The launch of the third season of The Clone Wars last Friday was greeted by more than 5,000 sponsored house parties, organized by Lucasfilm, Hasbro and Cartoon Network.
‘The concept of collective experience is important to us,’ says Paul Southern, senior director of domestic licensing and marketing at the Marin County, California-based company. ‘That is a challenge for a piece of TV entertainment so we were happy to be able to foster that experience along with our toy partner Hasbro.’
Southern estimates that between 50,000 and 60,000 kids across the US attended the parties. The get-togethers featured games, action figures and role playing and, of course, a screening of the first of 22 season-three episodes.
While the ratings haven’t been released, The Clone Wars consistently draws well and George Lucas has said that he foresees many more seasons of the series on Cartoon Network.
Just a few days before the launch of the new season, LucasArts, a division of Lucasfilm, along with partner Sony Online Entertainment debuted the property’s first-ever virtual world Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventure. In its first week, the free-to-play online game drew more than one million unique registrations.
On the CP front, new line of Clone Wars products landed in US stores on August 1. Southern predicts that 2011 will be a banner year for the company as it celebrates The Empire Strikes Back 30th anniversary, readies the release of the six Star Wars feature films on Blu-ray for Q3 and Q4, launches a new Lego video game and further mines The Clone Wars universe to develop innovative action figures.
‘We want to bring the action back to boy’s action,’ he says. ‘There will be some major innovations in the role playing category in 2011; we think it will redefine the category.’