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New Wave of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Merchandise Launches Around Homevideo Release

Fans of “Guardians of the Galaxy” finally get their dancing Groot.

Disney has a second wave of merchandise it will launch around Marvel Studios’ sci-fi blockbuster as the film is hitting homevideo platforms.

That includes a toy based on the dancing Groot character seen at the end of the film, a sequence that caught on with moviegoers.

KIDdesigns has produced the dancing Groot figure that moves to the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” Funko already had announced vinyl bobblehead of Groot as part of its Pop! toy line.

Meanwhile, Mattel’s Hot Wheels, Funko, Her Universe, Mad Engine, Just Play, Dragon Models and ThinkGeek are also among several new licensees that will debut new “Guardians” merchandise in the toys, apparel, accessories, electronics, home goods, and collectibles categories this month.

“Guardians,” which earned $771 million at the worldwide box office, launched on digital platforms on Nov. 18, and will become available on DVD and Blu-ray on Dec. 9.

To back the homevideo release, Disney is re-introducing the film’s Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Groot and Rocket in the retail aisle with a variety of products, including a plush Rocket as part of Funko’s Fabrikations line and Hot Wheels character cars. C-Life, Hybrid-Jem Sportswear, Freeze, MZ Berger, Accutime and AME will produce apparel, while ThinkGeek has a line of jewelry and watches.

After female fans hit social media to demand that Disney produce more merchandise featuring the characters Gamora and Nebula, the company responded with a line of T-shirts and other apparel from her Universe.

Meanwhile, cards from American Greetings, home goods from Jay Franco, and drinkware from Vandor are also planned.

The timing, of course, comes as the holiday shopping season is well underway.

But Marvel has bigger plans for “Guardians,” with a sequel set for 2017, that James Gunn will return to direct, as well as planned appearances by the characters in future “Avengers” films.

“The demand for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ merchandise has been truly out of this world,” said Paul Gitter, senior VP, licensing, Marvel at Disney Consumer Products. “Our merchandising and retail partners are doing a tremendous job of providing creative and innovative ways for fans to continue interacting with these popular characters and showcase their fandom year round.”

Disney and Marvel began lining up licensing partners to create products around “Guardians” in summer 2013 — an impressive feat at the time given that the characters weren’t that well known to moviegoers, usually a turn off to retailers.

But the gamble paid off — as it also did around early products around Walt Disney Animation’s “Big Hero 6,” which could help Disney Consumer Products post more than $40.9 billion in sales in 2014, a record figure it generated last year from licensing.

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