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May The Funds Be With You

Star Wars fans spend more on ‘the Force’ than an engagement ring and their child’s education

Thu May 04 04:10:00 EDT 2017

  • Star Wars superfans admit to spending more on the Force in a lifetime (£2,235) than an engagement ring (£1,342) or their child’s education (£1,928)
  • Just over a fifth of all fans would be happy to spend on a Star Wars themed wedding
  • A further fifth would name their child after a character from the sci-fi epic, whilst nearly two in ten would change their own name by deed poll

Star Wars lego

Star Wars fans are spending an average of £800 in their lifetime on their beloved movie franchise, with self-confessed ‘superfans’ spending more than double that – £2,235 – on watching the films and buying associated memorabilia.

The new research from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions and has been at the heart of British shopping for 50 years, has been undertaken to coincide with International Star Wars Day on May the 4th, and the franchise’s 40th anniversary this year.

Such is the dedication of Star Wars followers that everyday fans of the Force will spend up to £212 a year on everything from Star Wars games, to lightsabers and homeware, DVDs and cinema tickets.

‘Superfans’ – those who see themselves as the most dedicated – admit to spending more in a lifetime on the famed space opera than they spend on their child’s education (£1,928), football season tickets (£1,506) and even an engagement ring (£1,342).

Star Wars Superfan

On top of ensuring they have the latest merchandise, 21 per cent of fans would go so far as spending on a Star Wars themed wedding, while 17 per cent said that they would be willing to change their name by deed poll to that of a Star Wars character. 21 per cent would even name their child after a character from the franchise.

Star Wars fans do not tend to make solo purchases either; over three quarters of superfans (76 per cent) buy a Star Wars experience or merchandise at least once a month, totalling up to £526 in any one year.

The research from Barclaycard also shows that almost a fifth of superfans (19 per cent) would be happy to push their spending into hyperdrive, splashing out over £2,000 on an original prop from the films. The original R2-D2 is the most coveted piece of Star Wars memorabilia (12 per cent) followed by one of the Millennium Falcon models (9 per cent).

Separately, Barclaycard’s consumer spending data shows that cinema spend jumped 54 per cent in the week after Rogue One’s release last year, when compared to the week before. The Force Awakens, which premiered in December 2015, caused cinema spending to rocket by 111 per cent in the week after release.

Star Wars lego

Paul Lockstone, Managing Director of Barclaycard commented:

“As one of the best-known movie franchises of all time, the commitment that some fans are prepared to make to get their hands on the latest Star Wars cinema tickets, memorabilia and experiences should come as no surprise. That some superfans are even prepared to splash out more on Luke and Leia than on engagement rings, child’s education and sports tickets is, however, enlightening.

“Our data reveals that it would be a mistake to think that it’s just the superfans who like the Jedi lifestyle. With our data showing big increases in cinema spending each time a new film is released, it’s clear that the Force is awakening for a new generation.”

Karl Pethers, Star Wars superfan commented:

“I watched the original Star Wars film when I was three years old and have been obsessed ever since. For my 40th birthday, I decided that I wanted to treat myself to the Millennium Falcon Lego set as I have kept the original Millennium Falcon toy since I was seven. I have since spent over £1,500 on Star Wars Lego sets and even used my collection to help fund my wedding in 2015. For me, buying merchandise to commemorate the franchise is a throwback to my childhood. I’m a self-confessed Star Wars ‘superfan’ and will continue to spend on the series until I’m as old as Yoda.”

Star Wars lego

Top ten items Star Wars superfans spend on in their lifetimes:  

Item

Cost

Item

Cost

1. Cinema tickets

£271.17

6. Star Wars exhibitions

£105.39

2. Star Wars clothing for yourself, family members

£175.44

7. Star Wars graphic novels and literature

£101.19

3. Travel to conventions, filming locations

£125.42

8. Star Wars homeware e.g. mugs, alarm clock

£95.43

4. Games (video games and board games)

£114.35

9. Star Wars statues

£99.96

5. DVDs and Blu-rays

£106.51

10. Signed merchandise

£90.77


For more information please contact Tom Foxton on 0207 116 7285 or tom.foxton@barclaycard.co.uk.

The consumer research was conducted by Opinium Research who carried out 1,006 online interviews (29th March – 4th April) with a sample of UK adults who are fans of Star Wars.

A “superfan” defines themself as someone who regularly spends money on Star Wars films / events / merchandise.