Last year, the new Disney-owned Lucasfilm whetted fans’ (apparently ravenous) appetites for Episode VII: The Force Awakens by unleashing Force Friday, the day that a veritable tidal wave of new Star Wars merchandise landed on store shelves. Feeling like a combination of Halloween, Black Friday, and Christmas, the event saw numerous stores across the nation opening at midnight – and, even, sporting exclusive coupons.
It turns out that the event is now something of a tradition, as this Friday officially is Rogue Friday, when the latest round of Star Wars goodies – most inspired by this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – are arriving to usher in the next holiday season. Just as we did last year, we at Screen Rant are here to provide you with the 13 Best Buys for Rogue Friday.
13 Slave I Carship
Type: die-cast carManufacturer: MattelMSRP: $3.99Release date: 09.30.16
Mattel acquired the Star Wars license two short years ago, and, during that time, an explosion of new Hot Wheels items has popped up, ranging from the standard miniature version of the movies’ various starship designs (including, but of course, Jango/Boba Fett’s Slave I) to the more imaginative character cars and Carships, which reimagine the cast and the vessels, respectively, from the seven (soon-to-be-eight) films in – what else? – car form.
While the previously-announced X-wing and TIE fighter Carships are superbly designed, it’s Slave I’s take on the concept that really captivates, combining the worlds of F1 racing and interstellar bounty hunting – think of it as a die-cast Disney mash-up of Boba Fett with Cars’s Francesco Bernoulli.
While, ultimately, Slave I is still just a Hot Wheels car at the end of the day, it’s still a fun excuse to pick up a favorite toy that many haven’t touched since their childhoods – or, alternatively, to give to that special youngling to help further his indoctrination into Star Wars-dom.
(If Slave I just isn’t your thing, there’s also a whole host of other Carships released today, ranging from Rogue One’s U-wing to Rebels’s Ghost to the original trilogy’s Tantive IV and Star Destroyer.)
12 31” K-2SO
Type: action figureManufacturer: Jakks PacificMSRP: $34.99Release date: 09.30.16
The most hallowed of Star Wars merchandise ever since the first movie’s 1977 release, action figures will be well represented on Rogue Friday, coming in several different varieties and sizes, ranging from the standard 3.75” to the deluxe 12”. But that’s nothing on Jakks Pacific’s trademark Big-Figs lineup, which starts at 20” and goes all the way up to a whopping 48” (hence the “Big-Figs Colossal” moniker).
For Rogue One, the standard (20”) and Massive (31”) Big-Fig lines will be represented, bringing such characters as Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), the ubiquitous Imperial stormtrooper, and the movie’s signature Death Troopers (those black-armored, lethal-looking variants on the standard bumbling stormtroopers) to life. Our money, however, is on the 31.5”-x-14”-x-3” Kay-Tuesso, who looks to be the breakout star of this first Star Wars Story; a reprogrammed Imperial security droid who does double duty as comedic relief and action star, the character arguably has the most visually intriguing look, justifying the larger-than-normal size. (He also has seven points of articulation, making him posable as well as cool-looking on your desk – er, in your child’s hands.)
11 Millennium Falcon Micro-USB Charging Cable
Type: smart phone accessoryManufacturer: ThinkGeekMSRP: $19.99Release date: 09.30.16
Add this to the completely-unnecessary-but-also-completely-cool category: ThinkGeek's Millennium Falcon 34" charging cable looks like, well, Han Solo's most famous ship, allowing you to charge your smart phone (or tablet or, even, smart remote-controlled droid) in superlative style. And let's not forget all the other USB-y things it can do, like transferring files or connecting printers.
But what moves this item from kitsch to must-have is its accoutrements. The cord has a blue strip that lights up when your mobile device of choice is charging, moving in something of a rhythmic pattern, and when this is combined with the Falcon's similarly animated thrusters, it makes for quite the visible – and kinetic – powering-up experience. (And in a nice little touch, ThinkGeek has made it so that once your phone is done juicing up, the cable's lights will stop, but the ship's engines will stay lit.)
10 Rogue One Funko Pop!s
Type: vinyl figuresManufacturer: FunkoMSRP: $8.99Release date: 09.30.16
It’s hard to overstate the sheer popularity – and, of course, collectability – of Funko’s Pop! figurines, which encompass nearly every entertainment property known to man, from movies and television to gaming to comics. It’s no surprise, therefore, that Rogue One would show up in the company’s exponentially-expanding arsenal, and given the rabid hunting-down that both fans and collectors will unleash on this lineup, we think it’s only fitting to list them all here:
- #138 Jyn Erso
- #139 Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu)
- #140 Chirrut Imwe
- #141 Baze Malbus
- #142 Director Orson Krennic
- #143 Darth Vader
- #144 Imperial Death Trooper
- #145 Scarif Stormtrooper
- #146 K-2SO
- #147 C2-B5
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Funko Pop collection without having a series of store-exclusive variants, right? Here are those, as well:
- #150 Jyn Erso (Hood Up) - Hot Topic
- #151 Captain Cassian Andor (Officer Uniform) - Target
- #152 Jyn Erso (Imperial Disguise) - Target
- #153 Saw Gerrera - Walmart
- #154 Imperial Death Trooper - Walmart
- #155 Bistan - FYE
- #156 Scarif Stormtrooper – Walgreens
- #157 Darth Vader – GameStop
Type: sixth-scale figureManufacturer: Hot ToysMSRP: $204.99Release date: Q1 2017
Yes, this Hot Toys sixth-scale collectible figurine is on the expensive side, but it’s also a “movie-accurate” product, lovingly detailed and replete with over 30 points of articulation. For collectors, there’s nothing more complete – especially considering that one can change out six different sets of hands on the nearly-12” figure (some are in fists, some hold weapons) and that a “specially designed” Imperial-themed stand comes in the box.
