Monday, April 04, 2005

Episode III Midnight Madness After-Action Report

Stop me before I do this again.

Oh yeah, that's right: there's no way this can be done again, 'cuz this is the last movie.

Well then, might as well go out in a blaze of glory...

MIDNIGHT
MADNESS
Saturday April 2nd 2005

12:01 AM on April 2nd was the earliest that the REAL loot from Star Wars Episode III went on sale. There'd been the standard "teaser" stuff over the past few months like a coupl'a LEGO sets and some preview action figures, but this was the real deluge. Some of us had to be the first to behold a virgin, unsoiled, unblemished stack of new Star Wars merchandise and if not now then it would be never again, 'cuz this is the last Star Wars movie after all. So a few days before my good friend Brian and I started laying out our plans for Friday night. He came by the apartment about 9:30 and we headed out soon thereafter, he in his Revenge of the Sith t-shirt and me in my full Jedi garb (including lightsaber). We scoped out the scene at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Greensboro then went to Toys R Us and decided this is where we needed to be for first strike of the evening. Y'see, Toys R Us had an exclusive Holographic Yoda action figure that was only going out to first 12 people in the door and we wanted to take a stab at that. Wal-Mart had some other exclusive but it wasn't an action figure one. Target had the "Flaming Lava Darth Vader" that we wanted to take a crack at later that morning, but we had to go for Yoda right now. We got in line about 10:30 at Toys R Us and by 11:30 here's what it looked like...

The guy in this next photo, his name's Fonzo and we remembered each other instantly 'cuz both of us were the VERY FIRST to be in line at this same Toys R Us when they had Midnight Madness for Episode I six years ago! I was first to arrive then and this time he got the sacred honor. So from now on you can know that a guy named Fonzo was the first to get his hands on new stuff from the last Star Wars movie...

And here is Fonzo and me, together again (and Fonzo is holding one of the tickets that went to the first twelve people who arrived, so that we were guaranteed to get a Yoda figure):

That's Brian on the left and the dude in the green jacket is Scott. They also hold the coveted tickets...

And just to let everyone know that I got one legitly...

Finally, Magic Hour hit and the clerks opened the doors at 12:01 on the dot. We swarmed in like Visigoths raping Rome, grabbed the nearest buggies and tore a path of destruction through the Tele-tubbies and Harry Potter stuff.

And there it was...


The action figures were the first to go. The store clerks kept a steady barrage of them coming, like so much heroin flowing into the veins of a crazed junky...

There's a reason why Brian and I went together this night. You see, his wife was out-of-state and just before leaving that morning her last words to Brian were "don't buy too many toys tonight!" That's what Lisa told me that evening too. So Brian and I were like "accountability partners" to each other: we were going to make sure that neither one of us went back home to his wife and have to explain ALL these Star Wars toys littering the living room.

But of course it being the LAST Midnight Madness, we had to go hogwild a little bit...


That's the toy Yoda doll that Brian found to be insanely cute. He's also holding the Holographic Yoda figure. Then I got to check out mine...

...but the REAL prize of the night HAD to be the "Darth Tater" Mr. Potato Head:

I think we kept the night's haul pretty modest. Some people though wanted to relish it just a little bit more...

We lasted about 30 minutes at Toys R Us then hit the road for the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Not as much hooplah there as Toys R Us had but even close to 1 AM there were some devoted parents who had brought their kids in to oggle the goods. Here's Brian again (who seems to have had a curious fixation on Yoda that evening):

We got back to my apartment about 1:30 AM and Brian went home. I don't think either one of us slept that night so we wouldn't miss Target's opening a few hours later at 8 AM. So it was that Brian and Scott and me were among the first twenty through the door that got tickets for the "Flaming Vader" figure. And I got even MORE loot from the place.

By the time Lisa woke up at quarter 'til 9, here's the sad, sordid state that she found her husband in after a night of incessant Starwargasms:


It was not a pretty picture.

The haul was more than glorious, however...

It wasn't TOO much, just enough to savor the moments. At Toys R Us I got the Holographic Yoda figure, two of the Emperor Palpatine with lightsaber figures (including one that I opened just to pose on my desk), the new Darth Vader figure and the LEGO "Darth Vader Transformation" set 'cuz the evening wouldn't be complete without at least one thing of LEGO, and the "Darth Tater" Mr. Potato Head. Didn't get anything from Wal-Mart but later that morning in addition to the Target exclusive Vader figure I bought the standard Yoda figure, the new General Grievous and Chewbacca figures, and the deluxe Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious figure that has the "Force lighting" effect and switching-faces feature. That also got posed on my desk so now I've a "Shrine to Sidious" going on with the original figure from The Phantom Menace

Here's a better picture of the Vader Mr. Potato Head (and new Emperor Palpatine figure):

Later that day after we saw The Ring Two we hit the other Wal-Mart and I wound up getting the Episode III novelization and the Episode III Visual Dictionary. Oh yeah and the action figure that I've come to call "Pregnant Padme".

And that was how I celebrated Midnight Madness for the last Star Wars film ever (or at least until 90-year old George Lucas decides that he wants to make six more movies after all :-)

2 comments:

Darth Larry said...

you know, i don't think it is so wierd that i have an interest in yoda. just look at that little plush guy! you'd have to be a robot (or droid!) to not be affected by that cute little guy.

thanks chris for documenting the melee.

we came, we stood in line, we lightened our wallets.

all in the spirit of Star Wars.

we should do that again sometime...

brian

Christopher said...

Yo Brian, made a link to your blog within this post. Was a pleasure sharing Saturday morning's wild ride with ya bro :-)