“Star Wars” is choking the $20.4 billion US toy business.
Sales of toys related to the hit movies — from Chewbacca and Darth Vader figures to light sabers — tapered off in the first half of 2017, putting a big damper on overall toy sales.
The “Star Wars” slowdown contributed to the slowing grow of the sector in the first half, according to a report. Sales were up 3 percent in the six months ended June 30 — compared with a jump of 8.4 percent in the same period last year, according to the NPD Group.
Experts blamed “Star Wars” toy fatigue as a culprit.
“There is fatigue with ‘Star Wars’ and all the hype surrounding the movies,” said BMO Capital Markets toy analyst, Gerrick Johnson.
Disney decided to unspool “Star Wars” films in consecutive Decembers. The first movie, 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” sparked much interest in its toy line. The reaction at retail was much more muted for 2016’s “Rogue One.”
Too much of a good thing, it appears, is bad for the toy business.
Sean McGowan, a toy analyst for Liolios said the eighth installment of the nine-part saga, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” scheduled for release on Dec. 15, will likely perform better than “Rogue One” — but may not rise to the level of “The Force Awakens.”
“We’ll have to see,” he said.
The hurt is also being felt at Bob Iger’s Mouse House. In its last quarterly results, Disney noted its licensing and retail income had declined from the previous year.