There's plenty of money to be made in merchandise, something the Star Wars franchise has demonstrated over the years with video games, books, toys and kitchenware to name a few, and now fans can get in on the action with the release of a coin set featuring characters from the series.
New Zealand Mint has been commissioned to manufacture the coins, but should anyone want to actually use them to buy things, the only place they can do so is Niue.
"We are absolutely delighted to be involved with
such an amazing franchise,” said NZ Mint vice-president of US operations, Chris Kirkness.
“Lucasfilm is launching the complete Star Wars saga on Blu-ray in September this year. Plus, in February of 2012 they will be releasing Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace in 3D, so there’s a lot happening around the franchise.
“The coin programme release will coincide with this global activity and it’s tipped to be a best-seller."
Each coin will be $2 legal tender in Niue, but they're worth much more than that – a set of four will cost NZ$469.
S&A Partners, the official licensee of Lucasfilm, said NZ Mint was the only one in the world with the creative know-how and resources to pull off the project.
“When discussing the marketing potential of this property – the enthusiasm and willingness to share information and ideas made the decision to work with the New Zealand Mint an easy choice,” said Steven Harris, managing partner at S&A.
He said NZ Mint's presentation and packaging was always of high quality and would "wow" both Star Wars fans and the coin-collecting community.
The first coins launch this month at the American Numismatics Association Show in Chicago, and will include eight 1oz silver coins and 10 silver-plated base metal coins. Further releases are planned annually into the first half of 2014.
They can be purchased through NZ Mint or through international coin distributors.