Disney announced today (Aug. 26) that it is timing the movie release to a worldwide roll-out of dozen of toys related to the new film.
The roll-out will follow the sun, starting in Sydney Australia Thursday (Sept. 3). Many stores will be sponsoring special events and midnight sales to promote the merchandise, Disney announced.
Merchandise runs the gamut from toys, posters and jewelry to comic books and clothing. Some of the items will be pricey.
Large scale action figures will cost as much as $200. Toy sets will run almost has high, according to a preview of some items.
Disney hopes the merchandising onslaught will match the consumer frenzy over all things “Harry Potter,” during that movie series’ 10-year run in the early 2000s.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is the first of three films in the new “Star Wars” reboot. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, who appeared in the original 1977 “Star Wars” movie, are reprising their roles.
Disney isn’t the only company hoping to cash in on “Star Wars” fans. General Mills, Fiat Chryslerr and make-up line CoverGirl have already struck deals to be part of the action.
ANA, Japan’s biggest airline, will decorate three of its planes with “Star Wars” characters. Passengers will be able to choose from all six of the previous “Star Wars” movies as part of their in-flight entertainment.
In what may be a first ever for a movie tie-in, Disney also plans a YouTube blitz. It will feature unpacking videos known as “unboxing events.” They’ve proved to be hugely popular with kids.
Disney noted that online research figures show that 18 unboxing channels are among the top 100 most-viewed on YouTube globally. The unboxing events will be rolled out with the toy release.
Finally, Disney plans to encourage fans to comment on the new toys over social media with the hashtag #ForceFriday.
Yet to be revealed is how many product tie-ins will be tucked into the movie inconspicuously. Then, again, the whole movie will probably seem like one huge commercial for the toys.
Oh… about the movie.
“The Force Awakens” picks up 30 years after “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.”
The movie will be released Dec. 15 during the height of the holiday shopping season. Check out the links above and get a jump on the crowd by ordering Force Awakens toys online through amazon.com.
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