Thursday, March 17, 2005

Toy industry banking on Batman, FF and Star Wars

Last month, we learned that movie-based video games are no longer a sure thing. Now we're told that traditional toys tied to films are hit or miss.

Recent films, such as Spider-Man, have given a boost to toy sales, while others, like 1998's Godzilla, have been "toy-aisle catastrophes."

According to a Wall Street Journal article, licensed toy sales, which includes toys based on movies, grew just 1.8 percent in 2004 to $5.7 billion. The industry hopes that Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Batman Begins and Fantastic Four will spur faster growth:
Fantastic Four might be the most kid-friendly of the bunch: The plot concerns four friends who gain superpowers after their space shuttle gets doused with radiation. The two other films, in comparison, are expected to explore darker themes: Star Wars: Episode III, for example, details the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, a good-goes-bad theme that might put off some parents and confuse some kids. On the other hand, it could delight young kids who clamor for stuff that was once reserved for their older siblings. Batman Begins chronicles the violent events that impelled Bruce Wayne to turn into Batman.
A longer version of the article can be found