Disney worked Star Wars fans into a global merchandising frenzy dubbed ‘Force Friday’ last week, ahead of the latest release in the movie series.

The phenomenon kicked off in Sydney at midnight on Friday with stores opening especially to sell Star Wars merchandise, followed by similar openings across the globe. The event finished in San Francisco 18 hours later.

Disney, in collaboration with retailers including Walmart and Toys R Us and licensees such as Lego, unveiled hundreds of products tied to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens film.

Disney stores across the globe were the focal point of Force Friday, which was designed to build up anticipation ahead of the film’s release on December 18.

A handful of UK stores also took part in the Force Friday extravaganza, including Disney’s flagship Oxford Street branch.

Actors John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, who star in the latest Star Wars instalment, attended the Oxford Street event.

Ahead of the launch of The Force Awakens, fans were offered video teasers of new plot twists, characters and machinery, as well as new merchandise from the latest movie.

On offer were figures, toys, models of space craft, clothing, accessories and even home furniture dedicated to the film.

In 2012 entertainment giant Disney bought Lucasfilms, the studio behind the Star Wars series, for £2.6bn. The Force Awakens is the first Star Wars movie to be released since that acquisition