Hasbro Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner was recently interviewed by Bloomberg (courtesy of MSN), and talked about some of the failures of Star Wars: The Last Jedi toy sales. In the interview, Goldner admitted that releasing the product to far in advance of the film’s release, may have played a major part in slow sales. Check out a snippet from the article below.
“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,” Goldner, 54, said in an interview. It didn’t help that lots of other toys were hitting around the same time, he said, “with an array of entertainment initiatives coming to market.”
With The Last Jedi rollout, Hasbro and Walt Disney Co. had hoped to duplicate the success of 2015’s The Force Awakens. In both cases, they debuted toys in September — about three months before the movie reached theaters.
But when The Force Awakens came out, there was pent-up demand for all things Star Wars. It was the first film in a new trilogy, and fans lined up at midnight to snag action figures and lightsabers.
That strategy backfired in 2017 for The Last Jedi, the eighth episode in the saga. Hardcore fans still came out in September, but the momentum quickly faded. Sales ofStar Wars toys unexpectedly declined last year.
Hasbro’s overall revenue fell 2 percent in the fourth quarter, and its shares have lost 7.8 percent of their value this year.
Hasbro isn’t the only company that had a tough holiday season. Mattel Inc. saw sales plummet 12 percent in the fourth quarter — with girls’ toys, other than Barbie, performing especially badly.
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