Star Wars Weekends are just beginning! What are you the most excited to see? The parade? Characters? Special guests? If you’re anything like me, you have something else on your mind: merchandise! This event is offering some fantastic new items (and a few creepy ones) to fans. Let’s head over to Darth’s Mall, which is located in Soundstage 1 between Studio Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania, for a look at what’s available.
This year’s merchandise is full of color and action. Starting with the official logo of Star Wars Weekends (SWW), you’ll notice right away how impressive it is in terms of its detail. Combining elements of both the Star Wars franchise and our mouse friend, Mickey, the image is bold and offers a hint to the upcoming animated series, Star Wars Rebels, which will air on Disney XD. “The color orange in the poster was inspired by the Star Wars Rebels series’ logo, while the non-specific battle scene is supposed to take place between the events of Episode III and IV. This is similar to the story line of the upcoming animated series,” explained Disney Design Group artist Tyler Dumas. In tribute to the parks, the design team also included a Star Speeder 1000 and R2-MK in the artwork which you can find on everything from magnets to calendars to apparel. To add a final touch, anything that has the official logo on it comes to life thanks to the addition of this year’s augmented reality experiences.
I am most impressed by the variety of apparel offerings Disney has this year. In addition to logo-specific items, you’ll find other tops, hats, and even dresses and high-end jewelry. T-shirts featuring Mickey and R2-MK are bound to be big sellers as are these fun light-up glasses. I can imagine seeing a lot of little Jedis wearing them around the parks especially at the Rock Your Disney Side 24-hour party on May 23.
Female Star Wars fans are in for a real treat this year. Returning for the sixth year in a row, Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will bring new clothing and accessories from Her Universe, a sci-fi fan girl merchandise company. Dresses, tunics, skirts, fashion tops, and t-shirts are for sale all featuring elements from the Star Wars franchise. What truly caught my eye though was the debut of a high-end jewelry line called the “My Hero Collection.” These designer pieces feature R2-D2 on necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and more. “R2-D2 is my favorite character in the Star Wars Universe,” said Eckstein. “He’s my hero because he’s always there to save the day throughout the saga. I love jewelry and I wanted higher end Star Wars jewelry that will pass the test of time.” Each item is under $100 and first offered at SWW; they will later be sold online.
For those looking for collectibles, you’ll find a few new items at SWW. Disney Merchandise has released brand new pins including a limited release mystery set and concept artwork cards with pins. There’s also a Battle of Yavin lanyard that comes with a complementing medal. Vinylmations have also been created. The limited release mystery series, Star Wars: Series 4, makes it debut. A limited edition 9-inch and 3-inch figure set featuring Rancor and his keeper are for sale too along with four medium-sized figures featuring Pluto, Donald Duck, Stitch, and Chip & Dale dressed in their favorite Star Wars gear. Stitch looks the best in my opinion!
For the youngest of Star Wars fans, there is a variety of toys, exclusive action figures, plush, and more. Many of these items feature your favorite Disney characters sporting intergalactic garb. I had to chuckle at the tractors that are dressed as “Sandtroopers” and the look of determination on Han Solo Donald’s face. There’s even a huge clone trooper that is exclusive to Disney Parks as well as themed duck tape that can be used to make everything from a wallet to binder cover and more.
For those looking to add new artwork to their collection, check out Ian Glaubinger’s print, Endor: Worth Fighting For! This silk screen 16″ x 20″ piece features some of your favorite characters and would look great on an office wall. The print is limited in quantity and sold out last weekend at the event. However, more will be available this weekend. Be sure to check it out!
Even thought there’s a lot of great merchandise this year, I found a few items a bit high on the creep-o-meter. This is coming from a novice of all things Star Wars, mind you, but some of the plush characters give me the willies. Take a look at these guys, for instance…
Perfectly snuggable, right? I can’t tell which will lull me to sleep better, the hairy green skin on the Yoda figure or the big-lipped Bantha plush. To each his own though, and I’m sure these will be a hit with boys. However, I’m not so sure about the infamous D-Tech Me figurines that made an appearance last year. Guests can participate in a 10-minute photo shoot using a face scanner and then have their image sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create a figurine. You can transform yourself into a Stormtrooper, X-Wing Pilor, Alderaan Princess, Carbon-Freeze Me, and more. If the standard 7-inch figure doesn’t meet your needs (just $99.95!), you can purchase a 16-inch one for a mere $1,499.95, plus shipping and handling, of course.
I’m sorry, but these are quite honestly the creepiest items that Disney Merchandise has released since I’ve been shopping at the parks (and that’s a LONG time). I can’t imagine waking up to these evil-looking little devils in my bedroom let alone paying the prices for them. I’d have nightmares for a long time.
All in all, I think that the bulk of the merchandise available at this year’s Star Wars Weekends is fantastic and hope you enjoyed taking a look at what is being offered. What is your favorite item? Let me know by posting a comment below, and until next time, may the force be with you!