The Last Jedi merchandise strikes back…

Ask any fan about their favourite day in the Star Wars calendar, and they will reply “Force Friday” in a mixture of both joy an elation…

It is a sacred day.

The day when the brand-new range of Star Wars merchandise arrives on the store shelves for the very first time. Fantastic retailers like Toys R Us, Disney Store and John Lewis work around the clock, often against the insurmountable odds to get their shelves stocked for a special midnight opening, known throughout the Star Wars community as Midnight Madness!

2015 saw the release of The Force Awakens, 2016 had Rogue One…and this year we have been treated to The Last Jedi.

With the long-awaited return of Luke Skywalker almost upon us, the fans of the franchise flocked to toy stores around the world, in search of our treasured bounty which was waiting on the shelves for us in abundance. Whether it was Hasbro’s new range of 3.75” action figures, the six-inch Black Series masterpieces, or the cute and lovable Porg, when the doors opened…they were ready and waiting for us.

It was a fully stocked treasure trove of incredible merchandise.

Here at Future of the Force, we have a tradition where our writers are asked to select just one item…one diamond from our Force Friday haul that has earned the title as our top pick. This is a thankless task. With so many exciting items levitating into our baskets by some unseen Force, it is difficult to narrow it down to just ONE!

Like many other fans, my main targets were The Black Series Grand Admiral Thrawn, the entire wave of 3.75” action figures, the Disney Store exclusive Elite Series Luke Skywalker and the Funko Pop Vinyl Chewbacca and Porg.

Was I successful?

I hereby share my haul with you:

I was incredibly fortunate to secure every item on my list. It was a triumph. But as is always the case, upon entering the doors of the Disney Store the very next morning…I was confronted by an item that I had not considered. As the team members of Future of the Force gathered at the doorway, the staff emerged from the stock room clutching a case of plush Porg teddy bears.

The lovable Porg have arrived!

In an instant, the three of us…all seasoned grown men reverted to our younger selves and in a moment of elation declared “I want one”!! Peering through the bars of the security door, we pleaded with the assistant to hold one of the adorable creatures aloft so we could get a better look…and as she raised it into the air, we released a unified “aww!”

All three of us left the store owning one!

The Porg was a prized possession, one that we discussed in detail as we sipped our skinny cappuccino in the coffee shop adjacent to the store. And as our senses returned to adulthood, we discussed the potential for them tasting like chicken!

The Porg awakens

But, even the cute and adorable Porg could not claim the title as my top pick from Force Friday. That accolade was left for an item I had been seeking for an entire year…an item from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that I had always missed out on. And, as I entered the doors of yet another Toy R Us store in central London, low and behold on the bottom shelf, discounted to the super low price of just £49.98 was the Imperial AT-ACT Walker!

The incredible Imperial AT-ACT from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The incredible vehicle, a remnant from the sale of previous weeks was waiting for me. The very last one…and it was calling to me!

With the Force as my ally, (and a very understanding wife) the AT-ACT floated into my basket and made the arduous journey home…ready to take the title of my Force Friday favourite. Once added to my haul, the final collection looked like this:

Even I, was taken aback when photographing such a bounty. It was a truly magical day and has only cemented my enthusiasm for Star Wars: The Last Jedi coming to cinemas in December.

The Force was strong with me, but my wallet will never recover!

May The Force Be With You

Was the Force strong with you? Drop me a line and share your story at @futureotforce or @philthecool


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