When it came to the Episode I 3-D merchandise street date(January 30), my TRU broke it a week early and set up their entire giant store display jammed with figures and other toys, I think, eight or nine days before the official date. Walmarts let some stuff trickle out in mid-January, but not a whole lot. Other items they were actually a week or two late getting on shelves. Go figure.*
Street dates may or may not mean a whole lot depending on who your store managers are and how many people have clammored for the new merchandise ahead of the dates. As long ago as 2002, some Episode II/Saga figures leaked out of the back rooms as early as a month ahead of the official Hasbro launch date and in spite of Lucasfilm legal threats to fine any and all retail stores that did so.
*No pun intended