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Thursday, February 16 2017 09:41

Force Friday II ushers in the era of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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In the ramp-up to the 2015 release of JJ Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one of the biggest events was the first-ever "Force Friday" - the official launch of merchandise tied to the release of the film. I went all-in for the launch, joining Hasbro in posting daily entries from their "Force Friday Countdown" calendar (a new Star Wars toy featured every day for four months - see them here). Last year, when Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came around, no one really knew what to call the launch, bouncing back-and-forth between "Rogue Friday" and "Force Friday," but today we learn that the latter was incorrect, as Disney & Lucasfilm have officially announced that September 1, 2017 is FORCE FRIDAY II - the official launch of new toys and merch from Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi! Check out the details and your first-look at the new toy packaging below!

New products inspired by the highly anticipated  Star Wars: The Last Jedi, including toys, collectibles, books, apparel and more will go on sale beginning at 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2017, with stores around the world opening for a weekend-long celebration of all things Star Wars.

Force Friday II

From the Official Announcement: The first Star Wars Force Friday event was truly unique, uniting fans across five continents in an unprecedented global live unboxing event ahead of thousands of midnight openings at retail,” says Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “We’re excited to confirm that Star Wars Force Friday is back for ‘The Last Jedi’. Plans for this year’s world-wide event are top secret but expect something befitting the excitement around the next episode of the Star Wars saga.”

Star Wars fans around the globe embraced Force Friday in 2015, with hundreds of thousands turning up to stores at midnight to be the first to get their hands on merchandise from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Toys from the new line were revealed via a global live-stream unboxing event that unfolded over 18 hours, 15 different cities and 12 countries, attracting millions of views on YouTube. Fans took to social media to share their experiences with nearly 3 billion Twitter impressions about the events, using #ForceFriday.

ff2info

Jill Wilfert, Vice President of global licensing and entertainment from The LEGO Group comments, “It was so much fun to be a part of Star Wars Force Friday, and we can’t wait for fans to join this year’s celebration as we reveal new ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ products during Force Friday II – a global event that will connect fans and families, and allow them to build, create and share their experiences with others.” 

Details of how fans can participate will be revealed closer to the event but the world-wide launch will tap new technology and Star Wars mythology to create a unique experience for fans. Just like 2015, products for “The Last Jedi” will be kept under wraps until Force Friday II to preserve surprises for fans. As well as introducing new characters from the movie in toy form, the line will build on the success of products like Sphero’s BB-8, introducing more innovative technology to bring the characters and stories from the film to life in unique ways.

“Toys play a unique role in the Star Wars universe, and we’re proud to have been part of that incredible legacy for the past forty years. The new line for ‘The Last Jedi’ is our most innovative yet, and we’re excited to unveil it on Force Friday II,” said Samantha Lomow, Senior Vice President at Hasbro.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is the highest grossing movie of all time domestically and that success was mirrored at retail. NPD reported that Star Wars was the number one toy property in the U.S. for 2016 and 2015, and that during the week of Force Friday, $1 for every $11 spent on toys was on a Star Wars item. Additionally, the popularity of the movie propelled Star Wars onto the top ten toy list for both boys and girls for the first time ever in 2015.

For the latest news from the Star Wars Galaxy, including Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller's Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, Disney XD's Star Wars Rebels, and all of the newest toys and more, check out TheRockFather.com/StarWars!

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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