Want a jump on Christmas shopping? Disney has you covered by announcing the release Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise on September 4. Who needs Black Friday when we can have Force Friday?

You guessed it. Disney is making it a holiday. Major retailers will open their doors at 12:01 to start slinging toys out the door. My nephew (ok, me too) is going to be pumped. He has the Transformers toys on lock. Avengers? Check.

Star Wars toys? Let me see what the mortgage rates are…

Force Friday

What is up for sale? New products in every vertical. Toys, comics, books, collectibles, apps and apparel.

Here’s the reveal of the product packaging. Yes, I’m a sucker for awesome packaging. You win Disney. Damn it…

star wars the force awakens product packaging

Josh Silverman, executive VP for global licensing detailed Disney’s move.

“Every lightsaber, every action figure, every LEGO set tells a story for generations of ‘Star Wars’ fans, and this global event is a celebration of those stories. We’re excited to be part of the countdown to this enormous movie moment.”

He should have just released a statement with cash registers ringing.

Is this over-the-top? Probably. But, I’m beyond pumped for the movie, and this announcement means one thing. Marketing. Expect to learn more about the new characters as Disney positions in front of the holiday rush.

Disney is wanting participants to document their Force Friday adventures on social media using the hashtags #ForceFriday and #MidnightMadness.

Star Wars Vanity Fair Cover

With May 4th a Star Wars holiday (May the fourth be with you), Vanity Fair is releasing a Star Wars cover shot by Annie Leibovitz. It features Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca, Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and BB-8 on the Millennium Falcon. Interviews and videos go live tomorrow, so watch Vanity Fair. Nice way to juice newsstand sell-through.

Star Wars Vanity Fair

Image Credit: Vanity Fair / Annie Leibovitz

As Disney clears its Marvel summer schedule, expect the marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to ramp up in a big way.

Episode VII releases on December 18. You don’t need to set a calendar reminder. This is Star Wars.

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