Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Star Wars Brandstravaganza

I was expecting to see a lot of news coverage this weekend of the big Star Wars: The Clone Wars toy launch that Lucas/Toy'R'Us had organized to introduce the new tie-in toylines for its upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated film (opening in theatres August 15th) and television series. So far, however, the interweb has been eerily devoid of photos and stories of the event, which is too bad as I'm quite curious to see how the whole thing unfolded. Just like a Star Wars film opening (or as became custom whenever a new Harry Potter book was released), Toys'R'Us had a whole midnight extravaganza planned, with anticipation building over the past several weeks as giant in-store clocks counted down to launch time. Weird! Anyway, here's a description of what Toys'R'Us had planned for this weekend's launch (from last month's Playthings magazine):
The biggest celebrations will take place at Toys “R” Us Times Square and Toys “R” Us Mission Bay in San Diego [***to coincide with ComicCon of course***], where Star Wars aficionados will be encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character and take part in a “Cloned Costume Contest.” Star Wars enthusiasts attending these two events will also be treated to trivia, games and prizes. As an added bonus, customers who purchase Star Wars merchandise at any Toys “R” Us store during the midnight events will have the opportunity to receive special gifts, including a Star Wars Holographic General Grievous action figure from Hasbro or a Lego reversible poster.

I'll keep an eye open tomorrow morning for any interesting coverage, and will add some links and/or commentary if anything good comes up. In the meantime, there have been some pretty interesting articles written in the past few weeks around the Clone Wars toys/marketing strategy that might be worth checking out, including:

Douglas Quenqua's New York Times piece on the cross-promotional history of Star Wars films and toys.

The above mentioned Playthings story about the toy launch.

This great article that appeared in a recent edition of The Escapist, written by Spanner, which explores Star Wars merchandising and "collectibles".

3 comments:

Shaping Youth said...

Sara, snaggin' this one for S.Y. okay? ttys, Amy

p.s. My latest virtual world endeavors have been fascinating on the ethics front...will fill you in on the younger worlds soon...but I've really got a lot of 'hope' for some of the newer ones with open-ended play and positive life goals...I'm signing on to 'Elf Island' to see what I can find out there too...You?

Sara M. Grimes said...

Hi Amy - Please do I wish there was more original material in it - maybe i can beef it up once this pesky article i'm writing is complete. not sure if you've read this before, but i wrote a bit about Star Wars cross-promotion for a university newsletter awhile back, which you can access here: http://neuf.cprost.sfu.ca/digest/digests/digest-19/lego-star-wars-and-the-rationalization-of-play/

as for kids' vw's, i'm checking out the new Avatar game and do have some high hopes for Fusion Fall. Adventure Rock seems like it holds a lot of potential. Which newer ones have you found to include open-ended play opps? i'd like to check them out for comparison to the heavily branded worlds i've been trapped inside these days.

Shaping Youth said...

Definitely involved with Dizzywood and Zookazoo...both subscriber based models and ad free...Both are in beta and need some refinement on the open-ended play potential (imho) but very promising storyline twists (DW) and UGC creation (Zook) so am looking into potential testing grounds for Shaping Youth re: an alt/digital sphere experiment on 'what works'...

Thanks, also for the newsletter link...will check it out for sure.
More soon, Amy