‘Force Awakens’ sample package (Disney Consumer Products)
Sure, you can mine Etsy and similar maker sites for crafty wares based on the J.J. Abrams franchise relauncher. But in terms of official products — toys, books, clothes — nada.
For that, we’ll have to wait exactly four months to Sept. 4, for what Disney is calling Force Friday. To avoid spoilers, build anticipation, and maximize hype, the Mouse House and its Lucasfilm division and all their licensing partners, including toy heavyweights Hasbro, Mattel, and Lego, will flood the zone beginning with the “#ForceFriday #MidnightMadness” event at 12:01 on Sept. 4. Both online and brick-and-mortar stores will open to what will surely be queues of fans waiting to get their paws on the first wave of Force Awakens merchandise (and then immediately put in on eBay at jacked-up prices).
“Every lightsaber, every action figure, every Lego set tells a story for generations of Star Wars fans,“ Josh Silverman, executive vice president of Disney Consumer Products, says in a statement. “And this global event is a celebration of those stories. We’re excited to be part of the countdown to this enormous movie moment.”
Disney also previewed the standardized Force Awakens packaging (above) featuring the film’s crossguard-bearing baddie, Kylo Ren.
The timing of today’s announcement will likely stir mixed emotion for Star Wars fans. While having a target date gives them something to wait for ahead of The Force Awakens Dec. 18 release, they’ll have to make do with backward-looking swag for May 4. Among the highlights: Mattel’s news series of die-cast starships based on previous films and TV series.
Assorted Hot Wheels starships and playsets (Mattel)
And Lego has an exclusive minifigure of Admiral Yularen, an Imperial mucky-muck who appeared in The Clone Wars and died in the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope. A full list of May the 4th special deals is on StarWars.com.
Admiral Yularen minifigure (Lego)