Disney

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Take merchandising for example; we suspect that many a parent who bought the new BB-8 droid to put under the Christmas tree may spend as much time playing around with it as the child for whom it was bought!

Light sabres and other Star Wars toys have been levitating off toy aisles all year and have been picking up pace in the final quarter. NPD research has estimated toy sales were up 8% year on year in the first three quarters of the year and 2015 is lapping another strong year for toy sales led by another Disney franchise you may have heard of. Does Frozen ring a bell?

Some estimates have Star Wars toys raking in around $2 billion in sales in the last quarter of 2015 in the United States alone and up to as much as $5 billion over a twelve month period. We don’t see that as too much of a stretch considering Cars 2 merchandise racked up about $3 billion in sales over that time frame following the movies release. One thing is for sure; Star Wars will further bolster Disney’s position as the world’s largest licensor and it is easy lifting.

Star Wars attractions are coming to your favourite theme parks as well and this is a huge business for Disney, second only to the Media Networks segment in terms of size. Disney is refreshing the existing Star Tours (yes, Star Tours) attractions with new characters and locations from Episode VII.

Two new massive Star Wars attractions at Disneyland (Anaheim) and the Walt Disney World Resort (Florida) are being allocated 14 acres each to feature a ride on the Millennium Falcon and a new ‘experience’ that puts guests amidst a space battle between the First Order and the Resistance (more on these in the new movie).

Already open is the new Star Wars Launch Bay, offering guests the choice of interacting with characters from the Dark Side or the Light Side. Choose wisely…

There is also Star Wars: Path of the Jedi and Jedi Training: Trails of the Temple, perfect for the young Padawan in the family and some of the older ones whose skills need brushing up.

“Symphony in The Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” nightly fireworks show will begin from December 18, the day Episode VII opens in the US.

For those who felt disappointed after the latest prequels, after a decade of dormancy, Star Wars is about to make its Force felt again worldwide.

It brings to mind that chat between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, with Obi-Wan saying: “That boy is our last hope,” and Yoda’s reply: “No…there is another…”

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