The Force Awakens toys

When Force Friday arrived earlier this month, fans were hoping that the unleashing of a stream of merchandise, from toys to lunchboxes to clothes to books, would reveal some of the secrets of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, you might have noticed that there hasn’t really been much in the vein of revelations from the release. And there’s a reason for that.

As of now, the toys that have been released only represent events and characters from the first third of the film in order to avoid any spoilers that happen later in the movie. But there will be more The Force Awakens toys arriving in the months leading up to the release of the movie.

Basically, we’re not seeing anything that we haven’t seen in the trailers, with the exception of things such as Snowtroopers, new First Order Snowspeeders and that black and orange X-Wing which don’t really give anything away about the story. Here’s what Steve Evans, Hasbro’s design director for Star Wars toys, said about their toy release strategy in an article at Fast Company Design (via StarWars7News.com):

“Star Wars is such a great movie, that the director and Lucasfilm, quite rightly so, want to keep the surprises for the fans controlled. It’s like any great marketing campaign. You release when it’s right for the story. And in the case of Star Wars that story is not just the movie—that story is the whole brand and the whole way it’s portrayed and played out to the audiences as well.

As we lead up to December 18, there’s a certain amount that gets released. There are certain surprises from our product line that no one knows about, that we’ll release leading up to the movie, at the movie, and beyond the movie.”

And Evans certainly knows more than a lot of people about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, because he was able to visit the set of the movie and speak with J.J. Abrams about the characters and the major story beats in order to figure out how they wanted to approach Hasbro’s plans for the Star Wars toy line. But of course, he’s sworn to secrecy and has probably signed dozens of non-disclosure agreements, so he’s not giving anything away.

This isn’t entirely unexpected, especially since Abrams is doing his best to keep all the secrets of The Force Awakens under wraps (and he’s succeeded pretty magnificently so far), but it’s a much different strategy from the toy release plans that were previously in place for the prequels.

So all those toys you bought on Force Friday (which will add to what could be a total of $5 billion in sales in the first year) are just a taste of what’s to come in The Force Awakens, and there’s more to be revealed in the next couple months. If anything significant starts to surface, we’ll be sure to let you know.

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