There’s been a disturbance in the retail industry…have you felt it?
While not garnering the media and merchandise excitement of its predecessor, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the eagerly anticipated release of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” has fans ready to be wowed and shell out some cash for cool new “Star Wars” merchandise.
In 2015, the first Friday in September was declared “Force Friday,” as a way to kick off sales of merchandise for last year’s blockbuster “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” This December will see the theatrical release of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” So, Force Friday is back (on 9/30/16) as “Rogue Friday,” with more ways to empty your pockets than an ambitious Jawa.
Retailers have been keeping the secrets of Rogue Friday close to the chest leading up to today’s event. Even knowing what marketing materials look like is top secret.
And, wow, is there marketing material! A delivery to a local toy store on Wednesday, purportedly of only signage, was just as tall as the employee who received it! And, this is all before we get to the actual merchandise.
But, thanks to “the internets” we have some insight into today’s offerings…
LEGO released official images of the new sets launching on September 30th. The U-wing, a brand new Rebel Alliance craft described as a troop transport/gunship, is particularly interesting.
Just as they did with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Funko POP! is releasing a new line of figures for “Rogue One.”
But, if LEGOs and Funko POP! aren’t your thing, maybe Nerf is more your style? Hasbro released images of a number of new “Rogue One” products available today, including Captain Cassian Andor’s blaster, which is also a Target Exclusive.
Although select items will be available on the Shop Disney Parks Mobile app, Guests at Disney Parks can purchase from a whole new range of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” toys, pins, collectibles, and apparel (including a new line from fan favorite, Her Universe by Ashley Eckstein.)
Additionally, official sponsors for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” were announced last month, including some from last year’s release like Duracell, Verizon, and General Mills. New to the Star Wars merchandise money train are Gillette and Nissan. At the time of publishing, only Nissan, who is using their partnership to promote their crossover utility vehicle (the appropriately named) Nissan Rogue, had promotional materials available. Though fans might remember the epic “Christmas Morning” commercial Duracell launched to promote to quantum battery as part of its sponsorship of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” last year.
I’m sure there will be hundreds of other toy, apparel, décor, and sponsorship options. (Last year I even saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” branded apples at the grocery store.) So with less than three months before “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” comes to a theater near you, prepare your budget for merchandising of galactic proportions. And, may the Force be with you…always.