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Disney Sets Massive ‘Star Wars’ Toy Promotion

Walt Disney Co. has unveiled plans for a massive marketing push for toys tied to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Touted as the world’s first global live toy unboxing event, the Mouse House will launch an 18-hour online marathon starting Sept. 3 that employs YouTube stars opening toy boxes online.

“‘Star Wars’ toys have always played an important role in how our fans interact with the saga,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “They’ve inspired multiple generations to relive the experience of the movies and to create new adventures all their own. These spectacular ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ products will continue that tradition.”

The event will start in Sydney, Australia, and continue through Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Retailers around the globe will open their door at midnight on Sept. 4 — dubbed “Force Friday” — to sell the new “Star Wars” merchandise.

The event will also be streamed on Disney-owned ABC’s website and mobile app. “Good Morning America” will broadcast the unboxing live from New York. It will conclude in San Francisco at Lucasfilm.

Disney acquired Maker Studios last year for at least $500 million as a means of reaching younger viewers. The unboxers for the event include Bratayley, ExpCaseros, AlexBy11 and “Star Wars” fans from around the world.

Disney noted that 18 of the top 100 most viewed YouTube channels worldwide are dedicated to toys and toy unboxings, accounting for 8.1 billion views in the first quarter.

“We’re excited to be part of this first-of-its-kind initiative,” said Chris M. Williams, chief audience officer at Maker Studios. “The unboxing world continues to expand rapidly as audiences around the world connect with digital creators who share their passions. This shared fandom helps attract billions of monthly views and consistently puts the genre at the top of the YouTube charts.”

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