I didn’t get to do the Force Friday Star Wars night thing where people were waiting places at 12:01AM to get really cool stuff, or find out, as one retailer did, that even being 10th in line meant nothing to show for it. But I did get to see the hype building all day while I had to do my legit job damnit of being Editor at Bleeding Cool. So by the time the sun sank toward the horizon, I couldn’t help deciding casually to wander around “a couple of places” and see what was left over.
I’m going to be direct in my honesty–the whole experience was really a lot of fun. So many stores participated in Stars Wars releases today that it was as if the retail landscape became a treasure hunt. I know that can get grueling and be laden with disappointment (I didn’t get the one thing I really wanted either), but I was amazed–nay, shocked–by the breadth of Star Wars stuff I came across and the ways in which shops were getting in on the celebration. I have several locations and about 50 pictures to share, including my haul at the end of the night.
Firstly, and probably unpredictably, I went to JC Penny. I had seen an ad online showing lots of Star Wars clothes, and they were at the entrance to my local mall, so I went there. Glad I did. Lots of great clothes, and when I checked out, they were all 40% off as well. I’ll show the shirts I picked out further below.
Then I went more predictably to Hot Topic, because I’m a major POP vinyl collector, and I’m really glad I did because they had a solid assortment of Star Wars POPs and merchandise, the most I’d see the rest of the night in that line.
Walking through the mall, I saw that Build a Bear had gotten heavily involved in Star Wars, and the clerk kept inviting me in to take a closer look at their range, which included an adorable Ewok.
I was on my way to check out a small Toys ‘R’ Us outpost in the mall, which had plenty of Lego, but nothing extremely impressive. Still, seeing all the Star Wars stuff piling up and revealed for the new film was generally exciting. Plenty of masks and costumes, too.
Then I went ahead to the local Target, even though I knew they would’ve been slammed, open at midnight, and there probably wouldn’t be much of Star Wars remaining. There was plenty of spirit to greet me, to start with!
I learned from looking at and obsessing over all the Star Wars reveals at Target that I am totally in love with BB-8, like everyone else. I really would’ve loved to have gotten the stuffed BB or–by some miracle–the remote controlled one, but it was not to be.
I found another stash of Star Wars stuff in the film and DVD section of the store, actually:
Sooo many costumes. Boy is it going to be a Star Wars Halloween this year. There were also mugs, notebooks, and even scooters! I especially approve of the gigantic art sets, though. Can we get some kids drawing Star Wars stuff, and then we’ll have astonishingly good sci-fi comic artists in a few years?
And then there were the food products. I had heard that was happening but seeing it was surreal–soup, cereal, the works.
There was still more! Micro Machines…bed sheets…cute baby costumes…
So, jokingly, I thought maybe I’d go to the bigger Toys ‘R’ Us when I found out that it was still open even though it was 9 at night by then since I’d taken a break for dinner. I was so glad I did. That turned out to be the place to be for a whole other host of things I hadn’t yet seen. So much Star Wars everywhere! My mind was kind of exploding by that point.
Outside, Toys ‘R’ Us had a banner and posters:
Not only were there massive amounts of Lego sets, but there were also plenty of semi-electronic figures and speaking toys in Toys ‘R’ Us. It was difficult to walk out of there without breaking the bank.
Though it was an extreme long shot, I also tried Bed, Bath, and Beyond before they closed in case they had any of the BB-8 remote controlled androids left. They didn’t, but they had a pretty prominent display, and lots of Star Wars canisters.
I thought I was done for the day, and couldn’t make it any further, and I had a pretty satisfying haul of more than enough Star Wars memorabilia. But you know, when there’s one more place on the list, it’s hard to resist. I went to Wal-Mart on the way home, even though reporter and Star Wars expert Jeremy Konrad warned me not to bother.
They had almost nothing, it’s true, and had stacked up huge boxes of other stuff around their displays. But they did have some of the t-shirts I had seen in other places much cheaper.
I was definitely ready to go home after that, having been on a five hour tour (with a dinner break) to so many locations. It was definitely an interesting experience and one that turned my local area into something of an adventure–because I’m a geek I say, not a bad way to spend a Friday night.
Wait, oh, so what did I get?
From JC Penny in terms of clothing:
Isn’t that enough for one night? My bank account says so. But I do feel like I’ve been in some kind of Star Wars pop culture museum all night, and that was pretty priceless. Hope you had a good Star Wars experience, too.
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