Star Wars Force Friday

After over 18 hours of “merchandise unboxing” on YouTube, about 3,000 retailers opened their doors at midnight earlier today to sell action figures, toys and models – all themed upon the upcoming film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Pegged by Disney Consumer Products as a “global celebration,” the “Star Wars Force Friday” event also includes launches of products beyond toys. Pendleton Woolen Mills has a Star Wars-themed blanket collection, and Kay Jewelers rolled out a charm collection.

The themed products include J. Crew apparel for men, women and kids “featuring the fan-favorite ‘Chewie, we’re home’ scene of Chewbacca and Han Solo from the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ teaser trailer,” Disney said. “A Star Wars collection of Rock & Republic misses apparel and Mighty Fine juniors apparel offers female fans graphic tees, leggings, sweatshirts, hoodies and dresses available at Kohl’s.”

Star Wars-themed apparel, home décor and lifestyle accessories as well as books and collectibles will be offered on and at J.C. Penney & Co. Inc., Target Corp., Toys ‘R’ Us and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The Disney Store and will also feature various products.

“Pendleton was approached by Disney and Lucasfilm to create a series of blankets that would celebrate their new film, ‘The Force Awakens,’” said Bob Christnacht, vice president global sales at the mill. “We wanted to stay true to the Pendleton aesthetic by incorporating our iconic design elements fused with classic Star Wars imagery. The goal was to show respect, and honor the Star Wars characters that we have all come to know, enjoy and consider a part of our culture.”

Performance marketing company HookLogic said compared to last Friday, August 28, leading mass market retail Web sites “saw major lifts in searches for Star Wars items.” For example, the firm said site searches for “star wars the force awakens” was 52 times higher today than a week ago while search terms “han solo” and “chewbacca” were five times higher.

HookLogic said the top non-branded ecommerce search terms relating to Star Wars included “star wars the force awakens” at number one and “star wars toys” coming in second followed by “chewbacca.”

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