Aug 28, 2016

What's with the Death Trooper featuring on the Rogue One toy packaging?

Death Trooper Rogue One

Did you notice anything really interesting about the marketing material for Rogue One?

In particular the packaging for the Rogue One 3.75 inch figurines? Look to your right >> for a picture of the packaging.

The common feature across every toy unit is the Imperial Death Trooper.

In Rogue One, these guys are the body guards of Director Krennic. There's a sweet look at two of them at the top of this article.

This is very interesting. 

If you recall the marketing and packaging for The Force Awakens was Kylo Ren.

Kylo Ren, bloody everywhere.

The Phantom Menace featured Darth Maul’s black red visage.

Darth Maul, bloody everywhere.

Yet for Rogue One, they are using the basically anonymous Black Death Squad Storm Trooper. Which seems a fairly benign sort of move. Yes, he’s a DEATH trooper but Disney has a huge ace up their sleeve which they don’t appear to be using:

Darth Vader

Yes, in case you’ve been recently held captive in one of Jabba’s cells, Darth Vader is in Rogue One. He was in the trailer.

One would have thought that Disney would be marketing the SHIT out Darth Vader for Rogue One but it would appear the official merchandising packaging is not going to include him.

It’s like they are leaving money on the table, especially as Rogue One is being released just before Christmas and all the Star Wars toys and masks will be flying out the door as presents. Darth Vader will out sell the Death Trooper 100 times to one. I know these numbers to be fact, as I asked my wife for the number.

Maybe the marketing team at Disney is doing this a bit different this time around deliberately. They know that Rogue One, is a Star Wars story but it’s not THE STAR WARS STORY so they are trying to manage brand expectations.

Maybe not.

We suspect that this trench run tranche of Rogue One figurines is just the first gambit. Disney is going to release a whole heap of Darth Vader toys and figures as effectively he is being re-introduced to a new generation of Star Wars fans. It would look pretty stupid for a Darth Vader figurine to be sold with the Death Trooper on the packaging.

That’s kind of like U2 opening a concert for Fall Out Boy which is just ridiculous so expect new packaging in due course.

Update - the Death Trooper packaging is across The Force Awakens and Star War Rebels figurines as well, so it's a more broadly deliberate strategy than just the promotion of Rogue One toy merchandise.

Still got your thinking on? What does the name of Rogue One mean?

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