Saturday, August 2, 2008

Midnight Madness

Every so often, Toys R Us stores will host midnight toy premieres on the eve of their official release date. The closest thing I can think of outside of Star Wars is the Harry Potter midnight book release parties. It's been a while since I've attended one of these (I think the last one was for The Phantom Menace before even I joined the Legion), but since there was a store only 9 minutes away and I wouldn't have to worry about work in the morning (it was Friday, July 25), I figured I should take advantage of it. 501st Carolina Garrison members Dave Petty (TI-1626) and Jada Diaz (DZ-5232) handling organizing this event and I contributed the flyer.

It was great to see so many Carolina members again, and many new ones as well. We met at a local Jason's Deli and then arrived at TRU around 10pm where there were a few shoppers already lining up. I suited up in my TK armor for the first 40 minutes then switched to street clothes to facilitate an international 501st podcast call where we simultaneously counted down to the toy release from New York's Times Square with Northeast Remnant Commanding Officer Dion Rupa (TK-1217) and Taiwan Outpost Commanding Officer Roy Waung (TD-1668). You can hear the countdown from opposite ends of the world on Episode 21 of the 501stCast. This was also the only toy release event to feature an actual celebrity from the Clone Wars, pink astromech R2-KT!

After the madness, the 501st participants mingled among the emptied shelves (they sold an amazing amount of merchandise) and looked through the remnants. At one point, Carolina CO Cheralyn Lambeth (TB-0976) picked up the Star Wars Ultimate Visual Guide book and joked to me "Let's see if you're in here." Amazingly, we both appeared on a page featuring a group photo of the 501st from Star Wars Celebration III in Indianapolis. I exhibited an unusual sense of self-restraint regarding toy purchases, but in actuality this was simply due to the fact that I don't collect toys anymore. I walked out the door with a $10 Clone Wars lunchbox for my son. Click here for more event pics from DZ-6570.

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