Oddly they didn’t deface anything of theirs, just mine. They managed to deface my face, too, but I happen to think it looks better with a rebel phoenix on each cheek. It could be the Next Big Thing in fashion.

Don't count on it.
Don’t count on it.

There is, however, one major gripe, and that is the book is fairly flimsy. The posters can be easily torn out, which, yeah, is the whole point. But the problem is that they can be pulled out, you know, before you might want them pulled out. Which can make for a bad gift, or make it difficult to keep it neat and tidy, say, during an occasion where a mess would not be appreciated (in other words: ever). Even when I first opened the book for a mere quick perusal, I had to be very careful that I wasn’t too forceful when flicking through, which is not exactly something you want to have to worry about. Something to keep in mind, should you decide to get this.

Michael Dare

Star Wars Poster Activity Book, published by Egmont, is out now in bookstores. With thanks to Egmont UK for providing a copy for review purposes.

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