More than 3,000 retail locations in the U.S. open at midnight to celebrate new ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ products
Today, merchandise inspired by the highly anticipated new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens launched at retailers around the globe as ‘Force Friday’ officially got underway. Hot off the heels of the 18+ hour global live unboxing event on YouTube where highlights of the new product range were officially unveiled, the celebration continued as more than 3,000 retail locations in the U.S. opened their doors at midnight for fans to be among the first to discover new Star Wars products.
“We’ve been working closely with the filmmakers to bring the characters and storylines from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to life through an exciting array of products, and we’re thrilled to share them with fans around the world,” said Leslie Ferraro, Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and President, Disney Consumer Products.
Starting in Sydney and ending at Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media hosted an epic global live event to unveil key Star Wars: The Force Awakens products. Fans who tuned in to theStar Wars YouTube page were able to see the following toys unboxed by top digital stars from the Maker Studios network:
HobbyKidsTV, a family of digital stars from the Maker Studios network, unboxed Star Wars: The Force Awakens role play from Disney Store at the Michigan Ave store in Chicago, Illinois on 3 September 2015 as part of the epic global event marking the countdown to ?Force Friday? when merchandise from the highly anticipated new movie goes on sale. Fans can tune in to watch live unboxing events, which unfolds over 18 hours, in 15 different cities and 12 countries on the YouTube Star Wars channel. Retailers around the the globe will open their doors at midnight on 9/4 and fans can document their experiences using #ForceFriday..
Beyond lightsabers, construction sets, figures and collectibles, fans can find products across a wide variety of categories, including apparel for all members of the family, home décor, lifestyle accessories, books and more. New Star Wars products can be found around the world at mass and specialty retailers, such as Amazon.com, Kohl’s, Target, Toys “R” Us and Walmart, as well as Disney Store and disneystore.com.
Highlights from the merchandise line found in the U.S. include:
To preserve the integrity of key movie moments, an additional wave of products will be released closer to the film’s debut, when fans will be able to find additional items featuring the newest characters, including Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, BB-8 and more. On December 18, a Play Set based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens will become available for Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, the latest installment of the best-selling “toys-to-life” video game from Disney Interactive.
The Force Awakens Around the World Star Wars Fans Invited to Join Epic Global Event on YouTube
“Star Wars toys have always played an important role in how our fans interact with the Saga,” says Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “They’ve inspired multiple generations to relive the experience of the movies and to create new adventures all their own. These spectacular Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will continue that tradition.”
Kicking off in Sydney, Australia on the morning of September 3, and continuing through Asia, Europe, Canada, and North & South America, selections from the new toy line will debut to global fanfare leading up to retailers around the globe opening their doors at midnight.
“Over the course of 18 hours, some of Maker Studios’ biggest stars will each be unboxing a new toy from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens product line in a different city around the world and sharing the experience live on YouTube.” said Leslie Ferraro, President, Disney Consumer Products. “We’ve seen tremendous excitement for these new products and can’t wait to see the global reaction from the Star Wars fan community.”
The Star Wars YouTube channel will host the live stream, which kicks off with the first unboxing in Sydney, Australia at 7:45 a.m. local time on Thursday, Sept. 3 (5:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 2), with the grand finale at Lucasfilm in San Francisco at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on Thursday, Sept. 3. Each of the 15 locations will reveal a new product inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
These “unboxing” videos will feature online personalities sharing the excitement of opening the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys. Unboxing videos overall have captivated millions of Internet viewers and continue to grow in popularity. Eighteen of the top 100 most viewed YouTube Channels worldwide are dedicated to toys and toy unboxings. These 18 channels accounted for 8.1 billion views in Q1 2015.
“We’re excited to be part of this first-of-its-kind initiative,” said Chris M. Williams, Chief Audience Officer, Maker Studios. “The unboxing world continues to expand rapidly as audiences around the world connect with digital creators who share their passions. This shared fandom helps attract billions of monthly views and consistently puts the genre at the top of the YouTube charts.”
The global unboxing event will incorporate traditional toy unboxers such as the popular EvanTubeHD, channels featuring families such as Bratayley, lifehack specialists such as ExpCaseros, gamers such as AlexBy11 and Star Wars fans from around the world, including Chris Pirillo, bringing with them a broad audience and appeal. The global line-up includes:
Several countries will join the live stream from YouTube Spaces (Berlin, Tokyo, London), with Star Wars commentators Anthony Carboni and Andi Gutierrez hosting the event from the YouTube Space, Los Angeles.
Disney Consumer Products
Fans can tune in to watch live unboxings at home or on mobile devices, and also enjoy the latest trailers on the upcoming movie, commentary from special guests, fun product videos and demos, and footage from recent Star Wars events.
The global celebration culminates at midnight local time, when many retailers around the world will open their doors to fans to purchase Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys, collectibles, books, apparel and more. Visit starwars.com for more details on participating locations. Additionally, select Disney Store locations around the world will take part. More details are available at www.DisneyStore.com/ForceFriday.
Fans are encouraged to document their experiences around the event on social media using the hashtag #ForceFriday.
We are all ready to see Inside Out – but here is a quick look at another Walt Disney Animation Studios film.
Coming to Theaters on March 4, 2016
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,” a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard (“Tangled,” “Bolt”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Simpsons”) and co-directed by Jared Bush (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”), opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.
From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland,” a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.
Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.
The film also stars Hugh Laurie as brilliant scientist David Nix, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson.
“Tomorrowland” is produced by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird and Jeffrey Chernov and directed by Brad Bird, with John Walker, Bernard Bellew, Jeff Jensen and Brigham Taylor serving as executive producers. “Tomorrowland” opens in U.S. theaters on May 22, 2015.
In theaters today (4/1/15) – Disney’s Monkey Kingdom
Life is an adventure for Maya, the clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey in “Monkey Kingdom,” Disneynature’s new feature film set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya’s world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated extended family. Like all families, Maya’s has more than its share of colorful personalities—and she’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world. When their longtime home at Castle Rock is taken over by powerful neighboring monkeys, Maya’s whole family retreats, and she uses her street smarts and ingenuity to uncover untapped resources amidst strange new creatures and unsettling surroundings. Ultimately, they will all have to work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya can hopefully realize her dreams for her son’s future.
Featuring a rich variety of characters, including a mischievous mongoose, simple-minded langur monkeys, predatory leopards and monitor lizards, “Monkey Kingdom” is narrated by Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), directed by Mark Linfield (“Chimpanzee,” “Earth”) and co-directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Chimpanzee,” “Bears”). With music from award-winning composer Harry Gregson-Williams (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Shrek” movies), Disneynature’s eighth True Life Adventure—the follow-up to 2014’s “Bears”—swings into theaters April 17, 2015.
Set in the storied jungles of South Asia, “Monkey Kingdom” showcases the adventures of new mom Maya, a clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey who’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world.
· For every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2015), Disneynature will make a donation to Conservation International to help protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats.
· “Monkey Kingdom” is the sixth theatrical release for Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years. The label was launched in April 2008 to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to capture a variety of wildlife subjects and stories.
· The first five big-screen releases under the Disneynature label—“Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats,” “Bears” and “Chimpanzee”—are among the top six highest grossing feature-length nature films of all time.
· Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, including “Seal Island” (1948), “Beaver Valley” (1950), “The Living Desert” (1953) and “Jungle Cat” (1958). The films earned eight Academy Awards®.