Star Wars Toys Sales Fall With 'The Last Jedi'

For 40 years, Star Wars has been a leading force in toy sales, with new films marking [...]

For 40 years, Star Wars has been a leading force in toy sales, with new films marking merchandising opportunities featuring new characters and the latest in technology. Unfortunately, that reign of the toy aisle may be coming to a close, with 2017 seeing drops on Star Wars toy sales from 2016, despite an all-new film hitting theaters.

Analyst for BMO Capital Markets Gerrick Johnson cites a variety of reasons for the decline, from the interests of younger generations no longer being tangible items to "movie fatigue." One of the factors comes from how much entertainment is available to kids at home and how this takes away from the significance of a theatrical movie experience.

"There are so many screens now; kids aren't just at the movies," Johnson noted to Bloomberg. "A movie doesn't have the same resonance it used to."

In 2017, more than 20 films had major tie-in products, while in 2007 that number was half the size. Despite the increase in movie merchandise, tickets sales dropped 14% in that ten-year span.

Another factor in the possible drop in popularity could come from the high demands of fans in the years prior. 2015 saw the release of The Force Awakens, a follow-up to 1983's Return of the Jedi and the first live-action Star Wars film to hit theaters in 10 years. The subsequent year saw the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which featured a wide variety of all-new characters.

Star Wars isn't the only property to have been hit hard in the toy department. Since its 2006 debut, Cars has been incredibly popular in the consumer products field, with its kid-oriented story and an established interest in toy cars. The brand grew so popular that the California Adventure amusement park debuted Cars Land in 2012, featuring various experiences and rides for fans of the Pixar films.

Toy sales related to Cars 3, however, were a disappointment, due not only to its poor critical reviews but also for having to compete with brands like Transformers, Despicable Me and Spider-Man.

The upcoming year will continue to be crowded with popular toy lines, with new Fantastic Beasts, Jurassic World and Stars Wars films debuting in 2018.

"There is a new paradigm," Johnson shared. "Just because there is a movie with a toy tie-in doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work. It used to mean it would work."

You can see The Last Jedi in theaters now.

[H/T Bloomberg]