While walking around APCC(AsiaPOP Comicon Manila) 2017’s convention floor, I stumbled upon a store selling light sabers. Most sabers I have seen sold at conventions were the Hasbro ones, which are fragile, so it was a delight to see a stall selling combat ready lightsabers locally. Trying to find out more about it, I decided to conduct an interview with Saber Source’s owner John Russel Yao and what his store has to offer.
What is Saber Source?
Saber Source started as a hobby, of me, a fan. I started to buy my own lightsaber for fun, but when I saw that there were people who had the same passion as I do and me having contacts that can supply some sabers why not offer that service to the community and bring them affordable sabers. Some of the sabers that were available at the time, the combat ready sabers, are quite expensive and I got thinking what if I can serve the community with affordable combat ready light sabers and that is what I did.
What do you see is your selling point over your competitors from other countries?
In terms of the products, it is not much different from what the other’s provide. What we do as a value added service to the customers is we offer local warranty. If you have any problems with whatever saber that you bought from us, you can contact us and we will take care of you. We also can do custom lightsabers.. If you want it with different sounds, with different light and even adding kyber crystal inside your saber, we can do that as well. We might not be the cheapest out there, but it is the added value that sets us apart.
Speaking of price, what price range do your sabers lie in?
For the price range of our sabers, it starts at Php 5,900, it has sounds and is combat ready as opposed to the ones in retail that can go for Php 10,000 or more and we are almost half the price. As of the customization, we can offer working canon replica hilts and the price would be the sky is the limit as it depends how you want your saber to be.
What future is in store for Saber Source?
We are currently expanding our product range, so far we have the products from Wonder Force, which we are the official distributor in the country. We also got a new distributor deal with Saber Trio, a Malaysian company, that offers custom sabers with very nice hilts, but it is down to the taste of the customer. What is in store, we have a lot of activities such as promos and raffles. We are partnered also with Abubot.ph, an online geek store, and through our partnership we plan a screening for Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. What drives us is the community as there is a clamor for this product. People may think this is a niche market, but the fans are out there. You just have to inform them that they are there.