Force Friday is in full swing.
At 12:01 a.m., Disney Store, Toys 'R Us and Walmart opened their doors for a frenzy of Star Wars toy sales. Amazon—along with DisneyStore.com—also offers new products and deals. Some items—like the BB-8 droid by Sphero—are already sold out. The event "has the potential to meaningfully accelerate the division's revenue and profit growth," JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani told CNBC before the launch.
Marty Brochstein, SVP at the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association, said that by marking the merchandise launch as an event, Disney gets "two bites at the apple." The company is targeting two types of consumers, Brochstein explained. "The business around Force Friday is going to be aimed primarily at collectors and long-time fans who want to have the newest, the latest, the greatest, and be the first in line," he said, adding, "The more traditional kids and movie-oriented business will take place closer to when the movie opens."
And what an event it is! John Boyega and Daisy Ridley—who play Finn and Rey, respectively, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens—made a joint appearance inside the Disney Store on Oxford Street in London. As he signed autographs for hundreds of fans inside the store, Boyega repeatedly said, "I am a toy! I am a toy! I am a toy!"