Hasbro has admitted that their toy sales in 2017 for Star Wars: The Last Jedi was nowhere near as good as it was for Star Wars: The Force Awakens back in 2015. In fact, the American toy and board game company has called the sales disappointing.
The statement was made by Hasbro’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner, who admitted that they expected more sales from their Last Jedi toy lines. Goldner has contributed disappointing sales to the company releasing the toys far too early, which meant that they couldn’t sustain retail interest until the film eventually released three months later.
“The fact that we began to merchandise the film in September and the film came out in December was just too long a period of time to sustain retail interest. It didn’t help that lots of other toys were hitting around the same time, with an array of entertainment initiatives coming to market.”
Hasbro initially released the toys for The Force Awakens in September 2015, three months before the film actually released. The company had great success during this period and hoped to duplicate this success with the release of The Last Jedi toys. While the time schedule for the release was the same as for the previous instalment, the fact that consumers were hungry for anything Star Wars related meant that there was continued interest in the toys up until the film finally released. Unfortunately, this was not the case this time around.
Hasbro’s overall revenue fell two percent in the fourth quarter, mostly due to disappointing sales. Competitor toymaker Mattel also faced a similar problem as a tough holiday season resulted in their revenue falling by twelve percent in the fourth quarter.
Many see this as a sign of franchise fatigue as the release of Star Wars related films have become more frequent. The next film in the franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story, is set for release in May with the new line of toys said to hit store shelves in April.