TLJ: Street Date Woes

I came across my first TLJ item on Thursday at a Walmart in my area (Ski Speeder w/ Poe Dameron).  Even though the store had put out a full display of this vehicle (price tag $39.72), as I was afraid of, the register denied the sale.

The employee at the register said he thought “The product had been recalled because of lead paint.” – the customer behind me (a mom and her daughter) stated, “Oh my gosh!”

Obviously, that is not the case and I explained to them both that Disney must have a street date on the product since it’s for an upcoming movie.  But Hasbro/Disney, please stop these street dates.  Let your retail partners sell the product when a customer is wanting to buy it.  This tight lip product reveal policy, and subsequent “Do Not Sell” at the register is tightening the window of product to actually be sold, and also confusing store employees and consumers alike.

UPDATE – One of our readers (Joe H) was able to pick this up at retail in his area, and he posted some great loose pics for us on our Facebook page.  A few of them are in our forums for your viewing pleasure.  Just click on the image above to see them.

Also, the release date for these items officially is September 1st, aka Force Friday.  

  • BB-8 playsets seen at Walmart in Chesapeake, VA. Comes with “Goldmember” Snoke and Elite Praetorian Guard. Someone please tell me these 2 figures will be available on cards—or in a 2-pack at least—as I have no desire for that BB-8.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2f85931e87327a41693114a21633a4221e60e956959844f3d9f89b1366d52dfb.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38b2a82f104fed36991eb2710d589f7aa1203049b1b1d09ce76ff4313e436214.jpg

  • I’d found these (a few cases out of shelves) at a Chicagoland Walmart last Monday (August 14) and it did ring-up at that time and so I got one. I too (last year, ahead of the Rogue One release) received the “lead paint” [sic] token answer and then explained the real story from “our point-of-view” (to mostly deaf ears). Not a bad vehicle/figure — watch the trigger: those missiles pack a punch and will fly clear across the room. The Poe likeness is rather good here in the exclusive pack-in.

  • Bombadgungan

    You must mean the LC era toys. TLC was white and blue packaging.

  • Well here I go thinking again but…wouldn’t it be better to tell a customer (especially in earshot of other customers) something like “sorry, we aren’t allowed to sell this yet and made an error putting out on the shelf” rather than using the lead paint excuse? As fast as word travels these days, factual or not, you’d end up having parents thinking Star Wars toys might all have problems with lead in the paint and not buy them when they’re on sale legitimately. In the same way if your neighbor buys a car or power tool that is defective and tells you about it you’ll be less likely to buy that same make/model. Just tell the truth up front and build a little trust with customers. Then again, Wal-mart doesn’t care. I go in this weekend and all pool chemicals have been removed because, you know, it’s August so we have to get ready for Christmas…

    • 80sRobot

      Many of these store workers probably haven’t been told. And there are lots of other product every day that must be shelved and reported, which is on their mind. And they’re probably not paid enough to care.

      • Paul B

        I’ll attest to the fact that they aren’t paid to care

  • JAL

    So far today i have seen the BB-8 Playset, the Speeder w/Poe, the plushy Porgs, Jakks Elite Guard and Kylo, both 2 pks and regular figures. Two Walmarts i went to had 2 cases of regular figures on the pallets. It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s all they get per store. I haven’t seen ANY new 6″ figures.

    • 80sRobot

      On ebay, there was a seller with an A-Wing that was listed to ship before Sept 1. (It’s no longer listed, perhaps got bought.) There’s a Police Speeder that is up for sale, shipping by Sept 1. So maybe both of these vehicles will be for sale on Force Friday.

      Haven’t seen a Silencer or Force Link Band show up on eBay yet.

    • Bombadgungan

      Wow, that’s a lot of TLJ product!

      So far at Walmart I’ve only seen Hot Wheels off road character cars. However, at Fred Meyer, in addition to the off roaders, I’ve also seen the new TLJ character cars and carships and Hasbro’s 12″ electronic figures (Praetorian & Death Trooper).

    • Rykrof_Enloe

      I wonder if they’ll get cases of 6″ since most Walmarts are swamped with Jyn and Cassians still. They might just get shipper displays with the new 6″ stuff.

