16 May 2016

Action-Packed Video Game Party: *Star Wars vs Superheroes*

Video game battle Party: Star Wars vs. Superheroes

What do you do when your baby turns eight, and he wants to have a party that encompasses all his favourite things? He loves Star Wars, he loves Super Heroes, he loves Video Games - and he just can't decide what kind of party he wants.
Well, if you're me (and you're slightly mad) you find a way to to mix all three themes together. You and the birthday boy  put your heads together and dream up an action packed "Video Game Battle Party: Star Wars vs. Superheroes". It's like having three party themes in one, really. But you reckon you can pull it off because you've done Star Wars before (and already have loads of stuff), you've always wanted to do a Super Hero party and the video game thing can tie the other two themes he loves together.

So here we go - a crazy, action packed, Video Game Battle Birthday (which did  not involve much actual video gaming) but was LOADS of fun for all.


Video Game Battle Party decor

The backdrop for the party area was made from two cheap black plastic tablecloths ($2 each) duct-taped to the wall. I used Post-its to create classic video game "space invaders" and signage. It was a bit windy and the post-its didn't stick too well when a gust came blowing through, so I used doubled-over duct tape to secure the Post-it's to the background, extra firmly. Duct tape is magic.

Video Game party backdrop created from cheap plastic tablecloths and post its!

The drinks stand was a real feature, with my cut-paper city as the backdrop, and soda bottles themed with printables I created. To combat all the sugar (and because I know battling it out is thirsty work) I filled my drinks dispenser with plain iced water.

Gold and silver striped straws from Pop Roc Parties were displayed in a metallic blue painted can (with a "POW" label) and cups were a choice of "POW" cups and R2D2 cups created by me (Printables and How-to's HERE.)

Super Hero Drinks Stand - with themed soda
"Bat Juice", "Super Soldier Serum", "Spider Venom" and "Gamma Blast" - printable super hero soda bottle labels

The table was split into two halves (Star Wars vs SuperHeroes) by sewing pieces of red and black fabric together for a table cover, and then scattering silver and gold glitter stars on top. Red+gold stars = the Super Hero end. Black+silver stars = the Star Wars end.

Cheap red and black fabric from Geoff's Emporium sewn together for the table cover; I used my star punch to create gold and silver glitter stars
Square silver and gold paper plates from Pop Roc Parties; light saber napkin holders made from toilet rolls, how to HERE

There was also loads of bunting strung up everywhere.  Gold. Silver. Red with gold stars. Black with silver stars. You get the idea.

Scrag's whole idea for the party was to have two teams (Star Wars vs Super Heroes of course) who would engage in various "battles". This may have been called a Video Game Party, but it was mostly live action.
I collected cheap Star Wars and Super Hero Masks for each team from various places (Ali Express, TradeMe, dollar stores) and these would become the "avatars" for the Nerf Battle of capture the flag.

"Choose your avatar" - masks for the teams in our live action video Game battle party
MASKS: IronMan, SpiderMan & Batman Masks found at dollar stores for $2 each; Hulk, Storm Trooper, Kylo Ren and Yoda found on Ali Express for between $4-$10 each (with free shipping); Spiderman & Darth Vader were already in the  dressup box


The most important thing to kids about a birthday party is the FUN. I'm all for creating cool decor to set the tone and atmosphere, but kids will only ooh and ahhh over your decor for about two seconds flat. What they are really interested in are two things:
(1) Am I having fun? and (2) Are there yummy things to eat?

Scrag knows his friends well, and being a high energy eight-year-old boy himself, he planned the activities perfectly. Yes, you heard correct. HE planned the activities. Our birthday boy has very definite ideas about how his party will go. All I have to do is interpret them, and make them happen.

There were three main activities/challenges, where the teams got to battle it out:
  1. Table football a.k.a. foozeball.
  2. Basketball. Scrag wanted a real live basketball game.
  3. Capture the Flag, with Nerf guns.
I made team headbands from felt (from Geoff's Emporium, $3/metre) with team symbols glue-gunned on:

Team headbands made from felt and craft card, with a velcro fastening

This was Scrag's show and he wanted to run it. He called the guests together, sorted them into teams and laid out the rules (dad was there in the background for support):

"Have fun, don't be rough, support your team, do your best"

Foozeball Battle. One kid on each handle. Ready, steady, go!  To tie this one into the theme I made some posters to link it to a Video Game, calling it the "FIFA 16 Table Football Battle"...

Basketball Battle. Scrag had wanted to play a "proper" game of basketball for ages. We're lucky enough to have two hoops on our driveway and Scrag sketched out the "court" with chalk (I just had to let him do it, though the perfectionist in me wanted to step in). Dad was referee...

