Rogue Friday (September 2016)

Last year's 'Force Friday' arrived with great fanfare, and heralded our first opportunity to buy merchandise from the highly anticipated The Force Awakens. Advertising was rife for weeks in advance, and many retailers opted to hold 'midnight madness' events. Today's Rogue Friday was much more low-key - there were no late-night openings, and announcements regarding the new line of stock were minimal.

Despite the lack of promotion, my hometown's Warehouse, Farmers, and Toyworld stores all managed to have a comprehensive range of the new Rogue One merchandise out in time for store-opening. Of these, it was Farmers that made the best effort - with a dedicated Rogue One endcap and a full-size Imperial Death Trooper out front (both pictured above). Farmers further sweetened the deal by having all 3 3/4" figures (which usually retail for $17.99) down to 2 for $25. The Warehouse also had a buy-one-get-one-half-price deal on all Star Wars products.

Despite the discounts, there were no eager throngs at opening time. While stock did deplete during the morning, I didn't come across any other collectors enthusiastically rifling through the new products. It's unclear whether this apathy is indicative of a more general decline in excitement for new Star Wars merchandise, or simply due to the fact that Rogue One is the first film to fall outside of the central saga. I guess we'll have to wait until Force Friday 2017 to find out!