We are officially just one month away from what will be known as #ForceFriday, and readers of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine know that this has been a destination for a daily look back at nearly four full decades of STAR WARS toys and collectibles through Hasbro’s Force Friday Countdown Calendar, with features that have been posted right here for the past few months. As the September 4th Global Launch of new products based on J.J. Abrams’ STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS looms, retailers are announcing their plans, and Toys “R” Us is going BIG with events at stores in 38 countries – including an event in NYC that’s so big I’ll be featuring it in another post – DESTINATION: STAR WARS – THE EXPERIENCE. From the official announcement…
Toys“R”Us to Help Fans Worldwide Build Their Toy Empires
With operations in 38 countries, Toys“R”Us is leveraging its global footprint and position as the toy authority to provide an unprecedented Star Wars experience worldwide. On Force Friday, September 4, Toys“R”Us locations in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the U.K, will open at 12:01am to welcome eager shoppers. The first customers to line up for the big product debut will receive Star Wars giveaways, including an exclusive poster, as well as the chance to be among the first to purchase exclusive Star Wars merchandise in dedicated front-of-store feature shops.
Leading up to Force Friday, stores in each of these countries will count down the minutes to 12:01am on September 4 with digital clocks, as well as Star Wars-themed microsites on each of their respective e-commerce pages. Social media users can follow the company’s worldwide midnight openings on each country’s social media channels, as well as via the Toys“R”Us U.S. Twitter channel, @Toysrus.
Midnight Openings Descend on Destination: Star Wars in the U.S.
When the clock strikes 12:01am on September 4, all Toys“R”Us stores in the U.S. will open their doors, giving customers the opportunity to be among the first to purchase hundreds of new Star Wars playthings, including a wide variety of merchandise they can’t find anywhere else.* As an added bonus, little Jedi Knights and their families attending midnight opening events will have the chance to receive special giveaways, including a limited edition LEGO®Star Wars Commemorative Brick and an exclusive Star Wars poster, while supplies last.** Also at midnight on Force Friday, shoppers will be able to browse and purchase the new products online at Toysrus.com/StarWars.
Those eager to count down to the highly anticipated toy debut can now find digital clocks at all Toys“R”Us locations nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/DestinationStarWars. Beginning on Force Friday, dedicated Star Wars feature shops will be found at the front of all stores nationwide, featuring a combination of figures, construction sets, accessories and more, plus updated countdown clocks reset to tick off the minutes to the release of the new movie.
Additionally, gamers can now preorder Star Wars Battlefront™, the ultimate Star Wars video game experience, along with Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars, at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/StarWars.
For the latest Destination:Star Wars news and updates, fanatics can follow @ToysRUs on Instagram and Twitter, as well as Facebook.com/Toysrus. Followers are encouraged to post photos of their Star Wars toy empire, themselves dressed in their best Star Wars cosplay and their midnight opening experience, as well as engage with one another and Toys“R”Us using #DestinationStarWars.
The Force is Strong at Toys“R”Us Times Square
The biggest midnight opening celebration will take place at the company’s international flagship store in New York City, Toys“R”Us Times Square, where fans of all ages are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Star Wars character and take part in dozens of one-of-a-kind activities designed especially for Star Wars aficionados.***
The World’s Greatest Toy Store™ is kicking the party off early with a special exhibition featuring prototypes, originals and early editions of some of the best-known Star Wars toys in the world, curated by Rancho Obi-Wan, Inc., a non-profit museum that houses the Guinness World Record-certified largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia. Presented prominently throughout the store, “Destination:Star Wars – The Experience,” will be on display from Wednesday, August 26 through Monday, September 7 and will feature dozens of notable collectibles based on all six feature films from the Star Wars Saga, including the original first four mail-away action figures from 1978, a large-sized Chewbacca figure in never publicly-released The Empire Strikes Back packaging from Kenner Products and a rare 2003 LEGO Star Wars Cloud City building set.****
The adventure kicks into high gear on Thursday, September 3, when the store hosts Star Wars activities throughout the day, beginning at 9am****, including:
- A book signing and meet and greet with Steve Sansweet, Chief Executive Officer and President of Rancho Obi-Wan, Inc., storied Star Wars author and former Head of Fan Relations and Director of Content Management at Lucasfilm Ltd.
- An art class and meet and greet with fan-favorite Star Wars and science fiction artist, Jeff Carlisle.
- Star Wars product demonstrations and activations throughout the store, including Star Wars-themed 3-D action figure creation with 3D Plus Me, video gaming on Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars kiosks and experiencing intergalactic sound onStar Wars-themed headphones powered by SMS Audio.
- A LEGO Star Wars make and take for rebels looking to build their toy empire brick by brick.
- A Light Saber Academy with members of New York Jedi, a community of cosplayers, martial artists and teachers who share practical stage combat techniques oriented toward Light Sabers.
- Photo opportunities with costumed characters, including Furbacca, a character versioned after the Hasbro® toy that makes wookiee sounds like CHEWBACCA, Geoffrey the Giraffe and more.
- Ice cream flavors inspired by the Star Wars Saga from Scoops“R”Us™,the flagship store’s in-house ice cream shop located on the Lower Level.
- Star Wars-themed cookie decorating at a “Wookiee” Cookie Party on Level 1.
- Special giveaways for the first fans in line, including a Collector’s Edition LEGO Star Wars Commemorative Brick, an exclusive, limited edition Star Wars poster and a Star Wars Character Flashlight from JAKKS Pacific.***
- Star Wars trivia, a costume contest and a galaxy of excitement and prizes, while supplies last, for those fanatics waiting in line.
- A panel discussion with Steve Sansweet and Jeff Carlisle for select lucky fans, which will also be livestreamed via Periscope @Toysrus on Twitter.
- The ultimate unveiling of the official Toys“R”Us Times Square Star Wars feature shop at 12:01am on Force Friday, September 4.