The Star Wars: The Force Awakens global unboxing event kicked off this week with a huge celebration at YouTube Space LA. Hosts Anthony Carboni and Andi Gutierrez settled in for their 18 hour stint, getting ready to provide commentary and live events from around the world in 12 countries and 15 cities.
During the event, hosts will welcome digital stars from the Maker Studios network who will each be revealing a new product via a live stream on the Star Wars YouTube channel. The guests will appear throughout the 18 hour broadcast reporting in from Sydney, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Toronto, Chicago, Mexico City and San Francisco.
To kick off the global event, we watched as Sydney, Australia was the first city to go live at 2:30pm PST. We were introduced via jumbo screen to the first kids in the world to get their hands on Star Wars Force Friday toys. As the video streamed above, the event floor was filled with fans playing Disney Infinity 3.0, taking selfies with Stormtroopers and engaging in lightsabers battles with other fans. The most popular place on the floor was the line for a Claw Machine filled with Star Wars toys. Basically the best Claw Machine ever. Fans tried their best to use their skills and the Force to scoop up Star Wars exclusives.
To survive 18 hours of non-stop Star Wars, sustenance is a necessity. Buffet tables were filled with Han Burgers and Chewbacca Chips, delicious Koovy Kalbi and fried rice, and Jawa Juice to wash it all down. In any galaxy dessert is also a must, so tables full of chocolate covered lightsaber pretzels, and an intergalactic popcorn bar was placed side by side with Wookiee Cookies and Bantha Milk.
Special guests from the Star Wars universe were on hand for interviews, including author Cecil Castellucci and illustrator Phil Noto who were happy to discuss their upcoming middle-grade novel, Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure.
The enthusiasm in the crowd grew as toys were finally revealed and the hosts showed off the very first Black X-wing toy to be shown in public. Seeing the toy in person made all the difference, as the intricate details caused many to mentally add the X-wing to their purchase list. Party attendee @elnuchote was lucky enough to win the X-wing and his daughters literally jumped for joy as he went up to receive his prize.
I spoke with Josh Silverman, Executive Vice President of global licensing for Disney Consumer Products. We talked about the personal aspects of Star Wars what makes it so memorable for so many:
“Star Wars is really unique. It’s multi-generational. I remember the feeling I had when I got my first lightsaber… now I watch my kids play with theirs as these new characters. Watching all the fans of all ages and share in the magic and spirit of Star Wars is very special.”
The Force Friday celebration is just beginning as stores around the world open their doors at midnight and fans finally get to purchase new Star Wars: The Force Awakens products.
Check out all the photos from the event in the gallery below. Will you be in line at midnight? Let us know in the comments and tag @nerdistdotcom and @justjenn on Twitter so we can see all your purchases!
All photos by Jenn Fujikawa