  • Shannon Vokes
    • 80sRobot

      Pixar’s Cars meets Star Wars! 🙂 For a little kid, this could be really cool to them. Thanks for sharing!

      Seriously, just $10 for this? Is that supposed to be the actual retail price?

  • JawaKing

    Street dates do make it fair for smaller retailers to compete at selling new merch. There was a big stink about TPM toys because the major retailers all had the product early, and smaller chains and single stores had nothing on the release date. I think there was a lawsuit.
    However, I agree that if the store mistakenly puts it out early, they should have to sell it without a stink.

    BTW- Anybody else think that Poe’s new outfit makes him look a lot like Han Solo?

    • Brian Beck

      yeah, going back and forth between the pics, he does.

    • Rykrof_Enloe

      But for TPM were they putting it out early? I think there were product leaks here and there, like we are seeing now. I remember midnight madness in 1999 very well.

  • Josuethefanboy_7

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/91223a1aee144e8210c84242a5362330ca8c16d6005751b4ba6e7f07ba077466.png
    I bought the Boba Fett and Han Solo 2 pack and the store employee let me purchase it, but I don’t plan on opening it.

    • Brian Beck

      they are set to self destruct if you open before 9/1 😉

    • Put it on ebay and watch it climb to $100.

      • Bombadgungan

        LOL! I don’t condone eSclaping, but you are totally right.

  • Skav Atar

    that’s why they’re paid minimum wage. i worked at a retail store for a year, most of it is just manual labor. i worked mainly the 4am-1pm shift, unload the truck, get merchandise out to the aisles. sort and stock. make sure items look neat and organized on the shelves. clean up and open the doors. Greet and provide great customer service.

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  • Fiery Little One

    I saw some of the Hot Wheels ships today at a Walmart I visited. I knew better than to try and buy any of them.

    • Tom P.

      I have 1 Walmart I visit on occasion that has a few of the new Hot Wheels ships. I’ve bought three so far at normal price (though they have increased by $1 since the R1 vehicles). They’re already in the system and I have no problem at the cash. I’m in Quebec. Another Walmart I visit has taken all unsold merchandise (Including items that just came out for the 40th) and have dumped them in a big gray bin. I believe they’re all being sent back to Hasbro.

      • Fiery Little One

        In my experience Walmart doesn’t seem to care. So, it’s very likely I could have come home with Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter, the only one I’m seriously considering from TLJ, I’m patient enough to wait for Sept. 1st.

  • Rykrof_Enloe

    And… the store put it right back on the shelf. Just took this pic today. Went back to see if they had put out other stuff.

    https ://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/44d148801eb9bb1641b5f9f640d7f447bae0744d445ae199cdadce31d8d9b958.jpg

    • Brian Beck

      the exact thing happen to me last year-no sell because of lead paint-right back on the shelf-after the third time, I made a big enough stink and they sold me K2 🙂

    • Gotta say… those colorful TLJ boxes are looking really nice.

    • 80sRobot

      I bet a fan model maker could make a Praetorian Guard out of SOLO cups.

    • Bombadgungan

      They put a toy for kids that’s been “recalled for lead paint” back on the shelves??? Oh Walmart! 😉

  • Jason Wood

    I totally agree

  • Cryptid

    I had this problem last year when I found the Rouge One figures early. Then I just went to self scan and scanned on old figure over and over. I found this vehicle at Walmart the other night. I tried it eat the price check scanner and it didn’t ring up so I hid the vehicle behind a stack of 40th Anniversary Darth Vaders and if it’s still there after release date or I don’t get it somewhere else, I’ll go grab it.

    • Jimmy Griffin

      It’ll still be there, those 40th Ann. Vaders sure aren’t going anywhere.

      • Rykrof_Enloe

        They marked then down to $15 at my local Walmart… they sold out in a few days then.

        • Paul B

          They marked them down to $15 bucks at my store too
          No idea if they sold yet or not, since I haven’t been there since last week

        • Jimmy Griffin

          They are at $30 at my Walmart.

