With Star Wars: The Clone Wars pulling down great ratings on Cartoon Network, Star Wars has climbed to the top of the toy charts once again, coming in as number-one traditional toy license in the US, according to The NPD Group.
US toy sales for the property exceeded US$450 million in 2008 and Star Wars: The Clone Wars also came away as the single-most popular licensed toy property in 2008, in addition to being the top boys toy license of the year. Holiday sales were strong with this one despite the economic downturn, as US retailers reported the strongest sales for Star Wars products since the first movie made its big-screen debut 31 years ago.
Video games were also a highlight for the program. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was the fastest-selling Star Wars title in history, with sales topping 5.7 million units worldwide. On the publishing front, 14 books found spots on the New York Times bestseller list.
Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns to Cartoon Network this fall for a second season, and StarWars.com saw a 30% spike in traffic, as fans can watch full episodes of the animated series for free, play games, read the web comics or watch fan films.