Later today, all 585 Toys “R” Us stores across the United States will mount digital clocks that will count down midnight, July 25. When the counter hits zero, 225 of these stores will begin to sell toys from the latest Star Wars movie, The Clone Wars.
A virtual store – ToysRUs.com/StarWars – will open at the same time.
Products include The Twilight starship and a separatist Spider Droid, both from LEGO, and a 3 ¾ inch T.I.E. Fighter and ‘Attack Battle Packs’ from Hasbro.
The Clone Wars movie – which is fully animated, and opens August 15 in the US – is not the first Star Wars-related opening for Toys “R” Us, which heavily promoted the three last Star Wars films with midnight-openings, costume competitions and prize giveaways.
“Star Wars is one of the strongest and most iconic brands in the kids market,” said Greg Ahearn, senior vice president for marketing and e-commerce for Toys “R” Us USA. “It really is a beacon that draws people in to our stores 365 days a year. We believe in this brand, and everything we are doing just plays into what we think and feel about the Star Wars property.”
This also marks the first time McDonalds has formed a relationship with the Star Wars franchise – starting August 15, Clone Wars happy meals will be available and, one imagines, in high demand from children worldwide. Each meal features a specially designed box and one of 18 different toys. The promotion will last just a month, which offers a rare opportunity for collectors.
Originally planned as a television feature, The Clone Wars was reformatted for a theatrical release after George Lucas previewed an early draft and decided it would work better on the bigger screen. The film will feature Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee and Anthony Daniels amongst the cast and is intended to precede the animated TV series of the same name which will air on Cartoon Network.