There’s a big battle brewing over a simple Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy. As seen on Fortune, and plenty of other websites, a toy from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie was accidentally sold early at a Walmart store. A Star Wars fan and toy collector named Justin Koziesk bought the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy, apparently for less than $7, and after sharing his find to the “Star Wars Action News” Facebook page on December 8, all heck broke loose over the photos of the toy.
“Have we known this figure was coming? I just found her at Walmart – no other new figures… Justin”
That simple question and the two photos of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy awakened a giant, and Lucasfilm began threatening people with DMCA takedown requests on Facebook and social media, reports Ars Technica. According to the publication, the man who took photos of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy he bought from Walmart is now banned from Facebook.
The owners of the “Star Wars Action News” Facebook page, one of whom is Marjorie Carvalho, fought back over Disney’s aggressive actions of trying to get all the leaked Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy photos of the web. Marjorie reasoned that Justin walked into a Walmart and legally purchased a toy for sale from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens line of toys and then took a photo of that Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy and posted it to their Facebook page. The Facebook page owners noted that Justin didn’t steal the toy but legally purchased it — and aggressively pursuing Star Wars: The Force Awakens fans to try and get them to remove the Star Wars: The Force Awakens photos of the toy was a bit like trying to squeeze toothpaste back into a tube. Also, fans noted that it’s probably not the best PR move for Disney and Lucasfilm.
Meanwhile, the original Facebook post where the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy photos appear has been amended to reflect the actions Facebook took after receiving reports of copyright infringement.
“NOTE: These pictures were removed from the post. Facebook notified us they deleted the photos after someone reported them for copyright infringement. Those photos have gone viral–they’re out there. But they aren’t here. And we will not be posting them again as we consider Hasbro a valuable partner in our coverage of Star Wars toys. –Arnie”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens fans, meanwhile, are examining the clues given by the Star Wars: The Force Awakens packaging for spoilers in the movie. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens character “Rey” appears in the packaging of the toy, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy and movie fans are reacting to the fact that she has Luke’s lightsaber. It’s being called an awesome spoiler.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys were already also for sale at a Walmart store in Laurel, Maryland, as seen in the following photo posted to Twitter by “The Darth Tony.” Like the toy purchased by Justin in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the other Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys were priced at $6.94, as seen in the photos. Another report from a Walmart customer claims that the full wave of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys have been found in Florida, too.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens fans were treated to “Force Friday” celebrations back in September of this year when the merchandise for Star Wars: The Force Awakens made its debut. Apparently, those “Force Friday” items didn’t include the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys that had Disney and Lucasfilms trying to take down all the images of the leaked toy from Walmart off the web.
(Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Disney Consumer Products/AP Images)