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Photo: Jay Malone via Flickr (under license CC BY 2.0)
Photo: Jay Malone via Flickr (under license CC BY 2.0)

Toy sales in 2015 get some help from 'The Force'

Lego and Hasbro have both reported increases in sales since "The Force Awakens" was released.

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Last years addition to the Star Wars epic, “The Force Awakens” shattered box office records but is also giving a boost to toy companies.

The film made over $2 billion in the box office worldwide but the Star Wars franchise is also a merchandising giant. A Forbes article last year said the Star Wars merchandising industry is estimated to bring in around $5 billion with products tied to “The Force Awakens.” Both Hasbro and Lego reported strong sales in the outset of the release of the seventh Star Wars film.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Hasbro saw 35 percent increase in sales during the 2015 holiday season. The increase was seen in the company’s boys segment which produces the their Star Wars line. This, according to the article, led to a 13 percent increase in overall revenue.

Chief Executive Brian Goldner said the company’s overall “Star Wars” business for the year was “very similar” to the nearly $500 million the company made in 2005 when the last installment of the movie hit theaters. And the company forecasts “Star Wars” sales this year to be around that level again.

Lego reported its 2015 sales numbers in a press conference earlier today. Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO of LEGO, was seen skipping during the press conference. The company had a good 2015, bringing in $1.34 billion in net profit. Knudstorp told CNBC in an interview that Star Wars has always been a big part of its production line.

"I think we are almost a part of defining the 'Star Wars' universe, having kept the franchise vibrant in years when we no movies are released,” he said.

“Now this year a fantastic movie has been launched and Lego has been part of the global excitement.”

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