Disney Consumer Products (DCP) says there's never been a better time to be a Disney licensee or retailer.
The firm talked up the licensing opportunities that Star Wars offers the industry at the 2013 Licensing Expo this week.
Bob Chapek (pictured left), president of Disney Consumer Products, announced the formal inclusion of Lucasfilm licensing into DCP’s franchise portfolio, which he says "has never been stronger".
“The Disney brand is our most powerful asset," he said.
“Our rich and diverse content slate is full of opportunities to connect with the consumer in new and exciting ways through incredible storytelling and compelling characters. There is simply no better time in history for licensees and retailers to be associated with Disney.”
J.J. Abrams will direct the Star Wars: Episode VII movie, set for launch in 2015, the first of three films continuing the Star Wars saga. These will alternate with standalone movies tied to key Star Wars characters.
Production has also begun on Star Wars Rebels, a new animated TV series. Scheduled to premiere in autumn 2014 as a one-hour special on Disney Channel, it will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.
"This outstanding line of content presents stellar licensing opportunities and deepens Disney’s portfolio across consumer segments, particularly with boys and collectors, but also opens up the Star Wars world to new fans," read a statement.
Josh Silverman, executive vice president, Global Licensing at Disney Consumer Products, added: “Our licensees and retail colleagues are poised for incremental growth opportunities as we drive the development of compelling new products and retail programs that complement each other across the spectrum.”
Howard Roffman (pictured right), executive vice president, Lucasfilm franchise, said: "We're excited to be part of The Walt Disney Company and to be able to marshal all the resources we've never dreamt of before.
"There's only one place where it made sense for Star Wars to reside and that is Disney, it is the only entertainment company that understands long term: long term brand affinity and franchise planning, plus the power of storytelling and compelling characters – this is what our fans expect from Star Wars."
Other Disney properties the company is currently pushing include Avengers, Mickey Mouse, Planes, Spider-Man, Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins.
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