Of all the different figurines available from the company – TIE Fighter Pilot, Death Trooper Specialist, Stormtrooper (Jedha Patrol), and Darth Vader himself – we put the Shoretrooper on our list because of the uniqueness and the colorfulness of the design; of all the myriad Imperial ranks (which only seem to get more and more crowded with each and every passing year now), it’s the patrolling security forces of the tropical planet Scarif that easily stand out the most.
8 Imperial Death Trooper Voice Changer Mask
Type: “role play” maskManufacturer: HasbroMSRP: $34.99Release date: 09.30.16
An item of growing popularity in the last few years, voice-changing masks have been all the rage with younger fans (and, we’re guessing, a few of the older ones, too), allowing them to more fully impersonate the Avengers or their favorite Star Wars characters by not only looking like them, but also sounding like them, as well.
What seems to be the signature “movie-accurate” item (in terms of visual design, not necessarily features – and certainly not price) for Rogue One is the Imperial Death Trooper mask, which, of course, brandishes the design of the brand-new unit of stormtroopers that were created exclusively for the first Star Wars Story installment. Regarded as the “elite soldiers” of the Imperial Intelligence division, they’re really essentially the personal bodyguards of Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelson), the director of the Empire’s Advanced Weapons Research division (and, therefore, the individual tasked with safeguarding the Death Star’s security).
If you’re more of the old-school persuasion, however, there’s also the Imperial Stormtrooper Electronic Voice Changer Helmet, but seeing as how it’s part of Hasbro’s “deluxe” Black Series, it carries a far bigger price tag: $79.99.
7 R2-D2 Coffee Press
Type: coffee makerManufacturer: ThinkGeekMSRP: $39.99Release date: January 2017
Okay, yes – this may be the silliest item on the list, but it’s still one of the coolest.
The R2-D2 Coffee Press is exactly what it sounds like: a glass coffee maker in the shape of everyone’s favorite astromech droid. It can hold 32 oz. (that’s roughly four cups of coffee) and uses a steel plunger to make your next cuppa. There may not be much to the description, but we’re assuming it’ll get a lot of actual use in your kitchen.
Although this item isn’t currently expected to ship until sometime in January, you can preorder it on ThinkGeek’s website.
6 Lego Imperial Assault Hovertank
Type: Lego setManufacturer: LegoMSRP: $29.99Release date: 09.30.16
If there’s any one specific product or brand that has come to be most associated with Star Wars in the modern era of collecting, it would undoubtedly have to be Lego, and if there’s one set in specific that looks to be the flagship release for Rogue One, it would have to be the Imperial Assault Hovertank.
More than being the most intriguing of what appears to be only a few new vehicular designs in the upcoming film, the hovertank actually comes with quite a few nifty toy-specific features, as well: a rotating and elevating turret gun (that features a dual spring-loaded firing mechanism), transparent wheels that make it look like it’s hovering, and three minifigurines (two Imperial pilots and the Rebel Chirrut Imwe [Donnie Yen], the blind monk-warrior from Jyn Erso’s crew), along with their accessories (a bow, a staff, electrobinoculars, and two blasters).
At 385 pieces and $29.99, it’s actually one of the smaller sets now available, so you might want to keep your eyes peeled for the other/larger packages, if a bigger challenge is more your thing: the TIE Striker (543 pieces, $69.99), the U-wing fighter (659 pieces, $79.99), and, of course, the new Death Star (4,000 pieces, $499.99), which is actually a slightly upgraded version of the original version from 2008.
5 Rapid Fire Imperial AT-ACT
Type: remote-control toyManufacturer: HasbroMSRP: $279.99Release date: 09.30.16
In another of Rogue One’s scant new vessels, we get this latest addition to the Imperial Walker family. The AT-ACT, the All-Terrain Armored Cargo Transport, not only features a “dedicated cargo bed for the transportation of heavy building materials or combat munitions,” according to StarWars.com, but is also larger in stature than its normal AT-AT brethren. (Yeah, we know – calling this a “new” design is kind of a stretch [get it?], right?)
