Well, I for one did not spend a single red cent on Force Friday and the reason is because I didn't see anything I wanted. I really only buy two lines; the newly resurrected micro machines and the 3.75 super articulated line. Neither one was on the pegs last weekend and so there was nothing to interest me. The line seems so focused on "kid stuff" like the 5POA figures, nerf stuff, and gimmicky electronics that I wonder if the collector backbone that has carried them through lean times isn't falling by the wayside.
Article: "In 2017, we believe the toy industry is experiencing movie fatigue"... try again, Star Wars new movie tie-in toys have slumped since around the beginning of 2016. Hasbro hasn't succeeded in capturing new audiences' toy buying habits (IMO because they price themselves right out of this target audience at every opportunity), they don't really understand what will be popular with new audiences so they inundate the wrong things. They need to pare down and focus on play habits drawn from the new entertainment. They've consistently missed the boat on Star Wars Rebels, and vastly overestimated interest in Rogue One, as well as refusing to recognize that the marketing of new troopers might just be more interesting than aliens and rebels that ended up background nobodies.
Look at what's in demand so far on this line: The Black Series 6" figures, and the Vader/Probe Droid 3.75" set. Those are far and away the hardest things to find, they blend established legacy characters with new entries, and as a result they are carried by the existing pop culture and collector culture demands. Hasbro should be nurturing that mindset in all their brands rather than letting it get swept away with the new.
I think Hasbro got $16 from me on FF2 (unless you count R1 discounted items, then add another $16). Hot Wheels, about $8. Books, around $35. One card pack for $2. That's it. I'm getting older, and buying "kids" stuff is getting less intriguing to me. But then, the comment about knowing one's core audience (aka "old" collectors) isn't working, either.
I went a bit nuts in the weeks following Force Friday 2015, only to watch TFA and realize that most of the stuff I bought was barely featured in the movie. When "Go Rogue" Friday 2016 rolled around, I mostly focused on new versions of OT characters (mainly that amazing Rogue One Stormtrooper), but did end up buying a few characters from the movie before seeing the film. In both instances, I found that I had spent lots of money on characters that I didn't really care about, after watching the movies. I did also spend a lot of money on characters that I did care about, but I realized too late that I could have saved some money by just watching the movies first and then deciding what toys I wanted to buy.
So, I'm not falling into that same trap with The Last Jedi. The only TLJ related figure I've purchased so far is C-3PO. I also picked up the Han Solo/Boba Fett 2-pack, but that's really it. I haven't even bought Old Man Luke yet (and I could probably army build him if I wanted to with the way he's filling up the toy pegs in my town).
Back when there were three years between Star Wars movies, the release of new toys felt like more of an event. The ten years between Ep3 and TFA made FF2015 feel like a huge deal. However, now that we're getting at least one new movie every year, it just doesn't feel as special anymore.
I bought the Vader-Probe Droid. I think the Probe Droid is great, though I think the coloring is off a bit. I wish it was a bit more grey and not quite so black. But I think it is the best version of the Probe Droid to date.
I should also mention that in my area, where most stores usually don't carry large amounts of Star Wars toys, retailers like Walgreens and Dollar General went all out for TFA in 2015, with a large variety of merchandise and signs outside teling people that there were Star Wars toys in stock. However, for TLJ, those same stores have stocked nothing so far. Not just reduced their stock or stopped marketing the toys, but there is absolutely nothing TLJ related at all, because TFA and Rogue One merchandise is still clogging the shelves. As far as those retailers are concerned, at least in my area, The Last Jedi might as well not even exist.