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Count Down to Star Wars‘ Force Friday With a … Global Unboxing Event?

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So Disney’s got this big event … thing that they’re putting on for Force Friday. You know, the Friday when stores worldwide are going to open at midnight to start selling The Force Awakens merchandise? Yeah, that Friday. Apparently they’re doing it New Year’s Eve-style with rolling events across the globe beginning in Australia and wrapping up at Lucasfilm in San Francisco. But here’s the best part: according to the press release, this event is a worldwide unboxing event.

OK, I’m going to say this right now: I don’t get unboxing. It’s a big deal for a lot of people. Fine. But does this act of opening and unpacking really need an 18-hour long livestreamed event? Maybe it does. I must just be old, I guess. It is true, though: Star Wars as a franchise owes a lot of its success to its merchandising and toy ventures. They’re what helped make the first film such a smashing success, so it makes maybe a little sense that Disney would be putting on such a big to-do about these toys.

… but unboxing? Really? OK. Maybe the list of celebrity hosts could shed some light on this whole thing, right?

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The only name that jumps out at me there is Dante Basco. Former leader of the Lost Boys? Prince of the Fire Nation! Yeah! But I’m missing out, I guess, because I’m with io9 here; I don’t recognize a lot of those other names. While yes, it is super exciting that there’s a whole mess of Star Wars toys coming out, I’m still not sold on this event. But that’s just me. You can check out the full press release below.

What say you, crew? Will you be tuning in for this 18 hour long unboxing fest? Or will you be in line at your local toy shop, staving off pneumonia with hot cocoa and coffee? Let us know what your plans are for Force Friday. And for those of you about to freeze: we salute you.

Glendale, Calif. (Aug. 25, 2015) – Star Wars: The Force Awakens products are set to be unveiled in the world’s first-ever global live toy unboxing event. Unfolding over 18 hours in 15 cities and 12 countries, the event will see highlights from the range of epic merchandise revealed in a rolling New Year’s Eve style celebration featuring top digital stars from the Maker Studios network.  

Star Wars toys have always played an important role in how our fans interact with the Saga,” says Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “They’ve inspired multiple generations to relive the experience of the movies and to create new adventures all their own. These spectacular Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will continue that tradition.” 

 Kicking off in Sydney, Australia on the morning of September 3, and continuing through Asia,  Europe, Canada, and North & South America, selections from the new toy line will debut to global fanfare leading up to retailers around the globe opening their doors at midnight.

“Over the course of 18 hours, some of Maker Studios’ biggest stars will each be unboxing a new toy from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens product line in a different city around the world and sharing the experience live on YouTube.” said Leslie Ferraro, President, Disney Consumer Products. “We’ve seen tremendous excitement for these new products and can’t wait to see the global reaction from the Star Wars fan community.”  

The Star Wars YouTube channel will host the live stream, which kicks off with the first unboxing in Sydney, Australia at 7:45 a.m. local time on Thursday, Sept. 3 (5:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 2), with the grand finale at Lucasfilm in San Francisco at 8 a.m. PDT  (11 a.m. EDT) on Thursday, Sept. 3. Each of the 15 locations will reveal a new product inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

These “unboxing” videos will feature online personalities sharing the excitement of opening the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys. Unboxing videos overall have captivated millions of Internet viewers and continue to grow in popularity. Eighteen of the top 100 most viewed YouTube Channels worldwide are dedicated to toys and toy unboxings. These 18 channels accounted for 8.1 billion views in Q1 2015.[1]

“We’re excited to be part of this first-of-its-kind initiative,” said Chris M. Williams, Chief Audience Officer, Maker Studios. “The unboxing world continues to expand rapidly as audiences around the world connect with digital creators who share their passions. This shared fandom helps attract billions of monthly views and consistently puts the genre at the top of the YouTube charts.”

The global unboxing event will incorporate traditional toy unboxers such as the popular EvanTubeHD, channels featuring families such as Bratayley, lifehack specialists such as ExpCaseros, gamers such as AlexBy11 and Star Wars fans from around the world, including Chris Pirillo, bringing with them a broad audience and appeal.

The full schedule also is available at www.StarWars.com.

Several countries will join the live stream from YouTube Spaces (Berlin, Tokyo, London), with Star Wars commentators Anthony Carboni and Andi Gutierrez hosting the event from the YouTube Space, Los Angeles.

Fans can tune in to watch live unboxings at home or on mobile devices, and also enjoy the latest trailers on the upcoming movie, commentary from special guests, fun product videos and demos, and footage from recent Star Wars events. 

The global celebration culminates at midnight local time, when many retailers around the world will open their doors to fans to purchase Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys, collectibles, books, apparel and more. Visit starwars.com for more details on participating locations. Additionally, select Disney Store locations around the world will take part.  More details are available at www.DisneyStore.com/ForceFriday.

Fans are encouraged to document their experiences around the event on social media using the hashtag #ForceFriday. 

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.

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