Movies to drive toy sales through 2017
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Movies to drive toy sales through 2017

Almost a third of toy sales are pushed by movie franchises like Pixar’s Toy Story and Disney’s Star Wars. But this year, the number will rise to unprecedented levels. Disney is the undeniable expert when it comes to merchandise tie-ins for its filmic properties, and other studios are following its lead.

According to toy industry veteran Jim Silver, the man behind the Time to Play website:

“This is the studios leading the charge. Making movies that are family-oriented – that kids want to play out at home – is becoming a major revenue stream.”

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In 2015, Star Wars toys brought in $700 million in the U.S. alone. This means that they were on a par with the total box office revenue for each of the Star Wars films bar The Force Awakens, which grossed a massive $2 billion. Toy sales, literally in this case, are the equivalent of a blockbuster movie.

The Toy Industry Association has listed “movie mania” as one of its industry-defining trends this year, and its spokesperson Adrienne Appell describes 2017 as “a huge year for family friendly movies.” She also noted that the slew of big releases scheduled could push toy buying – traditionally a ‘late-in-the-year occurrence thanks to the holiday season – earlier in the year, saying:

“The majority of toy sales do occur in the fourth quarter, but a movie earlier in the year can drive people to the toy aisle. We’re seeing toy companies really act as entertainment companies in a lot of ways.”

With a Star Wars title slated for 2017 – as well as three Marvel movies, a live action version of Beauty and the Beast, the next installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, and two Pixar films – Disney is by far the company best-positioned globally to capitalize on the toy world’s “movie mania”.

Dominion holds The Walt Disney Company in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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