        • Bombadgungan

          I just checked 2 Oregon and 2 Washington Walmarts yesterday. All of them had these rolled back or on clearance for $30. I want a second set so I can open the Vader figure for display, but I am waiting for something a little closer to $20, otherwise I’ll just wait for him to come out in the Black Series box.

      • Paul B

        They’ll get moved into the clearence aisle

        • Jimmy Griffin

          I always keep an eye on that clearance aisle! : )

  • Miguel Sandoval

    Ok, so there is an entire article complaining about street dates and no date is mentioned? Who writes this crap?!

    • I guess if you haven’t read any of the articles regarding product leaks and rumors over the past month you wouldn’t know that it’s September 1.

      • Angela Billnoski

        Force Friday II is Cancelled

      • Miguel Sandoval

        That would make the article a moot point.

    • Rykrof_Enloe

      Relax, it’s Sept 1st.

    • Skav Atar

      its the same date as Force Friday 2.

  • LaurenceQuint

    A while back, I tried to buy the Jurassic World set with Chris Pratt and the motorcycle.

    But it refused to ring up at the register. Not sure why, don’t know if JW also had a “street date” for its merch or if Target’s systems just weren’t updated or not.

    So I just quietly slid it into my bag and walked out the door. (was fortunate I was at a self check-out aisle.)

    Then, a few weeks later, I went back to the store and bought another one, once the system had been updated.

    And I just took that second one and put it back on the shelf. Thus, retroactively paying for my initial larceny and cleaning the slate of my sins.

    Not recommending anyone actually do that if you find pre-release SW toys on the aisle. I would never advocate doing anything illegal.

    I’m just saying that’s what I’d do….

    • Rykrof_Enloe

      Guess this was a self-serve register.

      While you weren’t intending to steal, and did go back and pay for it, if you had been caught… so not worth it!

      • LaurenceQuint

        It’s true. Not worth it. Would have been my third strike, too!

    • 80sRobot

      True Confessions of Desperate Toy Collectors

    • 80sRobot

      Okay, your confession made me think what’s the best way to pull off something that’s less larcenous.

      1. You need a self-checkout.
      2. Let’s say you find a single-card TLJ figure.
      3. Look for a TFA or RO single-carded figure, and make sure it’s still the same retail price as a single-card TLJ will be.
      4. Take both to the self-check out.
      5. Scan the TFA/RO figure.
      6. Put the TLJ figure in the bag.
      7. Discretely leave the TFA/RO figure behind, put it on the magazine or whatever rack.
      8. Walk out. If you are asked to show a receipt, the door greeter will probably just see “STAR WARS” on both the receipt and the TLJ carded figure.

      I AM NOT ENDORSING ANYONE DO THIS. LOL. (I’m not because I’m not interesting in any of these TLJ toys — I just enjoy reading about this stuff and keeping up with the news, looking at pictures, etc..) It’s just my mind thinking of what would be the “most ethical” way to “hack” this restriction.

      • LaurenceQuint

        I thought about that, too. But all the RO figures are discounted in my stores.

    • Wow, man. Don’t steal Star Wars toys. Not right and think how ridiculous you’d look on the news.

  • Steve Stuber

    Can’t blame street dates solely on Disney. They’ve been around since at least RotS, i.e. Pre-Disney. I understand the reasons behind street dates, but I also feel if a store puts it out they should sell it to you.

    But I also feel that you wouldn’t see this at TRU since all they deal with are toys and the employees (well, the managers anyway) know about these special events and will store the product that is street dated in a special corner of the stock room. Walmart and targets aren’t so savvy about toy events because the sell various other kinds of product.

  • Mark

    All my local stores are showing 3 in stock each. One store has it for $10. I guess I’ll be getting it there once they’re allowed to sell it…

  • Jonathan O.

    I don’t want to sound mean or anything but people say the dumbest sh!t. “Its recalled because of lead paint”? Like that’s the only reason the register would deny the sale? And the people behind you just believed it by the sound of their “oh my gosh”. Lol. Cheese. I’m glad you explained it to them. This is how crap starts, honestly. Disney needs to stop this nonsense of street dates. If they’re going to do a street date, put the toys out the same day as the movie or the same weekend. It would build anticipation AND we’d know who does what in the damn movie and what characters/vehicles are fun and cool.

