SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Driven by the popularity of the STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS animated television series, the Force remained strong in 2008 as STAR WARS catapulted to the Number 1 spot of all traditional toy licenses, according to The NPD Group, Inc., Lucasfilm Ltd. announced today. U.S. toy retail sales for the brand in 2008 exceeded $450M.
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS was the single most popular licensed toy property in 2008 according to data released by the NPD Group. It was also, as a result, the top boys’ toy license of the year.
During the 2008 holiday season, U.S. retailers reported the strongest sales for STAR WARS toys and products in the 31 years since the first STAR WARS movie was released theatrically, even as the overall retail economy faced significant challenges.
Sales of STAR WARS video games also reached new heights in 2008, driven by the huge success of STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED. Following its release in September, STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASED became the fastest selling STAR WARS video game in history with sales now exceeding 5.7M units worldwide.
In addition, STAR WARS books topped the charts with 14 titles appearing on the New York Times best sellers list, with both STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED novelization, and STAR WARS: LEGACY OF THE FORCE: REVELATION, reaching the number one spot.
The smash-hit, animated STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS will return to Cartoon Network the fall of 2009 for a second season, continuing the adventures of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, and the heroic Jedi Knights.
The October 3, 2008 premiere of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS scored as the most-watched series debut in Cartoon Network history, according to Nielsen Media Research. Since its premiere, STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (Friday 9 p.m.) has ranked #1 in its time period on all television with boys 2-11, boys 6-11, and tween boys 9-14 through January 2009. It is also a worldwide hit, airing in 166 countries around the globe. Cartoon Network is scheduled to air the final first-season episode of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS at 9 p.m. Friday, March 20.
As the series has continued its popularity, the official STAR WARS website WWW.STARWARS.COM has seen a 30 percent jump in site traffic with millions of fans now viewing free full video episodes of the animated series, playing new STAR WARS games, reading the latest news and online web comic, or just watching some of the hundreds of exclusive STAR WARS fan films and videos on the site.
Produced by Lucasfilm Animation, STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS features the voices of Matt Lanter (Heroes) as Anakin Skywalker, Ashley Eckstein (That’s So Raven) as Ahsoka Tano, James Arnold Taylor (Celebrity Deathmatch) as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Tom Kane (Wolverine & the X-Men) as Yoda.
Dave Filoni is the supervising director of the series and Cary Silver is producer. George Lucas serves as executive producer and creator of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS.