Force Friday is tonight/tomorrow, and while it is very exciting to get new Star Wars products, those of us who collect merchandise from our beloved galaxy far, far away face a dilemma every year now: just how much do we need?
This year, like the first Force Friday and Rogue Friday, Lucasfilm has decided to keep collectors and consumers in the dark about what exactly there will be offered on shelves when we walk into stores over the next 24 hours and the weekend. Before this morning, except for the work of collectors sites like Yakface and their excellent digging around, we had no clue what we would need to budget for, which companies would be offering things, where to buy it (although that list came out on Monday), and which exclusives will be where. They offer us no plan, just basically saying "Hey! Star Wars stuff! Go buy it!" and that is unacceptable.
In this age of spoilers and such, it is commendable that they want to preserve the movie-going experience for the audience as much as possible. But there is a difference between something being spoiled on a toy (which happens to every big budget film these days) and releasing products for characters and plot details we already know about. The 1970s and '80s when the toy aisle would be most peoples first glimpse of new characters, and the wonder that came with that discovery is over. And as consumers, we deserve more than 12 hours notice for what we need to budget for, what we need to make space in our homes for, what our children will be interested in, and which stores we need to visit to get the dang things.
Just this afternoon, Funko revealed their product line for The Last Jedi. Many, many people will be trying to not only complete the waves of figures tonight and this weekend, but probably have (hopefully) been saving for awhile. You know why? There are 29 different Funko Pops at various stores that all hit shelves tonight. Let's say they all cost $10, the average price for a Pop. That is $290 right there. And that's even if you can even find them all. There are many store exclusives that you just might not be able to get, as well, as they will be in high demand — and sadly, there is no way that I know of to be in two places at once. that is not even getting into the problem with scalpers buying up stock, stores that do not receive high quantities, and things that are out of everyone's control.
And that is just Funko. Odds are, if you collect Star Wars, you collect Hasbro figures, books, etc. LEGO will also be well represented tonight, and one of the sets costs $800! That is a lot to ask for people to walk into a store and drop that kind of cash when they were not expecting it. And yes, not everyone will buy everything. I know that. But it sure would be nice to know something more than a day beforehand. Maybe if I did, I could budget more and give you even more of my money, Lucasfilm!
Hopefully, you all that are going out tonight/tomorrow/this weekend for Force Friday will be able to find what you are looking for and can afford it. Maybe In May when we do this all over again for the Han Solo film, it will be fixed. But I doubt it.