    • Rykrof_Enloe

      Yep, the guy was trying to rationalize it. Right afer he said it, the lady behind me reacted – at that point, I said I think it’s probably a street date. They do this sometimes for new Star Wars stuff before the movie comes out… and they both looked SO CONFUSED. I don’t know if they comprehended what I was even saying.

  • Alexis Lasek

    We need to stop blaming Hasbro, its all Disney! No TLJ merchandise is supposed to be out until the first. This includes sheets, books, etc. Its stupid I agree, but Disney seems to like events (like “Force Friday”) and I am ok with that but the “Secret keeping” of the merchandise (not just toys) makes it so hard for people like me (I am on a fixed income honestly) To budget.

    • Rykrof_Enloe

      Agree it’s Disney. Would be great if the actual product makers and retailers could convince Disney this policy isn’t helping.

      • Alexis Lasek

        Agree 100%!

      • Bombadgungan

        Hold on a minute. Are you saying we never had street dates prior to the Disney buyout? I could have sworn we did and that some product got put out and sold before they were supposed to back then as well.

        I for one have no problem with street dates. Disney and Hasbro want to have these launch events to make a big production about it. They want to be sure their retail partners have product on-hand for the launch event and can make a decent presentation of the new line. Sure, it would be nice if retailers were a bit more “intelligent” about communicating these policies to their stores, managers and employees. I think the purchase lock out at the register is a more recent tactic to help with the lack of communication and execution of street dates through the chain of command. Of course we still have the human factor involved here and mistakes will be made.

        Having said that, I don’t get particularly worked up over some pieces slipping through, especially if it’s me making the score! ;). And I think most fans love seeing and reading about these product leaks on our favorite fan site. The only frustration we may have about it likely stems from the fact that somebody else got a cool new product before it was supposed to be out and we have to wait another few weeks before we can get our own.

        Now… this top secret handling of all information surrounding the new movies and their merchandise is annoying. I mean I don’t expect them to lay out everything in front of us 6 months before the movie’s release (I do like some surprises), but at least throw us a bone or two!

        • Alexis Lasek

          No there were street dates I remember Phantom Menace did and was at the midnight event for attack of the clones but it wasn’t Hasbro, it was Lucas back then! If it was Hasbro then Books, hot wheels (which are Mattel), posters, etc would be out now. Itis the license holder (in this case Disney).

          • Bombadgungan

            Of course the mandate to not sell a product thereby revealing characters, vehicles, etc. from an upcoming film prior to a specified date comes from the top down, from the licensor at the time, LucasFilm then, Disney now. I just meant that it is my opinion that Hasbro, being the major licensee of Star Wars toys is a willing participant in these release events. Ultimately, even though Disney can wield its power over the release date, I doubt they have any control over retailers actually having any sort of “event”.

        • Rykrof_Enloe

          No, I’m not saying there weren’t street dates, there were. But Disney is pulling the strings now. Before, it was Lucasfilm. I really don’t like the street date, but when product does get on the sales floor that can’t be sold, that’s when I think things are just silly.

          Remember when TRU said “screw the street date” on the SOTE stuff in 2010? That was great.

          • Bombadgungan

            So what does it matter who is dictating the sales date? A street date is a street date. Is it a matter of Disney being more strict about the street dates whereas LucasFilm just gave a date, but didn’t do anything to ensure it was adhered to? I really don’t think Disney can mandate that retailers put a sale lockout on their registers. They just issue the date and it’s up to the retails to abide by it by whatever means possible. Perhaps the retailers have wised up to the fact that they can’t control what happens at the individual store level when it comes to stocking product as much as they’d like, so they’ve implemented the register lockout as a safety net.

  • Boba Fettuccini

    I’m liking that up close look at the figure. If they don’t do an SA of the outfit, it should be easy to kitbash one with some Hans

    • Rykrof_Enloe

      It looked really great in person for 5poa