Why Star Wars will dominate holiday shopping season – Fortune

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens slated to start showing in theaters on December 18, the craze for the franchise’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 that’s just the beginning, toy executives told the publication. Walmart is “planning it bigger than [Disney’s] Frozen,” according to Anne Marie Kehoe, the retailer’s vice president of toys, in an interview with USA Today.

“This is going to be a blockbuster merchandise event,” said Joel Bines, managing director at consulting firm AlixPartners, to the publication. “You will not be able to avoid Star Wars merchandise. It will be impossible this holiday season.”

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 isn’t a make-it or break-it deal, Bines says.

Fortune recently profiled the company, Sphero, that created a new BB-8 toy, which you can read here. Fortune also spoke with the company’s CEO about the future of Sphero’s work.