76 Toys R Us – Force Friday Midnight Madness – 3rd September 2015

Troop Icons TB 2015Location
Toys R Us Govan, Glasgow 23:00 – 00:30

Mission Report
This was a kind of odd event to be honest.
I didn’t have good memories of the last time we did a midnight launch at this branch of ToysRUs, not that it was unpleasant, just that the number of staff outnumbered the shoppers who turned up (actually thinking about it the number of Troopers just about outnumbered the shoppers who turned up…) and Disney’s strategy of embargoing all the products to make the more desirable seemed massively pointless for what is a line of mass-produced products.
I sort of feel you could stay in your bed and buy the same thing on any Saturday at lunchtime between now and Christmas and be better off for it, both financially, when they become discounted after warming shelves between now and then and from having a full nights sleep instead of standing in the cold night air in Govan.

Wandering up and down the queue I felt like pointing out to them that was literally no kudos to be had from owning these things first (the obvious exception to this being the BB8 from Sphero, which was on sale at midnight for a gut clenching, stock bothering 50 minutes before I could de-kit and buy my own…) and I have to say I feel part of the secrecy is down to the really poor quality of some of the merchandise.
Sidenote: The new 3.75″ Falcon is not only a poor effort compared to the larger Clone Wars era ship but (WTF?!?  A pop up Nerf gun?  Can’t wait for that sequence in the film…) has fewer play features and a less detailed molding than the 1979 original. Figures with only 5 point of articulation?  It’s like 19-whenever Palitoy released these things first time round all over again.
Of course having little personal interest in the new film probably doesn’t help; Chewbacca, the new Nippletroopers and the aforementioned droid being the only objects on the shelves recognisable to me having never seen the trailer.  In fact the single photo of group of classic Stormtroopers at the bottom of a ramp from the first standalone film has filled me with much more excitement than any of the hype for this new trilogy.  But I digress…

Anyway, despite an aborted request for our early arrival the shopper fitters were still finishing up when we eventually did arrive and the shelves only being stocked while we were getting dressed, so lord knows what the point would have been being there any longer than we were.  Come 23:00, we were asked to go outside and entertain the people queuing prior to the store opening, but there wasn’t much opportunity for interaction and there was only mild interest in our presence from the public themselves.

Unfortunately that turned out to be the highlight of the night as once we moved indoors again, other than some staff group photos before the public were admitted, our presence was entirely redundant.  We were reduced (and to be clear I’m not blaming the staff for this as while they obviously had no idea what to do with us, I’m fairly certain everyone in costume was knackered by this time and it was all we could do to remain upright anyway…) to standing about an adjacent toy aisle, largely concealed by unrelated toy displays.  The only brief interaction came when our resident Boba Fett was asked to draw the raffle tickets for the prize draw and with the oppressive heat in the store, frankly it was a relief to be told it was time to de-kit because it meant bed was only an hour away!

“Midnight opening?”  More like Shitnight opening…

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