This week Lucasfilm has officially unveiled the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story toys you’ll be able to buy at the end of September. And this week’s reveal is a sign that they learned from the merchandise disaster that blew up in fan’s faces last year.
If you’re unfamiliar with how that went down, the basics came down to Disney/Lucasfilm planning a huge Force Awakens merchandise reveal on “Force Friday” on September 4th. The idea was that all of the toys and merch would be kept secret until that date, but the reality of distribution made it a huge headache for them and fans.
Stores such as Walmart and Target would receive the toys in advance and just put them on the shelves. Fans, overly excited about the first new Star Wars movie in a decade, would snap pictures of the toys with their cellphones and even try to buy it. Registers wouldn’t allow the purchase, and some fans who shared photos of the early-stocked toys were greeted with DMCA legal notices for posting the pictures on social media.
The whole distribution issue made their 18-hour Force Friday live stream pretty hilarious as every “exclusive reveal” of a new toy was something fans had already seen on store shelves. It became a joke among fans on social media as they were guessing what already-released toy would be revealed with flair on the live stream.
Thankfully it looks like Lucasfilm learned some lessons from last year’s disaster and decided to reveal the Rogue Friday toys in advance of them landing on shelves. Some of the Hasbro figures are already arriving in stock rooms around the country, so it was only a matter of time before people started to share pictures of them.
This year fans don’t have to worry about being stung for doing so, as Lucasfilm released a cool stop-motion video officially showing off the new Rogue One toys: