Hasbro’s talking Chewbacca mask (or, in corporate parlance, Star Wars: The Force Awakens Chewbacca Electronic Mask Roleplay Toy) became an unexpected sales sensation back in May when Texas mother Candace Payne shared a video of herself donning the Wookiee disguise and laughing hysterically at the noises it produced. Those who wanted to experience some fraction of Payne’s joie de vivre purchased the mask for themselves back then, and the toy soon became a coveted Ebay item. Months later, some purchasers of that Chewbacca mask might be wondering what else this damned thing can do except growl in a loud and inarticulate fashion. Luckily, John Edgar Park, who creates content for the open-source hardware company Adafruit Industries, has the answer. In a surprisingly intricate, 15-minute tutorial video called “John Park’s Happy Chewbacca Mask,” this modern day MacGyver shows how the toy can be disassembled and rewired to make the famous Star Wars character say just about anything the owner chooses.
A fair warning to those who would attempt to follow in Park’s footsteps: This tutorial is not for the faint of heart or the mechanically hopeless. In taking the Hasbro toy apart and snipping out its electronic “brain,” Park has to use a fair amount of finesse, patience, and electronic know how to make his dreams come true. The video at times seems like a cross between The Hurt Locker and a particularly intense round of Operation, a board game also currently produced by Hasbro. A lot of soldering is required, and it really seems like Park should be wearing safety goggles. Eventually, the project is completed, and Park reveals his souped-up version of the talking Chewbacca mask. Charmingly, this one has been outfitted to actually sound like Payne herself, bringing this meme all the way back home.
[via Laughing Squid]