Retail

‘Star Wars’ Merchandise Awakens Hasbro’s Sales

Just as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is doing record-shattering business at the box office for Disney, the movie’s tie-in toy merchandise is boosting Hasbro.

The Wall Street Journal reports that sales of Star Wars toys were responsible for Hasbro seeing a 35 percent rise in its boys segment, pushing the company’s overall revenue up 13 percent to reach $1.47 billion.

The WSJ story cites Hasbro Chief Executive Brian Goldner as describing the current sales of Star Wars toys as “very similar” to what the company experienced in 2005, when the last Star Wars movie was in theaters, leading to almost $500 million in related toy sales for Hasbro. According to the outlet, Hasbro expects its sales of Star Wars toys this year to be around the same.

Last year, notes WSJ, Star Wars was the biggest property overall in the toy industry, whose 6.7 percent rise in sales in 2015 was (according to the NPD Group) the best it had done in more than a decade.

If there was a downside for Hasbro related to Star Wars toys, WSJ finds that to be the negative feedback that the company received related to the relative dearth of items featuring Rey, the central female character in “The Force Awakens,” compared to those featuring male characters. Hasbro did begin rolling out more Rey-centric toys in January.

The company, adds the WSJ story, is currently attempting to improve sales in its girls division, which dropped 17 percent last year, by taking actions such as selling Disney princess and “Frozen” dolls.

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