Disney’s New ‘Star Wars’ Toys Make Debut in Fan-Made YouTube Videos

August 31, 2016, 4:09 PM UTC
Photo by Jenn Harrington — Courtesy of Disney Consumer Products

Toy junkies young and old got their first look at new merchandise for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Wednesday, as Walt Disney released images of toys associated with the next film from the massively popular franchise.

While Rogue One won’t hit theaters until December, the new toys will go on sale Sept. 30, and fans got their first look at the line of products—ranging from Lego Stormtroopers to a full play set model of the AT-ACT armored cargo transporter—made by toymakers Hasbro, Lego, Mattel, Funko, Jakks Pacific, and the Disney Store. The new line of toys is expected to be popular with consumers, meaning sales of Star Wars products could even surpass their whopping $700 million mark from 2015, when the release of the franchise’s first new movie in a decade, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, spurred renewed interest in Star Wars merchandise.

(Hasbro and retailer Kohl’s got a sales boost earlier this year, thanks to the viral video of a suburban mother laughing while wearing an electronic Chewbacca mask.)

What’s more, Disney is looking to stir up even more interest in the new product line by enlisting a select group of fans to create their own stop-motion short videos introducing some of the new Rogue One products. The videos started appearing on the Star Wars YouTube channel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, when the new toys go on sale at the end of September, Disney will kick off a contest in which participants will submit two-minute videos inspired by Rogue One for a shot at attending a screening of the film.

Jimmy Pitaro, the chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, said in a statement that the fan-generated short videos “are a tribute to the incredible content that the Star Wars community posts online every day.” In its press release, Disney cited a recent report from web video data firm Zefr, which said that fans posted nearly 840,000 Star Wars-related videos on YouTube in the past year, with fan-generated content related to the franchise generating more than 16.3 billion views over that period.

Rogue One will be released in U.S. theaters on Dec. 16, almost exactly one year after the release of The Force Awakens, which soared to an all-time domestic box office record by grossing $936 million in North America, while the movie pulled in more than $2 billion worldwide.

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