July 13, 2009

A movie hit can transform toy industry

U.S. toymaker Hasbro Inc. could post a banner year in 2009, thanks to a blockbuster movie based on one of its toy lines.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has made $340 million at the box office in the United States and Canada so far, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

But the Michael Bay hit will have a huge influence on toy sales. Analysts say Hasbro could make $600 million this year on Transformer toys in a year filled with box office hits that will prove to be bonanzas for toys stores.

Makers of Star Trek, X-Men and G.I. Joe toys also have movies driving toy sales.

This year might be a peak in movie-related toy sales, said industry analyst John Taylor at Arcadia Investment Corp.

People are thinking if everything goes well, Transformers could rival Star Wars as the single best-selling property, he said. With G.I. Joe on top of that, you've got a shot at breaking $700 million.

Predicting a movie hit has not always been easy. Monsters vs. Aliens, was a box-office smash, but neither Wal-Mart nor Target Corp. carried plush toys based on its characters, the newspaper said.