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This One Large Part of the Toy Industry Is Still Blowing Up

U.S. toy industry sales grew 5% in 2016 to $20.4 billion, according to NPD Group data, and the companies within that market, like Hasbro (HAS) , can thank movie-based toys.

"Licensing plays a huge role in the toy industry," with 35% to 40% of toy sales attributed to licensing as a whole each year. And "this year was no different," said Marty Brochstein, executive VP of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA).

Character-related merchandise - which includes toys from entertainment, TV, movies and celebrities - accounted for $113 billion in global retail sales in 2016, according to LIMA research.

"Generally the movies cause the spikes," Brochstein said.

Brochstein noted that toys based on Walt Disney's (DIS) films Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was released on Dec. 16 and that has so far generated $1.034 billion at the box office, and the...