Some shoppers are spending this week recovering from the underground retail event of the decade. Last Friday marked the first time that merchandise from the hotly-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens film went on sale. Known online as Force Friday, the day heralded an all-out consumer assault on toy stores and other dens of geekdom around the world.
Star Wars fans in the US planned their Force Friday purchases well in advance. Germain Lussier from io9 flew interstate to get to a Toys “R” Us store before midnight, when stores participating in the event all revealed the new merchandise – he considered the line of around 30 people outside the store quite moderate.
Complaints that stores didn’t carry enough merchandise to satisfy fans were rampant, however.
— Daniel Barassi (@bratmix) September 7, 2015
— Legion of Sand (@LegionofSand) September 7, 2015
MarketWatch says franchise owner Disney engineered the event, with Target; Walmart; Amazon; Bed, Bath and Beyond and Toys “R” Us all offering themed clothes, toys and other Star Wars items. In New Zealand, The Warehouse, ToyCo and Toyworld took part.
— Disney Store (@DisneyStore) September 4, 2015
Disney got the party going with a global “live unboxing” event featuring the new merchandise via its YouTube channel prior to Force Friday.
The Star Wars franchise has a cosy relationship with Lego. Its Millennium Falcon sets are a well-known collectors’ item, the cost of which starts in the hundreds for a small new-edition set and can reach upwards of $5,000.
Lego’s new Force Awakens sets includes an updated Millennium Falcon, complete with a silver-haired Han Solo figure and new characters from the movie. The sets were the focus of many enthusiastic Force Friday shoppers.
— ERIK-MICHAEL ESTRADA (@iamerikestrada) September 5, 2015
Other most-wanted items included elaborate ‘Black Series’ figurines, and a robot figurine of the new droid, BB-8, which can be controlled via iPhone.
— Mighty Ape NZ (@MightyApe) September 3, 2015