Current sales put Monsters University licensed toys just behind Disney’s Cars franchise. Cars 2 delivered the largest licensed toy sales of all time in Europe in 2011, bringing in more than €312 m ($479m) in the top five European markets alone. Two years later, Cars is still the largest toy licence in France and the eighth largest in the U.K.
Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst at The NPD Group, said: “Longevity in the toy market is not a given, and the performance of the Cars franchise is exceptional. It has become an evergreen licence that retail buyers are happy to restock from one year to another, safe in the knowledge that toys will not be sitting on shelves for long. However, this year there are two Pixar movies coming to cinema screens, with Planes, a spin-off from Cars, due for release on August 16th in the UK, only a few weeks after Monsters University. The two Disney films are tipped to be the most important kids’ movies of 2013 in terms of merchandise, but they are unlikely to give Cars record toy sales a fright.”
According to The NPD Group’s analysis, sales of toys related to a movie experience quick growth in the three weeks prior to cinematic release, but then slow down in the six weeks after the movie has come out. The most successful franchises will then see sales pick up again in the build-up to Christmas.
UK retailers are already preparing for a Monster University Christmas bump, with Hamleys and The Entertainer placing one of the property’s hero toys, the Sulley mask, on their lists of top toys for Christmas 2013.
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