Galactic payouts for early Stars Wars collectors

30 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fans, box offices gear up for seventh ‘Star Wars’.

Much in the way Game of Thrones boosted Northern Ireland’s tourism, Tourism Ireland is expecting Star Wars: The Force Awakens to have a similar effect. Part of the new Star Wars movie was filmed on Skellig Micheal off the coast of Kerry which, at the time, faced opposition from several environmental protesters. In trailers, the protagonist played by English actor Daisy Ridley races a land-speeder, wields a staff-like weapon and helps pick an exhausted male ally up off the ground.

R2-KT, a pink iteration of iconic blue-and-white Star Wars droid R2-D2, was created by South Carolina father Albin Johnson for daughter Katie after she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in 2004. The tourism body says that it expects that by the end of the year some eight million tourists will have visited Ireland, making it the best year for Irish tourism ever. Mr Johnson, founder of Star Wars cosplay organisation the 501st Legion, collaborated with the R2 Builder’s club to create an “astromech” droid model with a custom pink paint-job, especially for Katie. I think the closest comparison for fandom is probably the ‘Harry Potter’ series,” said David Huffman, director of marketing for the company operating the cinema.

Speaking about the opportunity that Ireland has to attach itself to the Star Wars brand in 2016, chief executive officer at Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, told Newstalk that it will be very beneficial for Ireland. “It’s the most anticipated movie in history as you know some of it has been filmed in Skellig Micheal. One sure thing is that Rey is part of a push by the world’s largest entertainment company to attract more girls and women to the “Star Wars” franchise, and extract more money from them. He declined to name the early-bird customer. “But we’ve never had someone buy out the entire facility before.” You don’t need to know Boba Fett from the new BB-8 droid to realize the seventh “Star Wars” movie in 38 years is a colossal cinematic, pop culture, merchandising and even spiritual event. It has even had a cameo in Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars as droid QT-KT. “Mary Franklin of Lucasfilm asked me to pitch the idea to Kathleen Kennedy (Lucasfilm President), and after hearing the story of our pink ambassador of hope, Lucasfilm requested we ship her off to London early last year,” he wrote.

As creator George Lucas once said, the sci-fi saga is designed to make people think about the larger mysteries of life and not just what happened to your Topps trading cards. Being a scientist doesn’t pose a problem for enjoying genre entertainment for Small, so long as the fiction isn’t trying too hard to make it all work. “If you just say ‘there’s people in space, and they’re really going fast, then there’s conflict,’ I can have fun with it,” he said. “Once you’ve got antigravity, (realism) is out the door.” He’s the kind of guy who, in his Applied Optics Class, has students calculate what it would take for Supergirl’s telescopic x-ray vision to work, and what wavelengths of light she’d need to be able to see to duplicate a sequence from the first episode of her CBS television show. Literally everyone I know wants to see this movie, male or female.” Disney has expanded “Star Wars” merchandise to include cosmetics, jewelry and purses, quite a change for a line historically dominated by light sabers and spaceships.

And Legolas, the elf archer from Lord of the Rings, could see faces miles off, which would work, according to Small and his students, if his eyes were enormous or he had some very fancy things happening in the neural connections in his brain. There’s demand: Social-media firestorms erupted when Internet critics decided Under Armour Inc. and Target Corp. hadn’t produced enough female-oriented items tied to the film.

People forget that ‘Titanic’ opened with $28 million,” he said, although rapturous repeat viewings pumped its worldwide gross to $1.8 billion plus. “Star Wars” arrives in the digital age, when theaters can easily add more showings, and social media is fueling demand and could dampen desire if moviegoers are disappointed with the latest entry in the franchise, which has grossed more than $4.3 billion worldwide. He became more of a fan in high school, when the original trilogy of movies were finished and the “Expanded Universe” of spin-off novels hit their stride with author Timothy Zahn’s novels. “I’m more of a fantasy fan than a sci-fi fan. Licensees including Hasbro Inc. and Lego AS have churned out Rey goods in large numbers, but while Rey figurines are on prominent display in Disney stores they can be harder to locate in places like Target or Toys “R” US.

Among those with a ticket is Keith Fuller, chef and owner of Root 174 in Regent Square, chef/​co-owner of soon-to-open Pork & Beans in Downtown and a “Star Wars” super-fan. They have knights fighting with swords — .” The answer, according to physicists, is the equivalent of all the energy produced by the sun in a week, which the Death Star somehow manages to fire with no recoil, in defiance of . Most “Star Wars” products before the company bought creator Lucasfilm Ltd. in 2012 were toys aimed at boys, said Paul Southern, who runs Disney’s “Star Wars” licensing business.

