A new Star Wars movie is hitting theaters in December, so you know what that means. New toys! The products for Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be available at stores across the country at midnight for Force Friday II.
Although there was a Force Friday last year for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Disney has been marketing this year’s event as the second one. Plus, they aren’t counting all the previous “Midnight Madness” events we all went to for the prequels and other product launches.
Disney tried to keep and extremely tight lip on Last Jedi products, even though plenty of figures and LEGO sets have leaked. They even threatened a YouTuber with a legal action because he posted video reviews of the LEGO sets.
Here’s what you need to know about Force Friday before you head out to stores tonight.
1. Hasbro’s Action Figure Gimmick is a 1999 Throwback With the ‘Force Link’ to Make Figures ‘Talk’
With each new Star Wars line Hasbro has to include a gimmick, be it plastic coins to collect or little film frames. For Rogue One, we got QR codes that unlocked sound effects in an app to help us make our own movies. For The Force Awakens, we got useless add-on weapons. For The Last Jedi, there’s “Force Link.”
As CNET explains, you’ll be able to buy a Force Link wristband. When you put a figure next to it, the device recognizes the figure and you’ll hear lines of dialogue or sound effects that go with the toy. The $25 starter set comes with the wristband and a Kylo Ren figure. You can also get the wristband in the $200 BB-8 Star Destroyer playset, which is the only way to get a Supreme Leader Snoke 3.75″ figure right away.
This should all give Star Wars fans a bit of deja vu. Back in 1999, the Phantom Menace figures had a “CommTech” gimmick. They each came with a little stand that had a chip inside. When you waved the chip over a Commlink reader, you heard sound effects and dialogue.
2. You Have to Go to Walgreens to Get the Force Ghost Obi-Wan Kenobi
If you haven’t been following Star Wars toys for awhile (or any action figure line for that matter), you might be surprised to hear that Walgreens will carry an exclusive figure. Yes, while you pick up your prescriptions, you can also drop $20 on a toy.
iO9 got the first look at the exclusive Black Series 6″ figures that will be available this fall. The line-up includes a Force Ghost Obi-Wan Kenobi figure that will only be available at the pharmacy. He’s the same figure as the previous Black Series Obi-Wan, just cast in a translucent plastic.
You’ll also have to go to GameStop if you want a figure of Supreme Leader Snoke, the main villain in the sequel trilogy. Since the figure comes with a big throne, he’ll cost $35.
Amazon will have an exclusive variant of the Elite Praetorian Guard. They’re Snoke’s version of the crimson Imperial Royal Guards we saw in Return of the Jedi. There are at least four different versions of the guards, with unique helmets and weapons. One of them will be available at all retailers, while the one carrying a giant blade will only be at Amazon.
A third Praetorian guard will be available in an $80 four-pack exclusive to Barnes & Noble, GameStop and Disney Stores. Rather than being a convenient set with all four Praetorian Guards, this is a “Guardians of Evil” pack that includes other Royal Guards from the Star Wars saga.
3. Porgs Will Be Everywhere
Remember how BB-8 was everywhere in fall 2015? Well, this time it’s going to be Porgs. These are creatures that we’ll meet on Ahch-To, the planet where Rey (Daisy Ridley) met Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) at the end of The Force Awakens. Writer/director Rian Johnson insists that this was an organic idea he had, but you can’t help but feel Disney pushed for them because of the commercial potential.
A 3.75″ scale Porg will be available with the Chewbacca figure. Hasbro is also releasing an electronic Porg, which “waddles” just like the ones in the movie.
And if that’s not enough, there will be a Porg backpack!
As for the LEGO porgs, they will be available in the monstrous Millennium Falcon Ultimate Collector’s set. That one will set you back $799.99, and is the largest Star Wars LEGO set ever made with 7,541 pieces.
4. Campbell’s Soup Will Let Us Learn What BB-8 Tastes Like
StarWars.com posted a look at some of the stranger items you’ll be able to find with the Star Wars logo on them. Campbell’s Soup is even getting in on the game with Last Jedi-labelled cans. The cans will have the Praetorian Guard, Captain Phasma, Rey, Finn and BB-8 on them. Hopefully the soup inside doesn’t taste like bantha poodoo.
At Nordstrom, you can find cufflinks with the Rebel/Resistance logo and porgs. Disney Parks will have an exclusive “Premium Rey Lightsaber” that lights up and includes a removable blade.
Disney Stores will also have the die-cast 6″ Elite Series figures. It really doesn’t make sense to continue this line, since previous figures have sat at Disney Stores collecting dust, but they stay alive somehow. The first Last Jedi wave will include Kylo Ren (unmasked), Rey, Luke Skywalker, First Order Judicial Stormtrooper, Praetorian Guard and a giant, out-of-scale R2-D2.
There’s plenty of other stuff that will be available from companies, like bed sheets, shirts, rugs and even pet toys. Did you think Disney would deprive your dog of a stuffed porg to chew on?
5. Sphero Is Finally Releasing an R2-D2 to Go With Its BB-8
Before The Force Awakens came out, the cool BB-8 toy everyone had to have was the Sphero robot, which moves and sounds just like the droid in the movie. If you’ve ever wanted an R2-D2 that works like that, Sphero has finally granted your wish.
Gizmodo noted in its review that the Sphero Artoo even has a retractable third leg just like in the movies. Unfortunately, he costs $180, $30 more than the suggested retail price of the BB-8.
Sphero is also making BB-9E, the new BB-series droid used by the First Order in The Last Jedi. He looks just like a black BB-8, except he has a rectangular head like the R5 units from the Original Trilogy.