On Friday, September 4, 2015 at 12:01 AM, there was an awakening. It’s as if millions of bank accounts suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. That was the day Disney chose to cry havoc and let slip the toys of war. All around the globe, toys, apparel and even make-up from the new movie, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” were released into the shopping bags of fans.
Here now are my observations of what went down in my corner of the shopping galaxy.
The Good – Finally! After months of knowing that Hasbro was producing (but not showing) product for months, we finally get to feast our eyes on the toys from “The Force Awakens.”
The Bad – Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it. I know it felt a little overwhelming to have so much product all at once. The store isles went from one 2012 Ric Olie action figure on a peg to end cap to end cap, nothing but The Force Awakens toys along with displays all throughout the store. An embarrassment of riches.
The Good – Normally, toys and product that are tied to a movie will be released close to the theatrical release of the movie. I believe the word we’re looking for here is synergy. We are three months, over 100 days (at the time of Force Friday) away from the release of “The Force Awakens.” Never in my lifetime have Star Wars toys been released so far ahead of a Star Wars movie. Back when I was a kid, we didn’t get our Luke Skywalker and Han Solo action figures until months AFTER the movie was released.
The Bad – We still have three months until “The Force Awakens” opens. At least we have toys to play with.
The Good – At my local WalMart, I arrived one hour and eleven minutes before the magical time of 12:01 AM and I was the first one in line.
The Bad – By the time 12:01 AM arrived, there were only ten people milling about the Star Wars display. I really expected more people to come out to the party. And it was really sad that no one brought their kid out with them to experience the magic of a Star Wars toy release party. The gathering of employees looked disappointed in the small turnout as most of them were Star Wars fans too and wanted a more festive atmosphere.
The Good – With so few customers at the event, everyone had their pick of the litter when it came to the toys.
The Bad – With only a few of the most sought out after toys (Kylo Ren anyone?) on the shelves, everyone was able to walk away with a 6” or 3.75” version of the new bad guy and I didn’t get to shoot video of the fist fights that could have broken out as people squabble over them.
The Good – Prices at WalMart were the best around. $18 for a Hasbro 6” The Black Series action figure. $7 for a 3.75” action figure.
The Bad – $18 times five 6” figures and $7 times 12 3.75” figures, the total adds up fast.
The Good – Walmart had free cupcakes and Topps gave out free samples of their new Star Wars Galactic Connexions collectable disc game.
The Bad – The sample pack had two discs in it. Kind of hard to play against someone else when you only have two discs. I’m guessing Topps wants you to buy more.
The Good – Lego is “all in” with this whole Star Wars thing. Lots of ships and playsets were released on Force Friday.
The Bad – Three of the sets were over $100 and many were between $40 and $70.
The Good – Sphero released a small, app controled BB-8. This was the Tickle Me Elmo of all of The Force Awakens toys.
The Bad – Ebay looks like your best bet if you want to find one.
The Good – Today, we are closer to The Force Awakens than we were yesterday.
The Bad – According to Tom Petty, the waiting is the hardest part.