Following the success of The Force Awakens is never going to be easy, but Disney is confident that Rogue One has the potential be another smash hit in the toy space. Mike Stagg, SVP and general manager, retail, Disney UK and Ireland, tells Billy Langsworthy why the new release is set to grow the market for Star Wars
Why should toy stores be excited about Rogue One toys?
With the launch of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in cinemas from December 16th, and a fantastic line up of new Rogue One and Star Wars toys launching from September 30th, it’s a very exciting time for this franchise.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of the Star Wars standalone films and details a key event in the Star Wars timeline, when a group of unlikely heroes are on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star. It’s an all-new epic adventure which introduces rich new characters, vehicles and locations that perfectly lend themselves to strong, fun and innovative toys.
For example, Jyn Erso who is part of the Rebel Alliance; Director Orson Krennic of the Imperial military who’s obsessed with the completion of the long delayed Death Star project; the U-wing Starfighter, a well-armed swing-wing vessel used by the Rebel Alliance and Jedha, a small desert moon once important to the Jedi Order but now occupied by the Empire.
Plus, every Star Wars has a hero droid and this movie is no exception with the introduction of K-2SO, a reprogrammed Imperial security droid now loyal to the Alliance.
We’ve been working closely with our licensees to create a broad product range and we’re supporting this with significant media in the run up to the movie launch.
What stands out in the Rogue One range for you?
It’s hard to single out just a few items but I’m a big fan of the 20” K-2SO action figure from Jakks and I’m keen to have the Deluxe Figurine Set from Disney Store as they’ll look great in my office.
There’s also a lot of excitement around Propel’s Star Wars battle quads, which are beautifully detailed and innovative – right through to their display case.
Do you think the range can match the success of last year’s The Force Awakens line?
The success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was unprecedented. It is the highest grossing film of all time in the UK and Ireland and for toys specifically, it’s the biggest brand the market has ever seen, being number one in NPD by a considerable margin.
With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we are confident that we can continue to grow the market even further, with this new line of toys sitting alongside new Saga and Force Awakens product.
What other categories is Rogue One set to have a presence in?
We also have Rogue One product across stationery, greeting cards, publishing and apparel, with more product categories launching through the rest of this year and into 2017.
How has Star Wars as a total brand performed in the toy space this year?
The Star Wars brand has performed phenomenally well, consistently topping the NPD charts and growing the market significantly.
Away from toys, what other categories have proved popular for Star Wars this year?
Star Wars performs incredibly well across multiple product categories including homeware, apparel, accessories, footwear, stationary, food, publishing and collectables. We are seeing great sales for kids as well as adults, demonstrating the generational connectivity of the franchise.