Star Wars’ relationship with Toys has long been an intrinsic part of the franchise’s history. But there’s something about a Calendar filled with adverts for toys old and new, while also at the same time constantly reminding you when you can go out and buy new toys, that is baffling to comprehend.
And yet, such a thing exists at least in a promotional capacity, rather than something being given out to Joe Public. IGN were recently sent said Calendar, with each day commemorating either a holiday or a moment in Star Wars’ history. Each entry is also accompanied by a picture of an appropriate toy, with everything from the old school Kenner classics to the latest Hasbro Black Series figures to choose from.
That in and of itself — once you get past the fact that it’s essentially a Calendar-shaped catalogue showing you all the wonderful toys you could be spending money on — is a neat little idea, a heady blend of nostalgia and desire laser-focused at the diehard fan’s wallet. But the turn into the bizarre begins when you realise that every day in the calender count’s down the remaining days to September 4th, 2015 (a mere 113 days as of writing!): a.k.a “#ForceFriday”, the day the first official merchandise and toys for The Force Awakens will be available to purchase. Because even the day you can by a Kylo Ren action figure for the first time needs its own social media hashtag, these days.
It’s literally a calendar filled with adverts for toys, complete with a daily reminder of when you can go out and buy even more toys.
For any other franchise, this would be ludicrous, perhaps even crossing the border into gross. Consumerism at its battiest, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria, yadda yadda yadda. But somehow, Star Wars gets away with it for me, and I’m not sure how. I guess in the grand scheme of things it’s no stranger than a toy from the movie we barely know anything about getting its own hotly anticipated teaser site, months and months before it’s available to purchase. A franchise where a trailer release is less of a marketing move and more of a unifying pop cultural event. It’s just the latest in a long line of Star Wars weirdness that you just rationalise as “well, it’s Star Wars”, no matter how bizarre it is when you take a step back.
I guess it’s just a wonder all this didn’t happen sooner.
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