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June 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 6


Indiana May Trump Iron Man at Toy Sales

Year’s Big Toy Flicks Play Their Way Through

"'Iron Man' continues to exhibit strength, but 'Indiana Jones' is overtaking it."
June 18, 2008 – When I first wrote about toy-related films roughly six weeks ago, I overlooked the fact that there is yet another entrant into the toy sweepstakes — “Wall-E” by Pixar. This range of product is distributed by Thinkway Toys Canada, and the products are already solidly present at Toys “R” Us.

Here is the entire line-up:

Movie Title Category Release Date Sequel /Similar to Toy Licensee
Iron Man Action Figures 05/02/2008 None/ Transformers Hasbro
Speed Racer Vehicles 05/09/2008 None/CARS Mattel
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Action Figures 05/16/2008 None Jakks
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Action Figures 05/22/2008 None Hasbro
Kung Fu Panda Preschool 06/06/2008 None/ Ratatouille Mattel
The Incredible Hulk Action Figures 06/13/2008 The Hulk Hasbro
Wall-E Preschool 06/27/2008 Ratatouille Thinkway Toys
The Dark Knight (Batman) Action Figures 07/08/2008 Batman Begins Mattel
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Action Figures 08/15/2008 Star Wars: Episode III -Revenge of the Sith Hasbro
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Action Figures 11/21/2008 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Corgi/NECA

The better a movie does on the box office, the better the licensed toys will do in the stores. I am first showing the box office results, in millions of dollars per week cumulatively, for the action figure movies until June 8:

“Indiana Jones” has overtaken “Iron Man” and is closing on “Transformers” in box-office terms.

“The Incredible Hulk” was released this past weekend. Since I have only one data point, I am showing this as a bar chart compared to “Iron Man”:

As you can see, it started off respectably — about on par with “Prince Caspian” for the first weekend.

I am also showing, below, Blog Metrics as they apply to these currently running three movies:

Both charts demonstrate that “Iron Man” continues to exhibit strength but “Indiana Jones” is overtaking it. “Prince Caspian” is very much in third place. This is also reflected in the sell-through data reported by my retailer panel.

Looking further out, these are the Blog Metrics for the next three action figure movies:

This suggests that “Batman” is, at least in terms of consumer interest, already flagging whilst “Hulk” and “Star Wars” are gaining strength.

As for the movies focusing on vehicles, this is the picture from box-office sales, in millions of dollars:

Since this is the seventh weekend for “Speed Racer,” this graph demonstrates that the movie went nowhere. “Speed Racer” was supposed to take over from “CARS” in driving growth for the vehicles category. This is not happening and this again is reflected very clearly by the sell-through data generated by my retailer panel.

As for preschool films, the only one playing today is “Kung Fu Panda.” As I have only one data point so far, I am showing its box-office performance as a bar chart, comparing it with “Ratatouille”:

And in terms of Blog Metrics:

This suggests that “Kung Fu Panda” is doing pretty well. The brand now has decent distribution, which suggests that Mattel learned its lesson from last year when it had only three “Ratatouille” SKUs at Toys “R” Us when the movie broke. The company now has 11 SKUs at Wal-Mart, two at Target and 20 at Toys “R” Us. The range is moving well in all three. “Wall-E” is currently only at Toys “R” Us with 16 SKUs, and it, too, is starting to move.

Lutz MullerWriter's Bio: Lutz Muller is a Swiss who has lived on five continents. In  the United States, he was the CEO for four manufacturing companies, including two in the toy industry. Since 2002, he has provided competitive intelligence on the toy and video game market to manufacturers and financial institutions coast-to-coast. He gets his information from his retailer panel, from big-box buyers and his many friends in the industry. If anything happens, he is usually the first to know. Read more on his website at Read more articles by this author


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