September 2, 2015 – Force Friday is nearly here after months of hype. The long-awaited release of new merchandise (action figures! vehicles! games! collectibles!) to herald Star Wars: The Force Awakens has left many fans and websites panting or frothing at the mouth – either with excitement over things to come, or a sense of dread that Hasbro and other vendors are about to sorely disappoint us yet again.
Over the last few weeks, numerous leaked photos of TFA merchandise (which is supposed to be embargoed until 12:01 AM, September 4th) have either added to your excitement or your sense of foreboding.
We’ve been down this road before. Midnight sales, launching new Star Wars products, have occurred in 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008. (Has it really been 16 years since The Phantom Menace was released? Yikes!).
Which now brings us to 2015 and the earliest pre-release of merchandise for any Star Wars film. Between a September 4th product launch and a December 18th movie premiere, that’s a full three and a half months to indulge in Star Wars collecting mayhem.
The question is, as a dithering Hamlet might have asked four centuries ago: “To go or not to go?” And the answer is: It all depends. So here is our breakdown of the Pros and Cons if you are still waffling about whether to stand in line for hours and whether to fight the crowds:
PRO: “Yes, Go!”
● If you enjoy the sense of community, the buzz and excitement, and chatting with your fellow line-mates, then by all means, go.
● If you are seeking a limited exclusive collectible and your life will forever suck because you didn’t nab it, then you must go.
● If you get an adrenalin boost from being “the first” to obtain something and want to show it off on social media, get in line now.
● If you are going to be tossing and turning in bed all night, worrying about what you are missing, then you should probably go.
● If you are a scalper – well, you suck and nothing will stop you. A plague of beetles and locusts will haunt you in the end days. Just go.
CON: “Oh, Hell No! Stay Home!”
● If you’ve been scoping out various stores the last few days and realize how shockingly few of them are participating in Force Friday, you may as well stay home.
● If the thought of hordes of people rushing the doors and grabbing anything and everything without a decent chance to calmly look at the merchandise, horrifies you, then preserve your sanity and stay home.
● If you are more interested in collecting vehicles, don’t worry. They never sell out during an initial launch.
● If you have to get up early the next day for school or work, don’t worry. Skip the lines and get a good night’s sleep. Your time is more precious. Whatever you missed can be found online (Ebay, Craigslist, vendors), or will be restocked in stores, in the weeks to come.
● If you’ve learned your lesson from previous Midnight Madness launches (i.e., that most all Wave 1 figures and vehicles will be easily available for weeks to come), then you already know the answer: Stay home, pour yourself another drink and see what’s on Netflix tonight.
“I Still Don’t Know What to Do”
If you are still a tortured Hamlet and can’t make up your mind, we recommend staying home and away from the maddening crowds. Why? Because this is one Friday we wouldn’t want to Force on anyone.