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The House of Mouse is the world's most prodigious licensor, with images responsible for $37.5 billion in merchandise sales in 2011, according to rankings data compiled by License Global! magazine. Newly acquired Lucasfilm ranks 15th at about $3 billion.
While Disney makes plenty of money selling images in other media and outlets, no opportunity looms so big as bringing branded merchandise into its own stores. Think of Lucasfilm's recent deal to create a version of Rovio's Angry Birds game based on Star Wars. Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS ) is already selling toys tailored to the concept.
Toys and games based on Marvel Comics characters offer a similar opportunity, especially now, with Iron Man 3 set to open in theaters in May. Will Disney take advantage? Fool contributor Tim Beyers answers this question and more in the following video. Please watch and then weigh in using the comments box below.
More expert advice from The Motley Fool
It's easy to forget that Walt Disney is more than just the House of the Mouse. True, Disney amusement parks around the world hosted more than 121 million guests in 2011. But from its vast catalog of characters to its monster collection of media networks, much of Disney's allure for investors lies in its diversity, and The Motley Fool's new premium research report lays out the case for investing in Disney today. This report includes the key items investors must watch as well as the opportunities and threats the company faces going forward. We're also providing a full year of regular analyst updates as news develops, so don't miss out -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.