Lightsaber Production: One-Off, Limited Run or Mass Produced | Lightsaber Terminology
Lightsabers are typically produced in one of three ways: as a one-off lightsaber, as a limited run of lightsabers, or as mass produced lightsabers. Let’s take a closer look at each lightsaber production method.
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A one-off lightsaber is a single one-of-a-kind lightsaber or prototype. A one-off lightsaber could be a DIY personal project of an individual lightsaber enthusiast. A one-off lightsaber could also be a custom commissioned project, where a lightsaber enthusiast hires a sabersmith to construct a saber to their specifications. A one-off lightsaber could also be a pre-made, ready-to-ship lightsaber designed, created and put up for sale by the sabersmith. Advanced Light Weaponry, for example, sells pre-made, one-off lightsabers in his Advanced Light Weaponry eBay store [AFFILIAITE LINK].
A one-off lightsaber is often highly customized and personalized, but may require more tinkering with the design and more back and forth contact between a sabersmith and the customer than a limited run of lightsabers or mass produced lightsabers.
LIMITED RUN OF LIGHTSABERS
Some companies or sabersmiths only release one batch or run of a lightsaber hilt and then discontinue the design once the hilt sells out. When it’s gone, it’s gone. A run could include 5 hilts (i.e. a microrun) up to 100s of hilts or more, depending on the capacity of the company and the anticipated demand for the hilt design.
Sabersmiths who sell lightsabers in The Rebel Armory (TRA) or The Replica Prop Forum (RPF) often sell lightsabers as a limited run. A limited run is often funded through pre-orders or deposits collected from customers in advance of the hilt’s release.
Sometimes, due a design’s popularity, a sabersmith may decide to later produce a second run of a hilt, although a sabersmith may modify and improve the design for the second run after hearing feedback from customers regarding the first run.
MASS PRODUCED LIGHTSABERS
Some of the large custom saber manufacturers, like Ultrasabers, Saberforge, Sabertrio, Electrum Sabercrafts, etc. mass produce batches of multiple lightsaber hilt designs on an ongoing basis for years until a design is ultimately modified or discontinued altogether. The officially licensed Star Wars: The Black Series Force FX Lightsabers, manfactured by Hasbro, are mass produced on a much larger scale than custom sabers and appeal to a wide consumer base of Star Wars fans.
Sometimes, especially during peak lightsaber demand periods (i.e. the holiday season or around the time of the release of a new Star Wars movie), certain lightsaber hilts may sell out and the customer may need to wait weeks or months more before the company manufactures a new batch of the out of stock hilt design.