If you’ve been paying attention to your Twitter feed or even just watching morning shows like Good Morning America, you’re probably already aware that today was Force Friday! A massive event, Force Friday saw the introduction of the first wave of The Force Awakens toys hitting shelves in stores all around the world. Starting today you could go out and grab all kinds of brand new Star Wars items from t-shirts to Hot Wheels packs to LEGO sets and more.
Tons of stores across the country opened this morning just after midnight to herald in the new merchandise. Select stores – including some Target stores and Toys R Us stores – held special events to celebrate Star Wars and the release of the new toys. Target stores gave away giant plush wookiees. Toys R Us gave away commemorative bricks.
A large number of stores sold out of action figures and LEGO sets in a very short period of time.
Not everyone was able to get everything they wanted today but here’s the good news. Most of the toys that were released at midnight should be back on store shelves fairly quickly! There weren’t any Force Friday exclusives so eventually you should have plenty of chances to get your hands on all the cool new Star Wars stuff. (You just don’t necessarily get to be one of the first people to pick them up.)
With all the new toys available, it’s hard to figure out where to start. Several of our staff members went out on Force Friday to scope things out.
What were our must-buys on Force Friday?
People are saying that this little guy could be the first big contender for ‘Toy of the Year’ going into the Christmas 2015 holiday season. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised. I got my hands on one of these by chance today and after half an hour of play I was already in love. It’s an amazing little droid though, admittedly, the functionality is limited at the moment. BB-8 can patrol on his own, be controlled via blutooth, display and record ‘holographic’ messages, and a few other little things. But Sphero says as we get closer to the release of The Force Awakens (and as spoilers are allowed to come to the forefront) he’ll get some additional app support. Good to know! I can’t wait to see what more this guy can do.
At $150 he’s admittedly pretty pricey. But there are some alternatives! The Target remote controlled BB-8 seems pretty cool and is likely a better choice for little kids at $80. The Disney Store also has an autonomous BB-8 for $45 that rolls around and interacts with kids but cannot be controlled. (And, honestly, I think I’d pick that one if I hadn’t already gotten the Sphero BB-8.)
Poe Dameron’s LEGO X-Wing Fighter
Two members of our editorial team – yours truly included – went out at midnight to pick up this LEGO gem. We know very little about anyone in the film so far but it seems easy to determine that the Resistance are the good guys and Oscar Isaac is hot. So Poe Dameron is probably going to be awesome. And who doesn’t love the X-Wing? The story behind Poe’s black and orange fighter hasn’t been explained just yet but regardless – it looks awesome. Plus the LEGO set comes with a little LEGO BB-8 minifig. Sold.
Other sets worth picking up include the Millennium Falcon with it’s seven minifigs including Han Solo and Chewie, First Order Elite TIE Fighter, First Order Troop Transport with Captain Phasma, and Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle.
The Force Awakens Funko POP! Series
It took all my restraint and personal resolve not to buy the entire The Force Awakens series when I first walked in to Toys R Us at midnight. They all look awesome. I mean, I’m pretty much a sucker for Funko POP! figures in general, but mix in Star Wars – the best franchise ever – and you could easily empty my bank account. I only got Poe Dameron (I just have a thing for X-Wing pilots, guys) and that was a hard decision to make. Because they really are all great. BB-8 in particular is adorable. If you don’t want to break the bank on one of the aforementioned electronic ones, this guy is a great option.
— Funko (@OriginalFunko) September 4, 2015
And, if you do want more than one (like I did), you’re in luck. Right now at Hot Topic you can buy two Star Wars items and get a third free or buy one Funko and get the other 50% off. Either way, great way to stock up on adorable little collectibles.
Journey to the Force Awakens Books
I know, I know. Books are not toys. But I love books and I grew up on the extended universe so the prospect of new books – and a new canon – has probably been the single most exciting things to come out of all this The Force Awakens hype. There are five books that came out on Force Friday.
Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig is the first post-Return of the Jedi novel set in the current canon and is a traditional, adult novel. It features fan favorite Wedge Antilles and a whole cast of new characters. Lost Stars by Claudia Gray is a young adult novel spanning across the original trilogy time period. The last three books – The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry, Moving Target by Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry, and Smuggler’s Run by Greg Rucka – are middle grade novels focused on Luke, Leia, and Han (and Chewie) respectively.
We still have months until The Force Awakens hits theatres so give these a look. They’ll help you pass the time and they all reportedly have hints at what’s to come in the new film.
New Order TIE Fighter iHome
I haven’t seen this thing in person yet but if I ever do I’ll probably buy it on the spot. Designed to take the shape of a New Order Special Forces TIE Fighter, this iHome speaker works a lot like any other speaker they make. This one just comes with pre-loaded sound effects and themes.
It also looks like a TIE fighter. So it’s awesome.
Air Hogs Millennium Falcon Quadcopter
This is easily one of the coolest toys that’s come out in conjunction with The Force Awakens. You get to fly your own version of the Millennium Falcon! Tons of us spent our childhoods running around with various Falcon toys pretending to fly them into battle. But we don’t have to pretend any more. Okay, so, we still have to pretend the whole battle part. Air Hogs, though, is putting people ‘into the cockpit’ to an extent by giving them what is effectively your standard quadcopter encased in a durable foam Falcon shaped exterior.
They also made an X-Wing which is far more exciting to me! (But, as I explained earlier, I just have a thing for X-Wings and their pilots so.)
Black Series Action Figures
If you’re looking for more traditional figures, I definitely recommend these ones. The entry-level figures are pretty bare bones at the moment. They aren’t very detailed but they’ll be great for the kids. For the adults, though, the Black Series is the way to go. Finn, Rey (with BB-8!), Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, and a First Order Stormtrooper are the only characters available right now from The Force Awakens but more will follow soon. Grab the ones you like from this first wave and then join me in waiting for the Captain Phasma and Poe Dameron ones to release a little closer to the film’s premiere.
Obviously, these are only a handful of the toys available.
But if you’re wondering what things are worth running out to buy now, these are probably the things we’d recommend prioritizing. My personal haul included a lot of these items. I picked up all of the Journey to the Force Awakens books, the Sphero BB-8, Poe’s LEGO X-Wing, and a Funko POP! Poe Dameron (because I have a problem). If you’re a fan, though, go out and see what’s available! You’ll probably come across something that we left out.
Or maybe you’ve already hit the stores. If so, what did you pick up? Let us know in the comments. If there is a toy or any other Star Wars item that we left off our list feel free to recommend it below as well!