New ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Toys Are Coming On Force Friday

Geek Culture Movies Toys

Force Friday ArtworkOne of the best things about being a Star Wars fan is the collecting, or, more accurately, the obsessive hoarding. George Lucas really knew how to merchandise, and thus created an entire empire of toys, games, books and basically everything you could ever want with a Wookie or a droid on it. The man was a filmmaker first and a marketer second. As I write this I’m looking at a shelf full of the Kenner Star Wars figures I acquired in the early 80s’ and beyond, and wondering how many new figures I will feel compelled to purchase come Fall. The Force Awakens is hitting theaters in four short months, and in just two weeks the catalog of new Star Wars toys, merchandise and Hasbro action figures is coming on Force Friday.

Toys “R” Us is becoming Destination: Star Wars as part of Force Friday, a special celebration to kick off the Force Awakens toy blitz on September 4th. Toys “R” Us stores worldwide will open their doors at midnight, in an event that is sure to cause some Black Friday style mayhem during the sprint to collect all of the new figures and play-sets. Stores will also host giveaways throughout the event. The real “celebration” however is reserved for the toy giant’s flagship store in New York.

At its massive Times Square location, Toys “R” Us has a day of cool events planned around Force Friday, creating a mini-con of sorts beginning at 9am on the Thursday before. Steve Sansweet, Star Wars author and CEO of Rancho Obi-Wan will be on hand for a book signing and meet and greet, and activities throughout the event include an art class with Star Wars artist Jeff Carlisle, product and gaming demos, LEGO Star Wars workshops, character photo-ops with Furbacca the Furby Wookie, a Light Saber academy and a slew of other interactive, family-friendly events.

Family friendliness is critical, because I’d hate to see these events turn into a contentious fanboy competition like I so often see in the lines forming at Comic Cons and other “exclusive” toy unveilings. Sure, I’ll probably collect a ton of these new action figures for myself, but my kids are also looking forward to them, as I’d expect the children of many of our GeekDad readers are as well. Remember when one of the first things Elliott shared with E.T. was his Star Wars action figures? I hope that same wonder spreads like wildfire through a new generation, expanding their imaginations like the original Star Wars films and Kenner toys did my own. Keep that in mind all of you 30 years and older geeks, before you bum-rush the lines and horde the toys to sell on eBay. I know it’s hard, and I’m going to have to fight that urge as well, but in the end, it will all be worth it.

Now, we just wait, and pay attention to the slow unveiling of this new generation of Star Wars toys to begin. “Patience you must have, my young (and old) padawan.”

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5 thoughts on “New ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Toys Are Coming On Force Friday

  1. Hi, photos on eBay listings reveal that the first batch of action figures will mainly include the new characters. The 2015 versions of the old cast will probably arrive later on, closer to the movie’s release. Hasbro sometimes leave the better figures for later, as they did for Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace and the Indiana Jones toys they made in 2008. I am a little disappointed with seeing the initial batch.

  2. I think you are being too optimistic with the release of these figures. The biggest demand for these toys is from adult fans who remember the original films and either want to add to their existing collections or introduce their kids to the films/characters. These days kids hage to tear themselves away from their tablets, phones and PlayStation consoles. Most of the kids I know these days hardly pine for action figures and when they get their favourite characters as gifts they usually don’t play with them much and they just gather dust. I mean, it seems as if action figures are just not as important to kids now. I wish it weren’t true becauss they do encourage people to create their own stories and use their imaginations but it seems as if these kind of toys are very low fi for a lot of young kids. Also, I think Hasbro take their time with releasing all the characters and when they leave out some of the popular ones for later, the movie is usually out and kids start to lose the little interest they had in the toys. Sure, they do sell because parents often lack imagination and buy stuff for their kids, stuff they liked when they were kids, but kids usually don’t always have the same interest. There is enough interest from adult fans though so this whole thing will go on for quite some time.

  3. Hank, I agree with your point that adult fans (myself included) will sustain the toy sales in a big way, but I disagree that kids won’t be interested. I know tons of kids who love Star Wars, especially with ‘Rebels’ bringing on an entirely new generation, and my own kids play noticeably more with their tangible toys than they do with the massive amounts of videogames and electronics we own. We have shelves full of Disney Infinity characters they love, but more often than not they play with them as action figures as opposed to plugging them into the actual videogame.

  4. Tony,

    Is this the actual “drop date” for the wave 1 figures if not when is the actual date so I can start grabbing them as quickly as possible. Of corse i guess if people do not want to wait they can always fork over $60-75 for one single pre-sale figure.

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