Still, Hasbro is doing the rehashed concept justice by giving it the deluxe remote control treatment. Its Rapid Fire AT-ACT is a fully motorized affair, can be controlled by either a special device or – even better – your smart phone, and even comes with three action figures: Jyn Erso, an Imperial AT-ACT driver, and C2-B5, the all-black astromech droid. Think of it as a more simplified version of last year’s remote-controlled BB-8 by Sphero, but with the ability to shoot Nerf missile darts.
Even better, you can download Hasbro’s new free app, Star Wars Studio FX, and control the new Walker with it – as well as record it stomping around your house, replete with blaster fire and explosions that can be overlaid on the footage.
4 IntraTech Imperial Stormtrooper
Type: interactive figureManufacturer: HasbroMSRP: $29.99Release date: 09.30.16
The 12”-tall IntraTech Imperial Stormtrooper looks for all the world like a standard action figure. It’s only when you actually start to play with it that the real differences with – and the real brilliance of – Hasbro’s new product start to pop out in dramatic figure.
There is a motion sensor built into the figure, reacting to your movements with nearly 70 different sound effects, including lines of dialogue from the movie(s). And then there are the accessories: a blaster elicits shooting sound effects, while the jet pack makes flying sounds (they both also activate lights hidden in the stormtrooper’s armor, displaying the Imperial insignia or making the jet pack’s yellow straps appear around his shoulders). If you make him shuffle along, there are marching sounds; making him fight hand-to-hand or fly about the room triggers punching and rocket sound effects, respectively.
On a day filled with several new Star Wars products to pick up – not to mention all the classics from last year’s Force Friday, which are still (largely) to be found on store shelves – the IntraTech Stormtrooper simply looks to be one of, if not the, most fun.
3 Smart R2-D2
Type: remote-controlled toyManufacturer: HasbroMSRP: $99.99Release date: 09.30.16
Sphero’s app-controlled BB-8 was clearly the highlight of last year’s Force Friday, and Hasbro, the biggest Star Wars licensee of all time, seems determined to steal that mantle for itself this go-round. The Smart R2-D2 (editor's note: Smartoo-Deetoo) is, essentially, everything that BB-8 was, with a few added bonuses thrown in for good measure.
Here’s the skinny: this app-controlled droid will talk back to you in his unmistakable astromech speak, will dance to whatever music you inflict upon him, will shake in fear when he hears the name Darth Vader, and will snap into guard mode (a fancy way for saying he’ll “sleep” until a voice command or nearby motion rouses him). Most impressive, however, are “missions” that he can be deployed on, which have him move about the environment in a preprogrammed manner – unless, of course, you opt to build your own custom ones, which kind of doubles as a programming tutorial for children and newbies alike.
Before you run out to your nearest store to scoop up Smart Artoo, however, be aware of one small fact: he’s exclusive to Walmart. (Yes, Rogue Friday is venturing into retailer-exclusive merchandise this year. Here’s our rundown of who has what.)
2 The Force Band
Type: pure magicManufacturer: SpheroMSRP: $79.99Release date: 09.30.16
Okay – this is where the Rogue Friday releases start to get really interesting.
The Force Band’s various functionalities can essentially be broken down into two different groups. The first is obviously going to be the biggest selling point of the item – the ability to interact with your app-enabled BB-8 from last year in a whole new way: without any apps. How? Easy – the clunky ‘80s watch-looking device allows you to move your hand about in order to drive the spherical droid around your house, using the Force (really just Bluetooth Smart) to steer him.
But the second category of uses might actually be the more fun (and, admittedly, the more gimmicky) of the two: allowing you to “enhance your native Force powers.” With the Force Band strapped on, you can put your hand into the shape of a gun and hear blaster shots every time you “shoot”; pretending to wield a lightsaber triggers those accompanying sound effects, as well (BB-8 will also help you with your saber training, if you’re so inclined). Other applicable Bluetooth objects will also move at the wave of your hand, ostensibly giving you a Jedi’s telekinesis, and hidden items – supplies from the Resistance, holocrons from the Jedi – can be discovered and collected, Pokemon Go-style, to boot.
1 Special Edition Battle-worn BB-8 with Force Band
Type: remote-controlled toy (plus pure magic)Manufacturer: SpheroMSRP: $199.99Release date: 09.30.16
Okay, okay – the much-fabled and -already-talked-about app-enabled BB-8 from Sphero hardly classifies as new. Still, this repackaged edition of Force Friday’s smash hit must be included – yes, still in the top spot – due to the original product’s sheer fun and novelty.
Which is to say nothing of the new added goodies that the company has thrown into the pot to sweeten the deal: the Force Band is included in the package, meaning that all new next-generation astromech owners will be able to control their new droids using only the Force right from day one, and Sphero even included a new paint job for BB-8, making him battle worn “straight from the sands of Jakku.”
Obviously, all those who already own the little ball droid will want to pass this version over, as the alternate design is nowhere near enough to warrant a second purchase at full price, but for everyone else, this is, by far, the way to go – and, by far, the best product sitting on store shelves today.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in US theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.