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Retailers Unveil New ‘Star Wars’ Toys for Force Friday

As fans of the Star Wars franchise eagerly await the December release of Star Wars The Force Awakens, Friday helped them manage their anticipation, with the release of new toys and other merchandise, in an intergalactic Black Friday of sorts.

Major retailers began rolling out brand new merchandise after midnight on Sept. 3 in an effort aimed at Star Wars fans, according to Fortune, which estimates the event could generate $1 billion in sales.

Experts also believe merchandise for the film could bring in $3 billion to $5 billion globally in 2015.

While a Star Wars Force Friday event guide was created for fans shopping at Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us, other retailers such as Petco joined the craze, releasing  Star Wars dog toys, and Best Buy spent the day promoting SW films and games, while also taking pre-orders for the Star Wars: Battlefront video game.

Wal-Mart held Force Friday events at 2,900 of its more than 4,000 U.S. stores, according to The Washington Post, while Target hosted similar events at 207 of its 1,799 U.S. stores and even offered shoppers a special tool to help them figure out which stores were participating.

Both retail giants are holding additional events Saturday morning, for those with young children.

Online retailer Amazon also joined the fun, selling franchise DVDs and books, as well as home décor, toys, apparel, costumes, shoes, watches and other items.

An event of this magnitude for a Star Wars film release is unprecedented, but following the purchase of LucasFilms by Disney for $4 billion, the company is trying to generate a buzz for The Force Awakens early, and will likely see big returns from product licensing.

While Lucasfilm licensed Lego and Hasbro to sell toys of the franchise, Disney has gotten more than a half-dozen other toymakers involved, including Mattel, Jakks Pacific, and Spin Master.

Experts tell Fortune the extra competition will elevate the quality of the toys being sold.

So what is being sold? Aside from classic action figures and toys from the original films, a diverse array of new products are hitting store shelves, including the Furbacca, spacecraft speakers sets, an Instructional Yoda and RC flying spacecraft sets, which include either an X-wing fighter or the Millennium Falcon.

To check out other cool toys being sold Friday, check out this list compiled by CNN Money.

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