Force Friday, which this year is known as Triple Force Friday for the simultaneous release of products for 3 major Star Wars properties (The Mandalorian, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Rise of Skywalker), is a special time. In a lot of ways, it is like your birthday, for a Star Wars fan. For one brief moment, all the toys are out and in front of you. Toy hunting made easy, if you will. This year, we thought we would look back at a few Force Friday moments that we have collected here at AFJ and few from the personal archives (aka Instagram). Note, this only includes the Skywalker Saga releases.
1999 - The Phantom Menace
In 1999, April 1st to be exact, I journeyed to the closest Toys R Us, 45 minutes away, with several of my friends to pick up new Star Wars toys! These weren’t new original Trilogy toys but new characters and ships from the upcoming Prequel. My buddy Will and I agreed to be featured in an online (which was a new thing in 1999) newspaper article. Which is where the photos below came from.
2002 - Attack of the Clones
Now there was a Force Friday for Attack of the Clones. Though not as heavily publicized it was a bit of a madhouse for 2002 at the Walmart I went to. It was also the first time I saw a Star Wars fan with a digital print out of every toy that was released that night. This was also the first time I saw and learned of the Tie Bomber.
2005 - Revenge of the Sith
I remember it well, I was not as enthused this time around. I don’t even remember if there was a big brouhaha. What I do remember is venturing to the brand new Target in my town and picking up the one figure I had to have. It was the Target Exclusive Darth Vader.
Ten years and lot of Clone Wars and Black Series action figures later...
2015 - The Force Awakens
The frenzy was back. The hype was back. The insanity was back. Star Wars was back! I ventured out and was greeted by a massive line at my local Toys R Us. What was crazy was that in 15 minutes, all the Reys, Kylos, Phasmas, and First Order Troopers were gone. It was if Toys R Us and Hasbro were holding back. This was also the first time that I faced the dilemma of picking up a Constable Zuvio.
Thankfully, the Disney Outlet and Kohl’s, the next day, had their exclusives and plenty of stock.
2017 - The Last Jedi
This one holds a special place in my heart. Why? It was the last time that I would attend a Toys R Us Force Friday. I was able to watch hordes of fans pick up everything they wanted in one fell swoop. This time around Hasbro and TRU overstocked. I was supplied with a FREE Funko Last Jedi t-shirt, in my size too, and was able to get the Black Series and Pop! figures that I wanted.
2019 - Rise of Skywalker
Already this year's Force Friday has left a mark on me. I was able to attend the press event at Lucasfilm, in San Francisco, received several new Star Wars products, and was able to review a new Mandalorian figure. Of course, I will venture out late Thursday night (Walmart) and again Friday morning (Disney Outlet). This does feel like the end of an era though. Perhaps, it is just the start of something new.
See all the new products here on AFJ.