When it comes to Star Wars, it’s all about the merch. George Lucas didn’t build his empire on the movies alone (though it helped that he retained complete creative control), and the smartest decision he ever made was ensuring he controlled all merchandising rights to Star Wars and future sequels in his initial contract. Nowadays, the potential ancillary revenue from toys, shirts, lunchboxes, etc. is a major consideration for every studio when beginning to launch a potential franchise—Lucas was simply ahead of the curve.
But Star Wars is still the king when it comes to branded IP toys, and Disney knew exactly what it was getting when it purchased Lucasfilm in 2012. With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally upon us, the studio is about to begin a cycle of new merchandise releases that will continue in perpetuity, and they’re kicking things off in grand fashion.
Disney announced today that they will be hosting a worldwide unboxing event ahead of Force Friday, during which all the new Star Wars toys from around the globe will be unveiled live on YouTube before going on sale at local retailers at midnight on September 4th. The event kicks off in Sydney, Australia at 7:45am local time September 3rd (which is 5:45pm EDT September 2nd), continuing through Asia, Europe, Canada, and North and South America until the final unveiling at Lucasfilm in San Francisco at 8am PDT on September 3rd.
Selections from the new toy line will be unveiled at each location in the vein of a rolling New Year’s Eve celebration, with one new product from Star Wars: The Force Awakens being featured at each of the 15 locations. Moreover, digital stars from the Maker Studios network will participate in the event.
Lucasfilm has been mostly tight-lipped about these toys since director J.J. Abrams hopes to keep as much of Force Awakens under wraps before release. Indeed, toy sets are usually how most giant blockbusters are spoiled, so it’ll be interesting to see what this first wave of toys entails. Check out the full calendar of events below. The entire event will be broadcast live on the Star Wars YouTube channel.
|COUNTRY||CITY||MAKER TALENT||LOCAL TIME 9/3||EDT|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong||Dante Basco||12:00||00:00 9/3|
|Brazil||Rio de Janeiro||Malena010102||08:30||07:30 9/3|
|USA||New York||EvanTubeHD||08:30||08:30 9/3|
|Mexico||Mexico City||ExpCaseros||09:30||10:30 9/3|
|USA||San Francisco||Chris Pirillo||08:00||11:00 9/3|