[UPDATE! The Droid R2-D2 smartphone will cost $249 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a two-year contract. It comes pre-loaded with R2-D2 notification sounds and ringtones, four live wallpapers, R2-D2 clock widget, a "Best of R2-D2" video and an "exclusive binoculars app." Due to the tropical storm warning, the store will be setting up tents for shelter from the rain. The party portion may be postponed at times. If it gets dangerous, they'll either have people wait inside the store or Verizon will tell people to come back at midnight. Come back to this blog or MiamiHerald.com before midnight on Wednesday for a livestream of the event!]
Star Wars fans, these are the droids you're looking for.
Verizon's Star Wars special edition of the Motorola Droid 2, called the Droid R2-D2, will be sold at the Verizon Hialeah store with a launch party the night of Wednesday, Sept. 29. Customers can buy up two phones each, and participating stores are only getting about 150 Droid R2-D2 phones, which are decked out with a special R2-D2 design, come with a special docking station, and are loaded with R2-D2 multimedia.
[UPDATE: Originally Verizon said the Hialeah store would be getting 200, and now that number changed to 150. I'm told it's possible that number can change again.]
The Hialeah store will close at 9 p.m. on Sept. 29, and the parking lot costume party begins at 9:30 p.m. There will be giveaways, trivia contests and appearances from the The 501st Legion. At midnight, the store opens again.
There will be two chances to win the phone at the event: The winner of the costume contest gets a free R2-D2 smartphone, and there will be a raffle, so everyone in attendance has a shot to win.
If you don't want to camp out, you could try your luck online at midnight, but there are only about 50,000 of these limited edition phones available. This is pretty much your only chance to grab this droid.
If you are a collector who doesn't want to remove it from the box or activate it, Verizon will let you do that -- as long as you purchase and activate a second phone. I'm told that can be a second Droid R2-D2, or another phone in the store.
[ANOTHER UPDATE: It's also possible to buy a phone and have it activated with a contract-subsidized price without removing it from the box. Verizon tells me they have had requests from fans to be able to do this.]
Any phone that isn't connected to a contract will cost full price (expect it to be somewhere around $500 to $600 $599. The normal Motorola Droid 2 costs $199.99 with contract, but prices of the Droid R2-D2 have not been released yet but the contract-subsidized price of the Droid R2-D2 will be $249 after a $100 mail-in rebate. Customers will need to subscribe to a Nationwide Talk plan or a Nationwide Talk & Text plan (beginning at $39.99 a month) and an E-mail and Web for Smartphone plan (beginning at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access).
The Hialeah store is located at:1599 West 49th Street, Hialeah, 33012. This store is one of four in Florida having this event, and less than 100 Verizon stores across the country are selling it at midnight.
Other Florida event stores include:
- St. Petersburg, at 4870 Part Street N., 33709
- Orlando, at 3742 East Colonial Drive, 32803
- Orange Park, at 1911-1 Wells Road, 32073