Tag Archive: Force Friday


Tonight is that Black Friday prequel known to Star Wars toy fans as early Christmas.  Only last year it was labeled Force Friday, so this time around it’s called Force Friday II.  Force Friday II is that off-hour store raid where you have the chance to be the first on your block to say that you own the umpteenth variant of a Boba Fett action figure (seriously, another classic Boba Fett is hitting toy stores tonight, and no, that doesn’t mean he is going to be in the new movie).  The first Force Friday was September 4, 2015, with new toys for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but for whatever reason we didn’t have a Force Friday last year for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  Those toys were first widely released September 30, 2016.  The same kind of thing happened earlier, including way back with the prequels, and to a less coordinated extent with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  Only back then you had to know someone who knew someone who was in the local distribution chain who would sell you (under the table) the only three Yodas (with the orange, not the brown snake) that shipped to your town for what was then a steep upcharge of $3.50 apiece (flash forward a year later when Target had an entire wall of the exact same action figure on clearance for fifty cents apiece).  These days retailers are required to stick to schedules or they risk losing future opportunities.

If you thought George Lucas had the tie-in marketing game perfected, you haven’t met Disney.

Force Friday II weekend” kicks off tonight at midnight local time.  Disney marketing refers to it as the launch of new products “inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”  It’s the variety of stores that makes this year’s early toy store raid so unusual.  Bed, Bath and Beyond, Staples, Kohl’s, JC Penney, Hot Topic, Brookstone, are involved.  For Star Wars?  Yes, and Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Wal-Mart, and other stores like you’d expect.  Disney actually issued a pdf file listing all the stores having events early Friday morning.  Star Wars: The Last Jedi tie-ins are serious business.  And they will be everywhere.  Campbells’ soup labels?  Yes, even grocery stores are heavily involved in marketing the December 2017 film release.

So maybe your best bet is to gather up the gang in the car and go for a drive around town and just look for store lights.  If it’s midnight and they are turned on, the store is probably selling some kind of Star Wars exclusive, and store-by-store you can try to amass a small portion of the giant haul that will be what stores are carrying in plentiful supply by Christmas.  Or just go to StarWars.com for an extensive list of what is available, and where.  Note:  All stores in all locations may not be open tonight.

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Death Star insert A

Do you remember back in the 1970s and 1980s when every new toy had its own commercial?  It seems crazy now.  How could toy sales justify the cost of time slots on national networks?  You’d think with the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens marketing push that we’d see commercials all weekend after this past week’s eagerly awaited “Force Friday.”

With all the Toys ‘R’ Us, WalMart, and Target stores (as well as other stores you wouldn’t think carried new Star Wars merchandise like Pottery Barn and Kohl’s (who is advertising Star Wars this weekend), it’s time for a flashback to the original Star Wars toy commercials.  Remember the Jawa playset, later re-designed into a cardboard AT-AT playset?

Death Star insert B

Just check out that recurring soundtrack–you won’t hear the Star Wars theme–but you will hear some funky backgrounds behind kids who can’t actually say the words Star Wars quite right.  Here are several oldies for your viewing pleasure, after the break:

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Star Wars new banner

Just go ahead and take all our money, Lucasfilm.

Force Friday has begun–the official launch of literally hundreds of toys and collectibles from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which does not open until December 18, 2015.  But if you know the Star Wars brand, you know it is probably what Star Wars will be known for decades from now:  a powerhouse of making money off its films and characters.

If you were asleep at midnight this morning, you can still get everything you missed online now.  You’ll find your best deals for more than 200 new toys available at Entertainment Earth starting today at this link.

Want to find more great deals on anything and everything from Episode VII?  Check out this link here to all the Star Wars: The Force Awakens products at Amazon.com.

Target kicked off Force Friday with midnight openings in 207 stores nationwide and will continue into Saturday, September 5 with photo ops, giveaways and toy demos.

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The coolest offering?  Probably the remote control BB-8 sphere droid by Sphero available for about $149 now for pre-order at Entertainment Earth here–that little roly-poly fella sneaking around in the theatrical previews that was based on an idea from George Lucas’s original sketches for the first movie.  Check out the YouTube video of it in action below.  It’s in the $150 range.  Don’t confuse this with the version from Hasbro that is a target exclusive for half the price–still a fun toy but without all the bells and whistles.

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