I purchased the ‘Mercenary Shadow’ from Part-Time Hero Props for my friend. The saber itself is fantastic given its price. Building a realistic and functional Darksaber is certainly a challenge, to say the least. Without a shadow of a doubt (no pun intended), Part-Time Hero Props have certainly risen and consequently conquered the challenge. The stock internal electronics are sufficient for the price I paid. However, let’s not forget the full potential of this hilt if you installed your own custom order electronics. Let’s say, a Nano Biscotte V4 with WW LEDs. Also, the build quality of the hilt is fantastic, and it’s very true to the Star Wars Rebels rendition of the hilt.
However, the service from Part Time Hero Props could use a lot of work. Firstly, when I pre-ordered the saber, the flash on clash (FOC) was set to be red. Then during the lead-time of the saber, Part-Time Hero props change their FOC to blue, as “an upgrade”. Lowering the wavelength of the LED (since the colour blue has a lower wavelength compared to the colour red) that delivers the FOC in the saber is not an upgrade. An upgrade would be installing a higher quality soundboard or higher quality LEDs.
This “upgrade” was in conflict with the original and preferred order specifications. Nevertheless, Part-Time Hero Props rectified this by installing the original red LED for the FOC in my saber. I appreciate this tremendously, BUT Part-Time Hero Props could have saved themselves a lot of grief with this. By this, I mean that Part-Time Hero Props could have announced that they had an option for a blue FOC, then they could have asked their customers who pre-ordered the saber whether they would still like their red FOC, or whether they would like to change to a blue FOC. If their customers did not reply to them, then they should have stuck to the original FOC of red for those respective orders.
While I’m less than satisfied with Part-Time Hero Props changing a component of my order without consent and the length of time it took them to rectify the issue, Part-Time Hero Props did eventually rectify the issue and threw in some trivial and tokenistic “goodies” as compensation. Part-Time Hero Props also sent out a voucher for their store, that’s nice…
Now, during this ordeal with the FOC, myself and my friend were constantly pressing Part-Time Hero Props about the status of the order. That cross-communication and pressing would have been stressful and frustrating for them. However, Part-Time Hero Props handled this so professionally and with grace.
The Mercenary Shadow: 4/5
The Service: 3/5
Part-Time Hero Props is an Australian saber shop, which is much appreciated because there is much stigma surrounding Star Wars fandom in Australia, and thus saber shops/installers are few and far between. So, let’s round this review up to four stars