Star Wars: The Force Awakens looms like the Death Star in toy aisles, where it could generate retail sales of more than $2 billion in the final four months of the year — but at a serious cost to other brands.
The Wall Street Journal reports that, beginning with the big Force Friday rollout on Sept. 4, Star Wars merchandise has dominated shelf space, and store budgets, squeezing out the competition. Peanuts and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are cited among the hardest-hit brands, with the latter — a top seller in 2014 — losing 20 percent of its shelf space this year at Target.
“There’s a lot of oxygen being sucked out by Star Wars,” said Jay Foreman, owner of small toy company Bridge Direct, perhaps stating the obvious.
But what’s a bad development for competing brands may be good for the market in general: The expected sales of Star Wars merchandise could lift the toy industry to its best holiday season in more than a decade.
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