Use the force, Luke. On sale now.

The New York Times ran this today as part of their coverage of the huge technology trade show C.E.S. The giant toy firm Mattel have launched a mind control toy – no really. We have one of these gadgets already in our house of course. I think I’ll have a go…

Each year at the Consumer Electronics Show there is at least one bizarre novelty product that captures folks’ attention. This year, the honor belongs to a game coming from Mattel that challenges players to control a ping-pong ball with their minds.

Mindflex, as it is called, is drawing large, amused crowds and lots of interested press coverage. Players strap on headsets that are designed to read theta brainwaves, typically associated with alertness and concentration. By focusing or relaxing, a player can control the speed of a fan that elevates a lightweight purple ball, and then must try to turn a knob by hand to guide the ball through various hoops in an obstacle course.

I took a stab at it, and maybe it was Obi-Wan’s instructions to Luke from “Star Wars” distractedly reverberating in my head, but I did not get the ball anywhere close to the hoop.

Mindflex will go on sale this fall for $80.

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