Star Wars Is Everywhere - Holden Showroom

The award for most subtle - and perhaps inexplicable - Star Wars product placement in the lead-up to the release of The Force Awakens has to go to this Holden showroom a few blocks from my apartment.

Have you seen any bizarre product placement in the lead up to The Force Awakens? If you have, be sure to share it with us via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to

Micro Machines Clone Fighter Strike 3-Pack

Ever since Force Friday, details have been sketchy about when and where certain products are expected to hit. As a result, new items seem to be popping up with little warning. A perfect example of this happened last week when I spotted the second wave of the new Micro Machines 3-packs at the Porirua K-Mart. This wave is mostly re-issues of vehicles from the 90s - but I did nab the "Clone Fighter Strike" pack for $12.99.

The ARC-170 starfighter and Jedi Interceptor are re-packs from the "Droid Army Ambush" deluxe pack. Both are great minis in their own right (and useful double-ups for squadron-building purposes), but what really sold me on this set was the debut of the Droid Tri-Fighter in this scale. It's a phenomenal sculpt with some fantastic detailing - right down to the two tiny Buzz Droid missiles mounted on the undercarriage. The paint job is even more impressive. Each arm features tiny Separatist markings, and the red on the droid's eyes is an especially nice touch.

I've only got one (very minor) issue with this set. The cardback lists one of the vehicles as "Anakin Skywalker's Jedi Interceptor", correctly depicted on the packaging with a yellow and grey deco. But the included Interceptor is instead painted in Obi-Wan's red and grey livery - the very same design that appeared on the Interceptor in the "Droid Army Ambush" set mentioned above. Given that it's a repack, it would've been great to see a quick repaint to add some variety to this release. As it stands, it looks as though we'll have to wait a little longer to have the proper pair of Interceptors from the opening scene of Revenge of the Sith.

TV Spots Feature New Footage from The Force Awakens

Over the weekend we saw a bunch of new promo videos for The Force Awakens being broadcast on US television networks. So far, three of these have turned up via official channels online - a 60-second TV spot, a 30-second TV spot, and a short 'behind-the-scenes' featurette from Disney XD. You can watch all three below.

These promos really exemplify the clever 'mystery box' marketing of this film. While all three videos contain brand new footage from the The Force Awakens, they fail to give anything new away. The clips are simply expansions of scenes that have already been revealed in the official trailers. In doing this, the producers are managing to build hype while still saving all of the biggest surprises for opening night - and I, for one, couldn't be happier!

Entertainment Weekly Features More Images and Details from The Force Awakens

Back in August Entertainment Weekly gave us a whole lot of exclusive material from the set of The Force Awakens. Next week, it looks like they'll be doing it all over again. The November 20th/27th double-issue will dedicate a whopping 32 pages to this year's most anticipated film.

Entertainment Weekly has already begun teasing the material online - starting with a gallery of all-new images. New features and interviews with the cast and crew are being added daily, and collated on the dedicated Star Wars section of the EW website. The magazine itself will most likely take a couple of weeks to hit stores here in New Zealand, but it'll be a must-buy for me once it's arrived!

The Force Awakens International Trailer and TV Spot

Over the weekend we saw the release of both the international trailer and a 30-second TV spot for The Force Awakens. Neither of these comes close to the beauty of the recent theatrical trailer - but each video does feature a handful of brand new shots from the film.

That theatrical trailer also features a brand new piece of music. Could this be our first taste of John Williams's new score?

The Force Awakens 3 3/4" Build-a-Weapon Wave 2 Figures

It’s taken a while, but Wave 2 of the Force Awakens 3 3/4" line of figures has finally started turning up in Farmers stores throughout New Zealand. This wave of twelve figures includes nine characters from The Force Awakens—seven of which are brand new to this line. It’s clear that we’re going to be seeing a barrage of figures from this film, so I’m doing my best to stay true to my collecting focus of main characters and military figures. With that in mind, I recently picked up First Order General Hux, the First Order Snowtrooper, PZ-4CO, and X-Wing Pilot Asty.

I know what you’re thinking: PZ-4CO doesn’t exactly fit my collecting brief. The junior novelisation Moving Target reveals that she plays some sort of role as an assistant to Leia, but other than that we don’t have a lot to go on. Nevertheless, Farmers currently has a “buy-one-get-one-half-price” deal on, and it was hard to turn down such an interesting figure at half-price.

Most of my concerns about the move to 5POA were banished with the first wave of Force Awakens figures, and this second wave only serves to reinforce that opinion. The sculpts on every one of these figures is exquisite. In fact, I’d say it even trumps the sculpting we saw on many of the super-articulated figures. I have to assume that when you’re not trying to cram in as many ball-and-socket joins as possible, there’s more freedom to design figures in a way that looks authentic and natural. And that’s the key to this line. While they don’t offer a lot of opportunity for dynamic poses, they do look phenomenal when displayed in their neutral poses.

Chupa Chups Ewok Pencil Topper

Last week, my wonderful partner surprised me with this little gem from The Warehouse - a Chupa Chups lollipop that comes with an Ewok pencil topper!

There are twelve pencil toppers in the series, including the Death Star, a Stormtrooper, Chewbacca, a TIE Pilot, Yoda, R2-D2, C-3PO, Boba Fett, a Star Destroyer, a Biker Scout, an Ewok, and Darth Vader. I've always had a soft spot for "blind-bag" collectible freebies like this - and at only $1.89 each, they're a great way of adding some extra Star Wars awesomeness to your pencil case!

Kylo Ren Lenticular Tumbler and Popcorn Bucket

One of the interesting things about the Force Awakens merchandise line has been how varied the stock is from store to store. Many items are being exclusively retailed by certain chains, so it's a good idea to shop around. I paid a visit to the Porirua K-Mart a few weeks ago, and was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of stock that I hadn't spotted elsewhere. My coolest finds was this Kylo Ren lenticular tumbler and popcorn bucket for $3.00 each.

The 3D effect created by the lenticular surface doesn't show up in photos, but it works incredibly well. Both items also come in Chewbacca, First Order Stormtrooper, and Poe Dameron designs - but the Kylo Ren is, in my opinion, the most striking. These'll be the perfect companions for those Star Wars movie nights!