You want some toys, huh?

You want some toys, huh?

Force Friday II is less than a week away. It is a time of much rejoicing for Star Wars fans world-wide. It is our first chance to see what sort of secrets await us this upcoming December when we flock to the theater to see The Last Jedi. What else is it about this event that gets all so hot and heavy? They’re only toys after all…. Right?

Star Wars has a history of plastic that is just as long as the films themselves. Merchandise has been a critical part of the saga’s empire and one of the key contributors to its longevity. The draw of collecting things that surround the films has allowed us to feel intimately closer to the story and enables us to achieve a sense of ownership with something so important to us.

With the onset of the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney and the subsequent release of new feature-length films, the production of official merchandise has been elevated to new degrees. To coincide with the first new Star Wars film in ten years, a special midnight release of toys, literature, and other merchandise took place. Friday September 4th, 2015 was dubbed Force Friday. The day was highly anticipated and offered fans the chance to see new heroes and villains up close and personal, while also featuring plenty of other loads of goodies besides just action figures. The event also featured a publishing program across numerous platforms that was known as “The Journey to The Force Awakens.” That first Force Friday was an experiment of sorts to gauge just how the fandom would respond to such an event and on most accounts it was considered a success. With the secrecy behind the story to The Force Awakens, a lot of the merchandise fell along two spectrums — hiding away the key plot points such as Rey being the Forceful protagonist and the focus on characters not even featured in the story with the likes of Constable Zuvio.

Last year was a little different. 2016 featured the first standalone Star Wars story with Rogue One. While the film didn’t actively tell the same story as the Saga films, it still came with its own merchandise release event. Friday September 2nd, 2016 was considered Rogue Friday. This set the precedent for the naming convention of these events. (Look forward to Untitled Friday, Friday March 2nd, 2018.)

For the first Force Friday, I didn’t – rather, couldn’t – attend any of the special midnight release events due to my job. I was more interested in the literature aspect of the product being released anyway, and spent that weekend reading Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath. Last year I was able to head to the mall after work to check out the stores and pick up some of the figures and Funko Pops. This year’s event sees a return to the first Force Friday with a mix of literature releases as well as action figures and other merchandise. I will be heading out when I can this coming weekend to pick up my fair share of goodies. There seems to be a heavy focus on Rey this time around which is definitely making up for the first one. It’ll be interesting to see what else gets featured since we have more to do with Luke and no Han for this one.

We’ll just have to see how my wallet treats me… or the other way around.

Will you be going out for Force Friday II? Do you have all those shiny, plastic humanoids on the brain? Come back afterwards and share your hauls with a comment or an email!

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