Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

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When it comes to toys, never doubt the power of The Force. Star Wars has been a major factor in the toy business for much of the past thirty-seven years, and this year the phenomenon is poised to return in a huge way.

After slipping down in the action figure best-sellers list for the past few years, this holiday season will see a new Star Wars movie in theaters, and the full force of the franchise’s new owners, Disney, behind it. The release of toys based on Star Wars: The force Awakens are less than a month away, and Toys”R”Us is preparing for what they hope is an onslaught.

One of the few early images of an action figure from Star Wars: A Force Awakens

One of the few early images of an action figure from Star Wars: A Force Awakens

Toys”R”Us is going into hyperdrive and preparing an out-of-this-galaxy, global celebration for the upcoming debut of toys based on the next chapter of the Star Wars Saga at 12:01am on Force Friday, September 4.

Counting down to the highly anticipated toy launch and this fall’s new theatrical release, Toys”R”Us stores worldwide and have transformed into Destination: Star Wars, every fan’s retail source for The Force with hundreds of new products, including many only available at Toys”R”Us.

On Force Friday, Toys”R”Us stores around the globe will open their doors for special midnight opening festivities, providing customers of all ages the opportunity to be among the first to purchase must-have merchandise, receive exclusive giveaways and immerse themselves in all things Star Wars.

Rare Star Wars Toys will be on display at the TRU flagship store in New York City

Rare Star Wars Toys will be on display at the TRU flagship store in New York City

The company’s international flagship store, Toys”R”Us Times Square in New York City, will host a historic Star Wars toy exhibition leading up to the grandest midnight opening celebration of all, welcoming legions of eager fans with costumed characters, signing events, giveaways and more all day on Thursday, September 3.

“Since the introduction of the first Star Wars toy in 1977, Toys”R”Us has served as the ultimate destination for Star Wars playthings, providing millions of kids and collectors worldwide with their most beloved memorabilia,” said Richard Barry, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Merchandising Officer, Toys”R”Us, Inc. “Since then, Star Wars has become a time-honored franchise with loyal fan interest, making it a perennial, top-selling licensed property. With the upcoming introduction of the new Star Wars toy line, we’re excited to welcome the next generation of fans into our stores around the world with exclusive products, special events, feature shops and giveaways.”

Star Wars Hot Wheels are showing up in stores now, but the ones based on the movie will debut at midnight, September 4

Star Wars Hot Wheels are showing up in stores now, but the ones based on the movie will debut at midnight, September 4

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.

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

Miniature gaming stuff, seen at Toy Fair

Miniature gaming stuff, seen at Toy Fair

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 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 Battlefrontâ„¢, the ultimate Star Wars video game experience, along with Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars, at Toys”R”Us stores nationwide and online at

Events are open to all ages with parental supervision required at all times. All giveaways and event materials will be available while supplies last and distributed to event participants only. Limit one per person. Quantities limited; no rain checks. Giveaway quantities vary by store.

It’ll be interesting to see how long people camp out before the special midnight sale.

1 Comment

  1. Thomas Wheeler

    Hoping for some interesting new 6″ Black Series figures (and a good movie, of course), but if the bulk of the new 4″ figures are the same 5 points-of-articulation junk that Hasbro’s been making the past few years — pass.

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