Disney Consumer Products and Lucasfilm have announced an expansive global unveiling of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys, one spanning 18 hours and 12 countries leading up to the toys' availability for purchase on September 4th. The first expensive plaything will be unboxed at 7:45AM on September 3rd in Sydney, Australia — that's 5:45PM on September 2nd for ET viewers, by the way — and the 15th and final doodad will be opened in San Francisco at 8:00AM PT (that's 11:00AM ET) on September 3rd. All of the toy reveals will be broadcast live on Star Wars' YouTube channel, and the companies have enlisted YouTube personalities from around the world to help with the unboxing taking place in each city.
This is a crass, frivolous exercise — it's Disney and Lucasfilm inviting fans to spend a whole day celebrating the impending moment at which they can cough up various sums of money for hunks of fancy plastic. But it's also indicative of the level of Star Wars hysteria that's been collectively reached. It's almost futile to place any blame on Disney and Lucasfilm: if there's enough interest in this property to sustain a lengthy international celebration of toy releases, why shouldn't they capitalize on it?
Unboxing videos are supposed to capture genuine excitement, not the kind chaperoned by a mega-brand
It also renders Disney's 2013 heist of Lucasfilm even more ridiculous in retrospect: the former spent just $4 billion, and now it's turning mundane tertiary product launches into full-day fiestas. And of course, half the point of unboxing videos is their ability to capture genuine fan excitement, the kind that's not being overseen by a titanic brand or manufacturer. Watching a series of said videos sponsored and chaperoned by Disney / Lucasfilm feels a bit like being invited to watch Nike employees crack open their newest sneakers: "We did it again! Another great pair!"
"We’ve seen tremendous excitement for these new products and can’t wait to see the global reaction from the Star Wars fan community," said Disney Consumer Products president Leslie Ferraro.