Not surprising for a man who sports a tattoo of Steve Buscemi as Darth Vader on the back of his left calf, an inky portrait on his stomach of Darth Vader eating a cheeseburger and other Dark Lord tats. The good news, though: Storing that much energy would “only” take an object the size of Halley’s Comet. “Midichlorians are actually based on something real,” Small said. “Mitochondria — they’re cells within our cells and are very real. As Disney strives to change that with what Southern called “a really concerted effort,” retailers are being tested, as they figure out how to arrange displays and which fans to target. They don’t produce magic, just chemistry.” Horrifyingly, midichlorians became a little more real after the release of “The Phantom Menace,” when a biologist named a newly discovered species of bacteria that lives inside mitochondria after them. (Naming species is often a somewhat silly and geeky affair — an important gene is named after videogame star Sonic the Hedgehog, for instance.) Planets that orbit two suns, as Tatooine does, are plausible, although as Small pointed out, there was no way that George Lucas could have known that in 1977 — just that it made for a cool visual for Luke Skywalker to stare meaningfully at. The all-desert world of Tatooine makes sense, although it would probably be uninhabitable anywhere except at the poles, which doesn’t seem to match with Luke Skywalker looking soulfully into that double sunset.

And conversely, it doesn’t make sense for the snow-covered world of Hoth from “The Empire Strikes Back” to be completely below freezing temperatures. Abrams have been holding off on sending some items to stores, including those tied to another female character, Maz Kanata, played by Lupita Nyong’o.

At 36, he is too young to have been gobsmacked in the theater by the first three releases between 1977 and ’83 and known by the Roman numerals IV, V and VI. His introduction largely came through videotapes, action figures and other toys. “I just got married and my wife had never actually seen ‘Star Wars,’ which was almost a deal breaker,” he said of Kathleen Joritz. “She said, ‘I want to watch them.’ Cool. And he said Disney isn’t pressing certain manufacturers, such as Jakks Pacific Inc., to put out Rey merchandise because it wants some new products on shelves after the film’s release. Southern said retailers are embracing the new push, citing a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. “Force Awakens” ad with a mother asking her daughter why a princess doesn’t let boys rescue her. “Because she’s a modern, empowered woman, unfettered by the antiquated gender roles of a bygone era,” the girl responds.

Twitter posters lit into athletic apparel maker Under Armour when it released a line of male-only “Force Awakens” wear in its Imperial Collection in late October — and soon versions for women and girls popped up on Under Armor’s website, with shipping starting Jan. 1. Reaction was also swift when Target began selling its all-male “Force Awakens” action-figure six-pack, with a #wheresrey hashtag trending on Twitter.

Target spokesman Lee Henderson noted that stores stock several Rey items and said, “Fans will be seeing even more of her after the film opens.” John Frascotti, president of the Hasbro Brands unit that made the six-pack, said the social-media focus was misdirected, because Rey is “very well represented” in other Hasbro lines. “The franchise is every day becoming more inclusive of both genders. For its latest release, “Star Wars” has tapped into one of the newer outlets in the online arsenal:​StarWars, where charitable donations can earn prizes, including a trip to attend the London or Los Angeles premieres of “The Force Awakens.” Twitter lit up this month with scenes of Harrison Ford surprising donors via Skype. It’s really picking a needle in a haystack.” Among Disney-licensed products already out or expected soon are $169 Stormtrooper necklaces at Kay Jewelers; “The Dark Side” mascara for $7 by Covergirl; and “Rey’s Survival Guide,” for $10 from Simon & Schuster.

There is so much out there that it’s nice to know that has a member of the Lucasfilm team known as the Social Scanner who vets the galaxy of posts about every branch of “Star Wars” for you, with new entries posted on Fridays. Los Angeles resident Emily Corbett said that when she inquired recently at a Toy “R” Us, a clerk directed her and her 6-year-old daughter Tegan to “the boys aisle,” where she found nothing associated with Rey. “I’d be nice to have something for girls,” Corbett said, as Tegan played mischievously with a light saber. How am I supposed to get anything done?????” The buildup to the launch day included the designation of Sept. 4 as Force Friday, a day that lit a fire under toy sales that continues to burn.

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