‘Star Wars’ Games And Toys Are Already A Big Hit

The J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh entry in the legendary saga, is already on track to being the biggest and most anticipated film of all time. Ever since George Lucas, the original creator of the property, sold the rights to Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company for $4 billion in 2012, Disney has wasted absolutely no time in capitalizing on the ridiculously lucrative IP in every way imaginable. And while the seventh installment, the first in a new trilogy, is only a month away from opening in theaters, video game and toy companies are already giddy with glee over their products doing extremely well.

Fortune reports that Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, during an investor day presentation on Monday, said that their Star Wars products are performing at the highest end of any expectations they could have had. The Hasbro toy and board game company is currently stockpiling more products at retail stores, according to Goldner, in an attempt to capitalize on the strong possibility that sales in their inventory will skyrocket once the film is actually released.

'Star Wars' Games And Toys Are Already A Big Hit Visitors photograph the Sphero BB-8 Star Wars droid at the Sphero stand at the 2015 IFA consumer electronics and appliances trade fair on September 4, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. [Photo by Sean Gallup / Getty Images]Even while The Peanuts Movie has caused a resurgence in the classic Charlie Brown cartoons and merchandise, retailers are holding out more space in their stores for Star Wars inventory. Iconix Brand Group Inc. Chairman Peter Cuneo understands the desire to choose Star Wars-related products over the Peanuts property, which has an older IP being geared towards a much younger demographic.

“If they have to make a choice between the new guy on the block, ‘Peanuts’ and ‘Star Wars,’ they’re going to choose, and they have chosen, ‘Star Wars.’ “

The Disney company managed to get retailers to promote their Star Wars toys on “Force Friday,” an event in early September which unleashed the first wave of toys and merchandise based on the iconic property, reports Deadline. Star Wars Battlefront, one of the most anticipated games of the year, will be released this week, and the game has been creating a pretty sizeable buzz of expectations, given its photorealistic graphics. This game serves as a reboot of the series, capturing the look and feel of the big, sweeping space battles of the first three Star Wars films (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi). There is such a high demand for the new Battlefront game that Electronic Arts has increased its sales estimates to $13 million units. The video game publisher was previously estimating the sales at around $9 million. The Battlefront series began in 2004, with Star Wars: Battlefront, which debuted to positive reviews.

Mario Moreno, senior economist at JOC Insights, IHS Maritime & Trade, calculates that toy imports this year in America will see a 10 percent boost. Even with China being the No. 1 one and biggest supplier of toys to America, shipments of Chinese-made toys to America have gone up 13 percent, thanks to the recent Star Wars resurgence. Star Wars merchandise could generate up to $2 billion in sales within this final quarter of 2015, says Sean McGowan, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. Those high sale numbers would help the toy industry log this holiday season as one of the absolute best in over 10 years. Toy sales saw a 4 percent increase in 2014, and they continued to climb up 8 percent for the first three quarters of 2015.

[Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images]