With Star Wars: The Force Awakens slated to start showing in theaters on December 18, the craze for the franchiseâ€™s toys is expected to be intense this holiday shopping season, according to USA Today.
A batch of toys, including the BB-8 droid, was released in recent weeks. But thatâ€™s just the beginning, toy executives told the publication. Walmart is â€œplanning it bigger than [Disneyâ€™s] Frozen,â€ according to Anne Marie Kehoe, the retailerâ€™s vice president of toys, in an interview with USA Today.
â€œThis is going to be a blockbuster merchandise event,â€ said Joel Bines, managing director at consulting firm AlixPartners, to the publication. â€œYou will not be able to avoid Star Wars merchandise. It will be impossible this holiday season.â€
Per USA Today:
Sales of Star Wars merchandise are expected to generate $3 billion in 2015, according to a Piper Jaffray research note. An estimate by Macquarie Research puts that number at $5 billion over the next 12 months. But for a $3.5 trillion annual retail industry, Star Wars isnâ€™t a make-it or break-it deal, Bines says.