In January, a relaunched Star Wars comic book from Marvel sold almost a million units (remember, Disney owns Marvel, too). That’s only about, oh, 25 times more than the final Star Wars issue published by Dark Horse Comics a mere seven months prior. And then along came Force Friday.
The rollout of more than 100 new Star Wars toys was a cultural phenomenon, with a huge bottom line. Toy sales between Force Friday and the end of the year should reach $2 billion in retail sales. At an approximate $1 billion wholesale, and with Disney’s estimated royalty rate of 15 percent, that’s a lot of cheddar for the Mouse.
“For just toys, just through the end of this year, $150 million in royalties to Disney is a massive number,” says Marc Mostman, a partner at Striker Entertainment, an entertainment-focused licensing and merchandising agency. “This is a beast. I can’t wait to see where else it will go.”
Marty Brochstein, a senior VP at LIMA, the global trade organization for companies in the licensing business, says Force Friday was but a breeze in the forthcoming Star Wars merchandising windfall.