×

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.

Popular on Variety

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.”

More Film

  • Ordinary Justice

    Berlin: 'Ordinary Justice' Director Chiara Bellosi on Fascination With Courthouses

    Young Italian director Chiara Bellosi is at the Berlinale with “Ordinary Justice” which examines the lives of two families on opposite sides of a murder case who intersect on the benches outside the room where the case is being tried. This first work, screening in Generation14Plus, is produced by Carlo Cresto-Dina who discovered Alice Rohrwacher (“The Wonders,” “Happy [...]

  • The Invisible Man

    Elisabeth Moss in 'The Invisible Man': Film Review

    These days, the horror-fantasy thriller tends to be a junk metaphysical spook show that throws a whole lot of scary clutter at the audience — ghosts, “demons,” mad killers — without necessarily adding up to an experience that’s about anything. But in “The Invisible Man,” Leigh Whannell’s ingenious and entertaining update of a concept that’s [...]

  • Nora Arnezeder

    Berlin: Wide's Thriller 'Blast' Sold to Japan, Latin America at the EFM (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Blast,” a high-concept thriller produced and represented in international markets by Paris-based company Wide, has sold to several territories at the EFM in Berlin. Vanya Peirani-Vignes’ feature debut, “Blast” takes place Parisian parking lot where Sonia finds herself trapped in her car with her son while her boyfriend’s daughter has been left outside to deal [...]

  • digger

    Greek Director Grigorakis Saddles up 'Western' 'Digger' at Berlin

    For a feature debut that he describes as a contemporary Western, Greek director Georgis Grigorakis settled on a familiar archetype — “a lonely guy with his horse, with his shotgun” — who, in keeping with the genre’s conventions, is drawn into a confrontation and is prepared to fight to the bitter end in the defense [...]

  • North Macedonian directors Ljubo Stefanov (R)

    Berlin: 'Honeyland' Directors Prepping New Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, the Macedonian directors of the dual Oscar-nominated documentary “Honeyland,” are prepping several new projects, Variety has learned exclusively. The directing duo are looking to build on the success of their debut, a moving portrait of a lone beekeeper struggling to preserve a traditional way of life, which was nominated for [...]

  • David-Casademunt-and-Joaquin

    Rodar y Rodar Boards “The Beast” (EXCLUSIVE)

    Barcelona-based Rodar y Rodar, producer of Spanish horror titles such as J.A. Bayona’s “The Orphanage” and Oriol Paulo’s “The Body, has thrown its weight behind David Casademunt’s “The Beast,” boarding it as its main producer. “The Beast,” which participated in Filmarket Hub’s 2017 Sitges Pitchbox event as well as Ventana Sur’s 2017 Blood Window, it [...]

  • Bad Tales

    Italy's Pepito Prods. Shines With 'Bad Tales' (EXCLUSIVE) Trailer

    Italy’s Pepito Prods., at Berlin with competition drama “Bad Tales” by Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo, is emerging as a new home for the country’s auteurs.  The company, headed by former RAI head of drama Agostino Saccà in January, scored more than $6 million in Italian cinemas with veteran Gianni Amelio’s “Hammamet,” a biopic of disgraced [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content