Wii Sports Basketball Battle

After all that action (and a few skinned knees and scraped toes) it must be time for some refreshment, right?

Here comes the food. I reckon I outdid myself in the themed food department for this party (if I say so myself)...


At one end of the table was the Star Wars themed food: Storm Trooper marshmallow Pops, Star Cakes, Fruit Sabers, Carbonite Jelly and all the rest (I'll show you how to do it in my next how-to party post)...

Star Wars Themed Party Food

The kids got a kick out of asking, "May the sauce be with me...?" Ha. Ha.

Meanwhile down at the Super hero end of the table we had exciting eats like Thor's hammers, Pow Cookies, Kryptonite swizzle sticks, apple shields and Cap's popcorn...

Superhero Party Food

To say that the food was a hit would be a bit of an understatement. They ate, drank and were merry...

Get in there lads! Eat up!

...occasionally attacking Superman with kryptonite...

The kids were impressed - the food was yummy AND fun

Jeepers. All that and we haven't even played a single video game yet. OK, let's let them do that while their food settles a bit (PS3 Disney Infinity Star Wars and Super Hero character battles - what else?)...

PS3 Disney Infinity Star Wars and Super Hero character battles - what else?

OK, are we rested? Has that food settled? Time to really battle it out now, boys!
Choose your avatar, grab your Nerf gun and lets battle to Capture the Flags...


Choose your avatar - let the battle begin!

This was sheer joyful mayhem. After a while all thought of capturing anyone's flag flew out the window, and it was just WAR, Star Wars dudes vs. Super Heroes. Nerf bullets flying, Big Brother and Sister joining in too (cos it was so much fun even the big kids wanted a slice of the action).

Nerf Battle - capture the flag (so much fun the big kids wanted to play too)

Does this sound like a long party? We allowed three hours for all the fun that Scrag wanted to cram in to his epic Battle birthday. He was counting down sleeps, months out. His friends were primed and ready for action. No way could all that effort and action be given a mere two hour time-slot. We ran from 2pm-5pm and managed to do everything on Scrag's list.

Video Game Birthday Layer Cake - with fondant PS3 Controller cake topper

Lighting the candlesBIRTHDAY CAKE

I had to work to very specific instructions from Scrag regarding his birthday cake. He hates buttercream icing (why???!) but likes Fondant (!) so I set myself the task of figuring out how to make one of those fancy multiple layer fondant birthday cakes. I had all my cake-decorating bits and bobs from KiwiCakes, along with big slabs of pre-coloured fondant and candy melts my lovely party partner, Sandra, had sent me. In my head it was very clear how it would look. And somehow it worked - and the birthday boy was super-stoked. And yes, that's a PS3 controller made from fondant sitting on the top. *pats self on back*
(I'm gonna share with you how to make this cake in my follow-up post).

Blowing out the candles on the Cake - a happy birthday boy

Happy Birthday dear Scra-a-a-ag! Happy birthday to you!

Only one thing remained before we could wave our (very noisy) guests off home.


We do like to send our guests home with something - a little "thank you for coming (and giving me awesome prezzies)" from the birthday kid.
One of my favourite ways to do this is to hand each kid an empty treat bag, hang up a pinata, and let them smash it and then fill their bags with sweets to take home. This time I'd added in the super-cool-but-cheap imitation lego mini figures I found on Ali Express.

My pinata was a do-over of the Darth Vader Pinata I made for Dash's 8th birthday Star Wars party. Super quick and easy (instructions on how to make here).

Bashing the Darth Vader Pinata

It was a mad scramble once Darth Vader fell. Some guests scored more mini-figs than was equitable, so there was a bit of wealth re-distribution (and swapsies) until all guests were satisfied with their loot.

Right on 5pm the parents showed up (bless their punctual souls!) My ears were ringing and I had taken to wearing actual ear plugs in order to survive the squealing with my sanity intact. Yes, squealing. Who knew 8-year-old boys could squeal so loud?! You think girls are bad? These lads could give any bunch of girls a run for their money in a squealing competition.
Which I guess just means they were super excited and having a blast.
By all accounts this was Scrag's "best birthday ever" - and "the funnest party I've ever been to" (to quote a couple of comments overheard as the guests departed).

Which, of course, is what makes it all worth it.

>SuperHero Soda Bottle Label Printables
>Dash's 8th birthday Star Wars Party
>Star Wars Party: Darth Vader Pinata
>Star Wars Party: Wookie Cookies & Lightsabers
>Star Wars Party *Just Because*
>My Party Index Page

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