How Star Wars Contributed In Growth of Film-Themed Toys Industry

Star Wars is known for making a ground-breaking impact as far as science fiction films go, but did you know that the Star Wars franchise was just as dominant in the toy industry? Producing toys that are based on movies was still a modernistic concept in the 1970s.

Where Did It All Begin?

George Lukas quickly rose as an innovator of the movement when he comprehended that he could manufacture toys modeled to look like the film’s concept of art. The idea of film-themed toys was so unfamiliar that the major toy companies rejected working with Lucas when he initially approached them with his concept. In due course, he met with Kenner Products, a smaller toy company, owned by General Mills, where a deal was ultimately made.

The Evolution of Star Wars toys

The biggest issue they faced, however, was that the company didn’t forestall Star Wars being such a massive success. This means that they were not prepared for the succeeding demand after the film’s release in May 1977. The company instantaneously ran out of merchandise and still had a backlog by Christmas of that year. While workers were used to producing easy-to-make toys like puzzles or board games for the holidays, no action figures were in stock. During this time, the movie has become the highest-grossing blockbuster; therefore, the demand remained high. The solution that the company came up with was to supply a package referred to as the “Early Bird Certificate,” which was an empty box with a promise of filling it with toys by the next spring. Kids filled out their certificate as a guarantee of them being the first to receive the highly sought-after action figures, which included Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, R2-D2, Princess Leia, and C3PO. By the time the Star Wars toys hit the shelves, a year has almost passed since the film was released. This didn’t stop the toys from flying off the shelves, prompting other production companies to start making movie-themed toys too. Nowadays, you still get numerous Star Wars-themed toys like Lego Star Wars that remain a well-liked toy for children.

The Impact On The Toy Industry

Star Wars not only assisted in the method of how toys were manufactured but also helped with introducing the concept of utilizing movie toys as part of a marketing strategy. The industry criterion had always been twelve inches; however, Kenner broke the mold by making the toys three and three-quarter inches high. Not only did these toys affected the size of action figures, but it has contributed to the trend of collecting memorabilia. Not only were just kids looking to get their handson merchandise, but adults too. The original Star Wars toys are still highly collectible and can be worth a substantial amount of money. The franchise also re-invented the Lego bricks business in 1999 when the Star Wars Legos was launched at the same time as the release of The Phantom Menace. This was the first time that Lego joined with a TV or movie series, yet another trend which was brought forth by Star Wars.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.