Ever since the anticipation of a new line of Star Wars merchandise that would relaunch with The Force Awakens, Force Friday has been an annual event held at Toys R Us, Disney Store, Target, and many others, where stores open at midnight to release the latest merchandise to support the next Star Wars film. 2015 for Episode VII marked the first major event of this type since 2005 for Episode III’s “Midnight Madness” (not including 2008’s Midnight Madness for The Clone Wars movie).
Force Friday was a unique experience for me last year, while I hit up Toys R Us, Target, and the Disney Store. And standing on line for hours has its quirks as you get to wait, chat, and suffer with other collectors & fans. “When do the doors open??”
This year, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the way, stores are at it again. Offering giveaways, exclusives, and tons & tons of Star Wars collectibles, fans lined up for another midnight opening! And just like last year, I was first in line… and I was quickly known by the staff as “that guy who’s been here since 6pm”.
This time around I really didn’t have to wait on the line as early, however. I don’t know if it’s because people had a bad first experience last year or because Rogue One isn’t as popularly marketed as The Force Awakens. But it didn’t stop the few and faithful from lining up! By the time doors opened, there must have been at least 50 people outside! Here’s my view from the front of the line.
But as soon as you enter, you’re greeted like imperial royalty:
I have to say that compared to last year, this year’s presentation was a little lackluster. No cardboard standups, balloons, or other decorations like last year. Unlike Target this year:
But at least at TRU we saw Geoffrey holding a lightsaber! And just like last year, TRU corporate suits were taking photos and documenting the evening since their headquarters aren’t too far away.
I’ve heard of other TRU Force Fridays only having a handful of people lining up, so I’d consider ours a success. But I hope they keep holding these midnight events because they’re really a lot of fun and you get your hands on the new products right away, not to mention some great in-store giveaways. Here’s what TRU offered this year: an exclusive poster and an exclusive Funko Pop tee!
Limited to only medium and large sizes, you grab your t-shirt & poster and move along… move along…
An actual Hasbro rep was filling the tables/shelves. But unfortunately the TRU exclusive Black Series 6″ Imperial Hovertank Pilot was very limited… only 6 pieces for the whole store. Yours truly was the first (of six) to snag one. But things started to empty pretty fast:
The madness was a little more contained than last year. I was able to get everything I wanted, and I was in & out. Not pictured below are my doubles, my online orders on the way, and some others I got at Walmart & Target like the latest wave of 3.75″ Black Series and some more 2-packs. But ultimately it was totally worth lining up for the new Rogue One packaging!
Did you get everything you wanted?
Go Rogue or go home!