Spielwarenmesse: Movie stars in 2019 boost toy sales

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Movie stars in 2019 boost toy sales

from Spielwarenmesse eG

Many well-known characters and brands are making their cinema début in 2019 or returning to the big screen. The media hype surrounding the blockbusters in which they appear is also impacting on the licence market. Products associated with these long-running hits always give business a fresh boost.

The merchandising business used to follow a traditional path - first the film and then the matching product range was designed. Nowadays, however, the trend is often the exact opposite. The latest example: "Bayala", the range of figures produced by Schleich. Germany's seventh-largest toy manufacturer is putting its popular range on the screen for the first time in October. "Bayala – The Movie" is an 80-minute animated film in which elves, unicorns and other magical creatures from the Bayala series pursue lots of adventures trying to bring magic back to their land.

Figures on the screen

Playmobil figures
Playmobil brings its figures to the screen for the first time, © Playmobil

Playmobil plans it first cinema appearance for summer 2019. Lino Di Salvo, former Head of Animation for the film "Frozen" is to direct "Playmobil: The Movie". The story focusses on the popular little plastic figures made by the German company Geobra Brandstätter.

Hasbro was the pioneer behind the idea of big toy manufacturers stirring up the film industry. The US manufacturer launched its first "Transformers" action film in cinemas in 2007. After "Transformers 5: The Last Knight" ten years later, which disappointed expectations, it is uncertain whether there will be a sequel. The latest Hasbro movie production "Bumblebee" is a Transformers spin-off and was released at Christmas 2018.

Popular super heroes

Lego also has experience of the big screen. At the beginning of February "The Lego Movie 2" was released as a sequel to "The Lego Movie" which made its cinema début in 2014. With their accompanying toy series, the Danish toy manufacturer promised action-packed adventures with best friends Lucy and Emmet as well as new extraterrestrial creations.

They are again using the Warner Bros. Entertainment studio which has lots of other action heroes in its portfolio. In April, for example, another super hero from the DC Comics universe is being launched: "Shazam!". This is followed in October by "Wonder Woman 1984", the sequel to the 2017 summer hit where the leading actress Gal Gadot carted Wonder Woman Diana Prince off into the 80s.

Classics in a new guise

DUMBO
With "Dumbo" a childhood classic is returning, © Disney

Disney's action heroes are the Marvel stars who received the first female lead role in 2019: Carol Danvers alias Ms Marvel has been fighting evil since March in "Captain Marvel". Alongside these, the media giant is bringing old friends with huge licensing potential back onto the big screen. The Disney year  started in January with "Ralph Breaks the Internet", the sequel to "Wreck-It Ralph". After this there will be some remakes of live-action popular classics "Dumbo", "Aladdin" and "Lion King". In October we can look forward to a reunion with Woody and Buzz in "Toy Story 4" - two decades after the first release in 1995.

The real highlights of the most successful international licences await fans at the end of the year: "Frozen 2" and "Star Wars IX" are the stars of this year's Christmas business. Young and old fans alike can also look forward to lots of products from Disney and its cooperation partners.

Trolls and dragons

How to Train Your Dragon by DreamWorks Animation
"How to Train Your Dragon: 3 – The Hidden World", © DreamWorks Animation

Characters from DreamWorks Animation studios also count among the long-term franchise themes. The finale of the "How to Train Your Dragon" trilogy released in February. Master toy partner Spin Master is offering its support with the matching toy range. When it comes to "Trolls" the ball is in Hasbro's court. The release of part 2 of the successful animated comedy "Trolls World Tour" is scheduled for the beginning of 2020. Thanks to the renewed collaboration with megastar Justin Timberlake, audiences with a soft spot for danceable beats and catchy melodies will certainly get their money's worth again.

Existing licenses and associated products will see a lot of support and even some revivals at cinemas in the coming months. This will stimulate kids' imagination and bring a breath of fresh air to the shelves. 

Upcoming releases for the United States in 2019


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Spielwarenmesse eG

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