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Star Wars may propel US toy industry to best year since ’99: NPD

The Force is with the US toy industry this year.

Demand for Star Wars merchandise is set to propel toy sales growth to a 17 year-high, according to industry research firm The NPD Group.

Toy sales rose 7.5 percent in the first half of 2016, pointing to the fastest growth since 1999, the NPD said.

Star Wars toys, the majority of which are produced by Hasbro Inc, was the biggest contributor to the sales growth, with dollar sales for Star Wars toys nearly tripling through June.

“Star Wars is already at $300 million for the year,” US toys industry analyst Juli Lennett wrote in the report.

Toy sales typically shoot up in the year-end holiday season.

This year’s sales have been fueled by collectibles, inspired by the rebooted classic Star Wars franchise and a slew of Marvel’s superhero films.

Content is increasingly helping drive toy growth as kids get immersed in their favorite characters from the numerous sources such as movies, Netflix or YouTube, Lennett said.

Star Wars sales could be bigger than last year when it totaled $700 million, she added. (Reuters)

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