“The $20 billion toy industry is getting drunk on movies.” That’s the opening line from a New York Post article about how there are so many blockbusters coming out now that they’re having a negative effect on the all-important toy sales. Nobody can enjoy the toys they buy, because before you know it, you have to buy a whole new bunch of new toys. The toy industrial complex represents $20 billion a year in sales, but with 30 big movies coming out this year, each with their own accompanying toy lines, the question must be asked: is the industry hurting itself with an abundance of plenty?

The answer, according to the experts, is yes. “The sheer volume of such movies could turn out to be cannibalistic,” said toy analyst Gerrick Johnson of BMO Capital Markets making a rare toy/cannibalism comparison. “Kids only have so much time and money to see all these movies, and I think it’s erroneous to think that they will consume all of this content.”

How bad is it? Despite the proliferation of available toys, the industry only grew five per cent last year. More specifically, Toys ‘R’ Us reported that they sold $50 million less in Star Wars merchandise in 2016 over 2015, which is surprising because there were two Star Wars movies released over that period. “The fact that Star Wars sales were down has to do with fatigue,” said Johnson.

But in spite of that, toy peddlers are looking forward to a more prosperous 2017 with several big merchandise-friendly movies about to hit theatres over the next couple of months. “This is going to be an unusually strong summer,” said Jim Silver, president of the toy review site TTPM. Silver suggested that movies like Spider-Man: Homecoming and Cars 3 are primed to make about a billion dollars each in tie-in merch.

“The good news [is] there are some 26 movie properties that are happening throughout 2017 that will hopefully give us some opportunities,” said Toys ‘R’ Us Chief Executive Dave Brandon optimistically. But time will tell.

Source: The New York Post

Category: Nerd Culture

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