Heavy into "Star Wars" collectibles? Panting with anticipation for "The Force Awakens" (opening Dec. 18)? If you're currently a Verizon Wireless customer, or willing to convert (instantly), you should be paying a visit to one of the mobile phone company's local stores today (Wednesday) or tomorrow to snatch up a free limited-edition "Star Wars" commemorative – specially decorated Google Cardboard VR glasses - that will help you unlock movie previews with three-dimensional and wrap-around charms.
So far, Disney's flogging of the film and franchise with TV commercials (and toys, and partner sponsors) has been relentless but not all that satisfying. And the first bit of "The Force Awakens" posted this morning in VR ain't giving much away either, just the "Star Wars" plot crawl. You'll find it by downloading the official "Star Wars" app for Android and IOS, then tapping on the section called "Jakku Spy" that's decorated with a Google Glasses icon.
But better VR stuff is reportedly coming - eight more teaser segments, leading up to "The Force Awakens" official landing in theaters (and mauling of most every other holiday movie out there.)
Any Google Cardboard device can bring the content alive, after you've inserted a compatible, app-loaded smart phone into the viewer. But for the purists, the four officially sanctioned "Star Wars" themed versions are all about the cutes and the collectability.
Folks were already lined up outside Verizon's 1430 Walnut Street store to grab a sample even before the 9 a.m. opening, shared store rep Damien Smith. By the time I got there (two hours later) the outlet was already missing one especially cool design that looks like a cross between R2D2 and a Ricoh Theta S VR camera. Smith said his store and one in Bensalem were the only local Verizon locations with inventory this morning; reps at two other center city locations – 1515 Market and 1115 Market – said they were expecting their shipments "later today or tomorrow."
Be aware – just saying you're a Verizon wireless customer won't get you one. Gotta give up your phone number, then swear (on Luke Skywalker's honor) that the name that comes up on the computer associated with said number is you.
Or they'll be happy to sign you up for service. That's a lot to ask for a device valued – if logo free – at about $4. But with Darth Vader or our favorite little robot looming large . . . "priceless."