Free Star Wars toys sold on eBay

The Star Wars Darth Vader character for the Disney Infinity gaming system, seen at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.
The Star Wars Darth Vader character for the Disney Infinity gaming system, seen at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Los Angeles - Star Wars fans who attended the annual E3 video-game conference last week are turning a quick profit selling unreleased Yoda and Darth Maul toys on the Internet that were handed out for free by Walt Disney Co.

The collectible figures, part of Disney's Infinity 3.0 video- game platform, are being offered for as much as US$300 (S$400) each on eBay.

The Star Wars characters, which have not yet reached store shelves, will sell for about US$14 each when they go on sale this autumn, ahead of the December release of the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Disney gave out thousands of the figures at E3, the annual trade show held in Los Angeles. Attendees, mostly video-game industry professionals, raced to the Disney booth at the start of the show each day to line up for the promotion. The company had to close the line after as little as a minute so it did not run out of toys.

Disney is employing a two-pronged attack on the video-game market for its Star Wars brand.

It is releasing Star Wars figures and games for Infinity 3.0, which is aimed at children.

It has also licensed Star Wars to game-maker Electronic Arts, which is releasing Star Wars Battlefront on Nov 17. That game, a so-called first- person shooter, is targeting older players.

Characters in Infinity 3.0, meanwhile, are designed to look like toys. Onscreen, they explode into pieces. Players also try to remove the batteries from an opponent to disable it, rather than resort to more violent forms of attack.

Bloomberg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2015, with the headline 'Free Star Wars toys sold on eBay'. Print Edition | Subscribe