The Skywalker saga may be coming to a close this year with the December release of “Star Wars: Episode IX,” but that doesn’t spell the end for the franchise’s massive toy business.
While Hasbro, which holds the master toy license, will see a dip in sales without a tent pole feature in 2020, there’s no doubt that “Star Wars” merchandise will remain a major part of the toy industry.
“‘Star Wars’ is the best selling toy of all time from any entertainment brand,” said Jim Silver, toy analyst and CEO of TTPM
When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the first of Lucasfilm’s latest “Star Wars” trilogy, hit theaters in 2015, Hasbro saw sales of “Star Wars” products reach nearly $500 million.
Since then, Disney has released one “Star Wars” film each year during December. Until 2018, that is. Last year, Disney decided to release “Solo: A Star Wars Story” in May, leaving Hasbro with a very difficult fourth-quarter comparison.
“Disney knows that content affects the sales of toys,” Silver said.
Which is why the company already has a slate of content ready for “Star Wars” fans both theatrically and through other media. Disney has hired writers to create two separate trilogies. One is being written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of HBO’s blockbuster fantasy series “Game of Thrones;” the other by Rian Johnson, director of “The Last Jedi.”
Additionally, Disney’s streaming service will be home to a live-action television show called “The Mandalorian” as well as a new season of the beloved “Star Wars Clone Wars” animated show. Not to mention, Disney will open two “Star Wars” lands at theme parks in California and Florida this year.
Also this year, Hasbro will release a line of “Star Wars: Episode IX” toys that will accompany the film’s December release. Some of those figures and role-play items will likely be revealed during Triple Force Friday on Oct. 4. Also on that day, Disney will reveal the “Star Wars” video game “Jedi: Fallen Order” and “The Mandalorian.”