Monday, December 08, 2008

Star Wars is Gone it's Sales "Force" isn't....

December 12, 1977- "Star Wars" is gone, but don't think it's forgotten. Though the movie closed out a 20-week run in Traverse City last week, sales of spinoff merchandise still are expected to run strong this Christmas gift-buying season.
The "Star Wars" collector can startwith authorized editions of paperback
books, comics, calendars and iron-on transfers and move up to puzzles, spaceship blueprints, records, games and action dolls.

More toys are expected to be on the market by spring, when Academy Awards time rolls around and the movie returns to many communities for repeat engagements. Spring is also the earliest many toy companies can churn out the new "Star Wars" toys. There's a shortage of some items, and several local toy department managers complained of a lack of variety in what's available. 'Star Wars' toys are a number one request, but they're not necessarily a number one seller because the merchandise isn't all there," said John Bouwmeester, manager of the Circus World toy store in Cherryland Mall.

"We get a lot of requests for 'Star Wars' merchandise, but there isn't that
much of it yet," Bouwmeester said. "I think the toy manufacturers didn't expect the movie to do this well and they're way behind in producing the toys to go with it."

One company is so far behind, in fact, that it's already selling toys it hasn't manufactured yet. Kenner is marketing what it calls an "early bird packet" that includes a certificate entitling the purchaser to four "Star Wars figurines. If you mail the certificate now, the company says, you'll get the figurines when they start rolling off the production line sometime between February and April.

The selection may be limited, but one Traverse City toy department is already sold out of "Star Wars" merchandise and doesn't expect to get any more before Christmas.
"We can't keep the toys on the shelf," said Kim Minore of the K mart toy department. "We're sold out, and now that it's this close to Christmas, it's unlikely that we'll be able to restock in time."

"The 'Star Wars' toys are bigger than the bionics right now," Meijer Thrifty Acres toy order writer Mary Reilly said, comparing them to spinoff merchandise generated by television's "Six Million Dollar Man" and "Bionic Woman" series. Also very popular, she said, are "micronauts" — little space figures with moveable and interchangeable parts so youngsters can create their own original creatures.

Kathy Powell of the Tempo toy department said puzzles were selling fast and she had only a few "Star Wars" games left. More items were ordered, she said, and should be on their way to the store. Similarly, Bouwmeester reported that the game "is starting to take off" and he's run out of the puzzles and wonders if be can get-more in stock by Christmas.

Area bookstores, meanwhile, reported "heavy sales" of paper memorabilia associated with the movie. First item out this summer was a paperback novelization of the movie.
Sales of that book are still doing very well, Janet Kroenenthal, manager of
Waldenbooks in Cherryland said, " but they have been dying off a little
recently. Sales were much hotter this summer when the movie first came out
and interest was highest."

Other "Star Wars" paper collectibles include calendars, sketchbooks, blueprints, picture portfolios, iron-on transfer books and a Marvel comics serialization of the movie. Recordings of the movie's sound track are also reported selling well.
"I think the interest has already peaked," said Lois Orth, bookbuyer and assistant manager of Thompson News downtown. "But I expect there'll be a big surge of interest in the movie for the Christmas season."

Who's getting all the "Star Wars" merchandise? "It seems to attract mostly younger boys, from age 10 to the early teens" Orth said. "Very few females seem interested," Kronenthal agreed. "That's natural. It's very much a male movie."

--Oh Yes, Interest in Star Wars has peaked alright, that the most wronger thing ever said....

Click the pic below to check out the full assult Kenner made the following year:

Micronauts are also mentioned in this piece, check out Innerspace Online for massive orgy of Micro goodness.


Anonymous said...

wow, that is one huge certificate for those dolls.

feels so wrong to call them dolls, but that's what they were back in those days, and there was no stigma attached to it.

Anonymous said...

"Very few females seem interested,"!!!! Star Wars changed my life in 1977 and even though I wasn't interested in the action figures (at that time), I lived, drank and breathed Star Wars for ... well I guess I still do. I couldn't wait for my boys to get old enough to show them Star Wars and have encouraged them to purchase as many Star Wars toys as possible. I would have never made it through Jr. High and High School if it hadn't been for Star Wars. I even forgive George for Jar Jar I love the series so much. And that's saying something.

Will Errickson said...

I love reading the contemporaneous accounts of STAR WARS stuff, before anyone realized what a cultural juggernaut it was going to be. It was all still quaint, charming, fresh, and sincere; that is, everything the prequels, and their attendant merchandise, were not.


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