Today is considered Force Friday, and it is called this because new Star Wars toys are coming out in droves, celebrating Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which won't even hit theaters until late December, over three months away. Some of these toys are going to be in high demand, and this is taking place months before the holiday season.
According to The Washington Post, Disney, who owns the rights to the Star Wars franchise, invited dozens of fans and memorabilia collectors to its Pasadena California headquarters to get a sneak peak at the new toys before they hit the shelves. This was one year ago, and it shows that they really wanted to hear from the fans before the merchandise for the film hit the shelves. This Force Friday has been planned for a long time to get as much money from the merchandise from the next Star Wars film months before its release.
So what is for sale on Force Friday? The bigger question is what isn't for sale. Much of the focus is with toys like action figures and spaceship sets from the upcoming movie. One of the bigger items in demand on Force Friday is a toy from Sphero. Sphero is a company that is most famous for creating a rolling ball that can be controlled via Bluetooth from a mobile device, and they have used this technology to created BB-8, a rolling droid that can be clearly seen in The Force Awakens trailer.
One of the campaigns for these new Star Wars toys comes from Hot Wheels, who has created a set of cars that have a Star Wars twist to them. In fact, they are even sending out real cars with Uber in the streets of New York City that look like Stormtroopers, according to CNET.
The biggest problem with rolling out all of this merchandise this early is that it assumes that Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will be a good movie, and fans will want to get in early on this. The original Star Wars trilogy inspired the merchandise, but this marketing campaign is doing the reverse. There was a huge influx of Star Wars merchandise with the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace back in 1999, but that film was considered a huge disappointment amongst fans and critics. Episodes II and III had their share of merchandising, but not to those levels as Episode I. Obviously, the merchandise was a huge and lucrative business, or this Force Friday would not be occurring.
In other words, The Force Awakens could be even worse than The Phantom Menace, which would not create a good market for these collectibles in the future. However, it could be the film could be good under the direction of J.J. Abrams, but audiences won't find out until The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 17th. Should the film be the hit that it is predicted it will be, then those Force Friday merchandise might be a good investment .
These are some of the deals that consumers of Star Wars merchandise can get from these local outlets, and this list come straight from Hasbro, who have the rights to Star Wars toys:
• AMAZON: Pre-order the STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES TROOPER EVOLUTION 4-PACK, featuring four 6-inch figures not available anywhere else, including the long-awaited PHASE II CLONE TROOPER and a FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER with exclusive red pauldron!
• COSTCO: The STAR WARS HERO MASHERS ULTIMATE BOUNTY MULTI-PACK features five 6-inch customizable action figures (including DARTH VADER, HAN SOLO and BOBA FETT), plus extra gear and accessories.
• ENTERTAINMENT EARTH: Pre-order STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH FIGURE 4-PACK from entertainmentearth.com, featuring four exclusive 6-inch STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES figures, including a MAGMA STORMTROOPER and R2-Q5 DEATH STAR ASTROMECH DROID.
• KMART: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS villain KYLO REN comes with an exclusive "snow" deco and a snow base in the STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES 6-inch exclusive, available for pre-order. The base will connect with a future exclusive in this series...
• KOHL'S: The STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS KYLO REN MASK WITH CONNECT AND CUSTOMIZE LIGHTSABER SET at Kohl's comes with a KYLO REN MASK and KYLO REN EXTEND LIGHTSABER, featuring a BLADEBUILDERS connector and a LIGHT DAGGER.
• SAM'S CLUB: The CHEWBACCA ROLE-PLAY MULTI-PACK contains both the NERF CHEWBACCA BOWCASTER, which features exclusive deco and exclusive FIRST ORDER targets, and the CHEWBACCA ELECTRONIC MASK.
• TARGET: Everyone's favorite new Droid from STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is coming to Target! A limited number of REMOTE CONTROL BB-8 toys will be available exclusively in Target stores on Force Friday, with more stock to come throughout the fall season!
• TOYS "R" US: Toys "R" Us is your exclusive destination to pre-order the STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES 6-inch FIRST ORDER SNOWTROOPER OFFICER action figure - this character won't be available anywhere else! Build up your troops with this officer, which comes with a blaster and an exclusive red pauldron. Available for pre-order by 9/6.
• WALGREENS: Fans can capture the climactic battle from STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI with this exclusive STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH DARTH VADER (EMPEROR'S WRATH) figure, featuring an exclusive translucent mask with a visible skull underneath it, as well as an exclusive removable hand.
• WALMART: This fall, Walmart is the home for STAR WARS collectors and the exclusive home of the fan-favorite STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES 3.75-inch action figure line. A limited number of the first wave of the new line will be available in Walmart stores, and the second wave, featuring brand-new figures from STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS and a brand-new PRINCESS LEIA figure, will be available for online pre-order!