Sales of Star Wars merchandise will hit around $3 billion by the end of 2015, with retailers like Walmart, Toys R Us, and Disney Store all planning for an extended launch, USA Today reported. In fact, Anne Marie Kehoe, vice president of toys for Walmart, said the retailer is “planning it bigger than Frozen,” while Toys R Us has indefinitely dedicated twice as much floor space as usual to new merchandise for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will open December 18 in theaters worldwide.
Last week, a number of new Star Wars products were revealed to fans at much-anticipated midnight store openings as part of an event dubbed “Force Friday,” which foretold the coming frenzy.
“With more toys expected to come out in the next few months, retailers are gearing up for a holiday season fueled in part by the rebirth of one of the most popular franchises in history.”
According to the Huffington Post, Disney plans to rake in as much as $5 million this year on Star Wars merch, proving the multi-generational franchise is “nothing if not a merchandising empire.”
Among the new offerings this year are the Jedi Master Lightsaber Bladebuilders kit by Hasbro; a totally functional BB-8 by Sphero; figurines from the Star Wars Elite Series (currently includes Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, Rey and BB-8, Finn, Stormtrooper and Flametrooper); the LEGO Millenium Falcon; a Kylo Ren Voice Changer mask by the Disney Store; Hasbro’s Black Series Kylo Ren Force FX Deluxe Lightsaber; and the RC Millenium Falcon by Air Hogs.
Nerf has also released a range of Star Wars-themed weapons in honor of the new movie, including Chewbacca’s Bowcaster, while Pottery Barn Kids has unveiled a new Millenium Falcon bed for little Jedis everywhere.
Other new Star Wars toys include Hasbro’s 3.7-inch action figures; 14.5-inch talking figures from the Disney Store (currently includes Kylo Ren, First Order Stormtrooper and Finn); a 16-inch Yoda featuring full voice recognition and movement by the Disney Store; and several Micro Machines-themed vehicle packs covering The Force Awakens, as well as the original and prequel trilogies.
Additional product rollouts planned as more movies make their way into theaters in the coming years means this recent bunch of toys is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, which is fantastic news for Star Wars fans worldwide. In addition, the Disney Store told USA Today that it will continue to introduce new products after the movie comes out in December, striking deals with J.Crew and Cover Girl to sell hipster T-shirts and a Star Wars-inspired makeup line.
[Photo by Michael Loccisano / Getty Images]