Force Friday II – A Star Wars Story (Florida Edition)

Force Friday II – A Star Wars Story (Florida Edition)

Force Friday, one of two Star Wars holidays (the other being May the 4th be with you), is where new Star Wars merchandise is released all around the world. This year Force Friday was to kick off the the count down to Star Wars: The Last Jedi coming to theaters December 15th, 2017. Many retailers opened their doors at the stroke of midnight and offered store exclusives as incentive for you to choose their store to $pend your Force Friday with.

I live in Altamonte Springs, Florida which is a suburb of Orlando, so I had plenty of retailers to choose from for the event. Previously I made the mistake of going to Toys’r’us for The Force Awakens, where even though I waited in line for over an hour and half, I didn’t arrive early enough to get anything good. The local Toys’r’us that year had only received two cases of Hasbro’s Black series, which is the main line that I was hunting for, needless to say two case couldn’t satisfy a line of fans that wrapped around the entire building. That year I was only able to score Chewbacca and of course the free poster they were giving out there. Don’t get me wrong it was exciting to see that many fans showing their love for Star Wars but I was sorely bummed out that I didn’t get all that I wanted.  While driving home, I was kicking myself for not going to Wal-Mart and felt that I probably missed out on everything, but I still went. As luck would have it, I was redeemed and able to get the rest of Black series.  So this year I learned from my past mistakes and chose Wal-Mart as my Force Friday destination.

 

Thursday 11:00 PM:

I arrived at my local Wal-Mart and much to my surprise, there was only one person that arrived before me.  Seeing that we had an hour to kill, we started talking about what we were hunting for and talking about our collections. Checking our phones for updates, we saw that Toys’r’us had received both wave 1 and 2. This made us doubt whether or not we made the right choice. He had stated that he drove by Toys’r’us on the way here and the line outside was already insanely long, but if that wasn’t enough to reassure me that I made the right choice, Florida weather happened. You could hear the down pour outside and I no longer envied people waiting outside of Toys’r’us battling the elements.  Finally a third person and his wife showed up and waited with us and joined the conversation.

 

Force Friday Begins 12:00 AM:

We were in luck. at this point no one else had showed up and Wal-Mart had just started to wheel out the product. An employee had stated that there was three pallets of product that they had. The first pallet that they brought out had all the new Pop! figures and build-a-R2 unit. None of us were Pop! fans but it gave us something to look at while waiting for the rest to come. The second pallet had the Centerpiece assortment and wave 1 of the Black series. We quickly divided the figures among us leaving only Vaders and Storm Troopers as more people arrived. I was able to get Hera, Rey (Jedi Training), Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master), and Grand Admiral Thrawn.  The Wal-Mart employee came out and said they could not find anymore product despite their system saying that it was on hand, the 3rd pallet with the Black series vehicles was missing and we should try back in the morning when the department manager comes in. We asked them to keep looking but all they were able to find was the basic 3.75″ figures. As we waited other fans had come from Toys’r’us saying that they had only received two cases of wave 1 and one case of wave 2.  People that had gone to the Wal-Mart Super Center first also came, letting us know that the Super Center had plenty of the Black series vehicles.

12:45 AM:

I made it to the Super Center Walmart and there was plenty of the Black series vehicles and I was able to buy Rey with her Speeder and Luke with the Land Speeder. The Black series figures were highly picked over leaving mostly Vader and the Storm Trooper again.  There was no sign of the Wal-Mart exclusive 3.75″,  so I figured they weren’t a September 1st release and headed home.

 

7:15 AM:

I got up and checked retailer websites in order to see if I could order any of the exclusives that were announced. I was able to pre-order the Amazon exclusive Black series Praetorian Guard and I passed on the exclusive First Order Storm Trooper.

8:00 AM:

I had arrived at my local Target (that did not have a midnight opening) 15 minutes prior to opening and there was a pretty decent sized line outside.  When they opened the doors  they had employees handing out free Star Wars pins. Half the line went toward the Pop! figures and they other half continued to the toy isle. It appeared that they only had about six exclusive Black series First Order Executioners. I was able to snag two, one for me and one for my newly made friend I had met the night before. Target had a bigger display toward the back of the store which had only wave 1 of the Black series.

11:30 PM:

I had pretty much thought the day was done and that I had fairly been satisfied with loot for the day but I had to go out for milk and a few other groceries. I went back to the Walmart Super Center where there was an employee stocking the shelf with the Wal-Mart exclusive 3.75″ Black series and I was able get Luke Skywalker, Rose, Praetorian Guard and First Order Executioner… Unfortunately it took over an hour to check out of the store because the figures weren’t in the system and weren’t ringing up.  The manager was called over and tried to fix it and was saying things like if this doesn’t work, it’s not going to happen tonight. Thankfully he did figure it out and I was able to complete my purchase.

 

Personally I love these events, mind you the crowds can be overwhelming at time, especially when it come time to push and shove to get your toys but if you have the chance to go, do it. If you went to a Force Friday event. please leave a comment and share your experience. Let us know if it was good, bad, or somewhere down the middle. And if you missed our reviews on the SDCC versions of Luke Skywalker with Land Speeder click here and for Grand Admiral Thrawn click here.

 

Purchase:

  • First Order Stormtrooper Executioner – Target – $19.99
  • First Order Stormtrooper Box SetAmazon – $34.99
  • Elite Praetorian Guard – Amazon Exclusive, $20
  • 3.75 Last Jedi Box Set (Elite Praetorian Guard, Resistance Tech Rose, Luke Skywalker, Stormtrooper Executioner) – Walmart – $12.99

You will be able to purchase the new Star Wars figures on Entertainment Earth and BigBadToyStore.

 

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