Here's how easy it is to buy 'Star Wars' toys weeks before stores are allowed to start selling them

Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are on the run as Finn and Rey in The Force AwakensLucasfilmBefore ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ comes out in December, fans will able to purchase ‘Star Wars’-themed toys.

Disney is set to unveil its new line of “Star Wars” toys next month in stores on September 4.

On that day, which is being dubbed Force Friday, fans will be able to get their hands on a number of toys ranging from lightsabers to figurines from the upcoming new movie, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Fans will even be able to purchase a working mini-replica of the film’s new robot, BB-8.

However, a bunch of the toys began popping up in retail stores earlier this month ahead of Disney’s huge Force Friday reveal. As a result, “Star Wars: Episode VII” figures have appeared on eBay for as much as hundreds of dollars.

Since then, I’ve been heading to retail stores in Central New Jersey to see if any Force Friday toys were accidentally on shelves. It turns out, some of are appearing in stores weeks ahead of release.

Star wars piscatawayKirsten Acuna/Tech Insider
Kirsten Acuna/Tech Insider
Can you spot the Force Awakens toys casually among the other toys in a New Jersey Walmart?
Can you spot the Force Awakens toys casually among the other toys in a New Jersey Walmart?

Here’s how I came across the toys.

What I found in the past few weeks was that every store was clearing shelf space in preparation for the big day to make way for the onslaught of “Star Wars.” (Not a huge surprise.) That also meant all of the old “Star Wars” toys are currently marked as clearance in all of the stores we visited, which included three Target and three Walmart stores as well as one Toys “R” Us.

Kirsten Acuna/Tech InsiderThe scene often looked like this in each toy store. Here’s the scene in a New Jersey Target on Sunday, August 23.
Target clearance star warsKirsten Acuna/Tech InsiderStores are clearing out old ‘Star Wars’ toys to make room for new ones. Above is another Target in central New Jersey.

The first Walmart I headed to had a full display of “Star Wars” toys that shouldn’t be on shelves until Friday, September 4.

Here’s a closer look at some of the toys.

I knew these were Force Friday toys, because the packaging for the toys matches the product casing unveiled on May 3. “The Force Awakens” villain Kylo Ren will be featured on packaging for all of the new toys.

Star wars force friday boxDisney/Star WarsHere’s the box art for every new ‘Star Wars’ toy that will be released on September 4, Force Friday.

(None of the toys were “Star Wars: Episode VII” related, so there weren’t spoilers for the new film.)

Here’s a closer look at what we saw.

The top shelves were lined with toys called “Box Busters,” toys that fold and unfold into boxes to reveal a mini playset inside.

This one is of a Tusken Raider Attack and the Battle of Yavin, which helped lead to the destruction of the initial Death Star.

The other prominent playset featured the Death Star. Both sets retail for $US14.92.

Here’s the back of the box:

Kirsten Acuna/Tech InsiderThe back of the box shows off a few other sets including one depicting an attack on Ewok planet Endor and another featuring the Battle of Hoth.

There were also several radio controlled “Star Wars” vehicles Disney is releasing in conjunction with Air Hogs.

Among the vehicles was a Luke Skywalker X-34 Land Speeder.

There was also a Stormtrooper riding on a Speeder Bike. Both retail for $US34.83.

At the high end, was an X-Wing Starfighter for $US59.86.

But the coolest toy was definitely the Millennium Falcon drone. This was priced at $US88.00.

Millennium falcon star wars force fridayKirsten Acuna/Tech InsiderHyperspace mode? We’re sold.

I initially left the store and carried on to a Target down the road. When I realised Target didn’t have any of the same items, I went straight back and figured I should try and buy something.

I went with one of the remote-controlled toys.

Star wars air hogs speeder bikeKirsten Acuna/Tech InsiderSorry Luke, but I really wanted a moving Stormtrooper.
Star wars air hogsKirsten Acuna/Tech InsiderHere’s the back of the Speeder Bike box.

The lines were pretty lengthy inside, so I headed straight over to a self-checkout.

Star wars force friday walmartKirsten Acuna/Tech InsiderThis did not go as planned.

When I tried to ring the toy up, I was met with a prompt on the screen telling me this was a “restricted sale” and that I wouldn’t be able to purchase it.

I headed over to a cashier and see if the same thing would happen. Just as I suspected, the moment the cashier rang up the toy a little message popped up on the screen instructing that the item was not for sale. Before I could say anything, the cashier simply overrode the message! I bought my toy, free and clear.

It appeared as if employees weren’t given the proper training to be aware that certain “Star Wars” toys were not for sale ahead of September 4, but a representative for Walmart tells Tech Insider stores have put a number of precautions in place to prevent leaks from occuring including a sale restriction at registers. Though, as we noted, this was easily overridden by a cashier in the store.

And it wasn’t just that particular Walmart which carried some of these toys.

Out of the six stores I headed to on Sunday, every single Walmart had Force Friday-related toys on display.

Star wars woodbridgeKirsten Acuna/Tech Insider‘Star Wars’ toys in two other New Jersey stores were nestled in among other ‘Star Wars’ products.
Star wars piscatawayKirsten Acuna/Tech Insider
Kirsten Acuna/Tech Insider
Can you spot the Force Awakens toys casually among the other toys in a New Jersey Walmart?
Can you spot the Force Awakens toys casually among the other toys in a New Jersey Walmart?

None of the Target stores had any on its shelves.

We were told Walmart will be looking into the matter.

All of Disney’s new “Star Wars” toys will be on shelves on 9/4.

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