"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" Merch Will Largely Focus on Groot

At Licensing Expo Expo 2016 in Las Vegas, Marvel rolled out its merchandising plans for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" -- and there won't be a shortage of Groot.

Thanks to the success of the character's merchandise from the 2014 original -- which included Funko's top-selling toy of all-time, the "Dancing Groot" bobble-head -- Marvel will be focusing heavily on merch the lovable living tree for the sequel.

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Paul Gitter, the senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products, told Variety at the Expo, "It will be a much broader line [than 2014] expanding beyond collectors to include kids and male/female fans of the film...Also, as it is now a proven franchise with appealing characters, licensees will invest more in design and innovation. Finally, there will be a much stronger focus on Groot, who proved to be the breakout character from the first film."

The exec also indicated that the campaign is aiming to turn "Guardians" into a "tentpole franchise."

Gitter added, "Our key learning is that we had to chase products featuring Groot and we want to be sure we are ready for the excitement across multiple age and demo segments who want to bring home Groot in a variety of innovative products...The animated series, animated shorts, and unique products we have already released have helped to add to his affinity."

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Marvel has plans to team up with Hasbro and Lego, among other merchandisers, for "Guardians" products including toys, games, books, apparel and accessories.

Nothing specific has been unveiled to the public as of yet, but keep your eyes peeled closer to the "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" theatrical release on May 5, 2017, for all merch "Guardians" and Groot-related.

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