Star Wars could power US toy industry to 'best year since 1999', says NPD

Demand for merchandise based on the hit sci-fi franchise has been so strong, says the industry analysts, that it is now set to propel toy sales growth to a 17-year high.
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Star Wars could help power the US toy industry to its best year since 1999, according to the latest research from The NPD.

Demand for merchandise based on the hit sci-fi franchise has been so strong, says the industry analysts, that it is now set to propel toy sales growth to a 17-year high.

The first half of 2016 saw toy sales rise 7.5 per cent, pointing to the fastest growth since 1999.

Star Wars toys accounted for the biggest contributor to the sales growth, with dollar sales for toys inspired by Han Solo, Darth Vader, Princess Leia and the cast of characters across the franchise’s seven films to date nearly tripling through June.

“Star Wars is already at $300 million for the year,” said US toy industry analyst, Juli Lennett.

This year’s sales have been fueled by collectables with Star Wars leading the way alongside the recent slew of Marvel’s superhero movies.

“Star Wars sales could be bigger than last year when it totalled $700 million,” Lennett added.

Earlier this month, Hasbro revealed that both Star Wars and Disney’s Frozen were among the fastest growing businesses in the quarter ending June 26th.

The global toy maker now expects sales of Star Wars merchandise to hit around $500 million this year as it readies for the launch of Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this December.

“Toys with movie tie-ins will continue to contribute t the increase, stemming from those releaed both in 2015 and 2016,” said Lennett.

Sales of toy based on movies such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Out of the Shadows, The Secret Life of Pets and Trolls are expected to boost Hasbro’s sales in the second half of the year.

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