Disney/Pixar has just introduced Buttercup to the Toy Story 3 line-up via its official Facebook page. His manufacturer’s description is as follows:
The US Patent Office has recently published a patent application by Disney Enterprises which appears to be the groundwork for Disney’s announced digital rights management (DRM) technology dubbed ‘Keychest.’
The technology is intended to allow an individual to purchase the right to a movie or a song or book or any other type of protected content and be able to play that same content on any number of multimedia devices with just the single purchase. For example, songs purchased through iTunes are limited not just to iPod/iPhone/iTunes devices, but specific ones. With ‘Keychest’ technology, that song might also be able to be played on a PC using any copy of iTunes (or even another application), on any other mobile device, etc. The same would apply for movies. For example, purchase the latest Disney film on DVD and immediately be able to stream it on your friend’s computer or play it on your cell phone, all at no additional cost.
Note: This article has been updated with a major correction. See the bottom of this article for details.
By now you probably know who Rex, Hamm and R/C are. You might even have heard of Woody. And if you’re really in the know on the Toy Story lore, you might even have an inkling as to who Buzz Lightyear of Stanor Command is.
But would you recognize Stretch if you saw him?
From Walt Disney Studios UK, we get out first look at the new music video for the end title track for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, ‘Alice (Underground)’ by Avril Lavigne. While featuring mostly Avril and her performance in the Underland, the video also features some glimpses (mostly previously released) of the film which will be released domestically on March 5.
Variety has reported interest by Walt Disney Studios in producing Prom, a comedy written by television writer Katie Wech. Citing the success of High School Musical as inspiration, the teen romp is said to be written in the vein of film legend John Hughes or Cameron Crowe. Quick to note that the project is still in development stages, Variety suggests Disney is looking at a way to produce the film for only five to ten million, significantly less than even the aforementioned Disney Channel Movie cost, most notably by casting virtual unknowns for the leads, thus heightening the film’s chances at churning a profit.
I was able to briefly penetrate the LEGO fortress (which, despite being bright yellow on the exterior, was constructed of something much more durable than plastic) and get a sneak peek at all of the new Disney branded LEGO and DUPLO sets we can expect to see in 2010.
Solidifying the recent licensing of Disney to LEGO, 2010 marks the first year that LEGO will be introducing Disney-branded DUPLO for the younger set. In this case, we have two series coming out in the first half of the year for Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and for Disney/Pixar’s CARS. I have to confess I find the DUPLO sets to be absolutely adorable and I wish I could share photos with you but despite being in possession of the box artwork, it’s all preliminary so I’m not allowed to share, but I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
With LEGO, we have a few more Toy Story sets being released in conjunction with the theatrical release of Toy Story 3. These sets are focused on the film and thus some of the characters and concepts behind the playsets will be spoilers. The same could be said for the Prince of Persia releases, so consider yourself warned.
In some of the biggest toy news this year, Basic Fun is breathing new life into the original Koosh and, for the first time ever, has united the iconic toy with some of your favorite Disney, Pixar, Muppets and Marvel Super Hero Squad friends.
As a Toy Story 3 licensee, Basic Fun is expanding its already established Games on the Go key chain editions of popular board games with a whole suite of new Toy Story 3 key chains and portable games including some new games inspired by the film. Games like Buzz Buzz are even electronic, allowing you to test your (or your surgeon’s) dexterity.
Swindon in the United Kingdom was officially honored at Walt Disney World when the plaque marking the twinning of the Wiltshire town with the popular Florida resort was unveiled at the famous Magic Kingdom. The twinning ceremony, which was attended by The Mayor of Swindon (Cllr David Wren), TV presenter and competition judge Angellica Bell, Duncan Wardle, VP Creative Inc, Walt Disney World, the creator of the winning Swindon nomination Rebecca Warren and her family. A plaque marking the twinning will take pride of place in the UK pavilion at Epcot throughout 2010 for visitors to see.
Buried under extensive coverage of Star Wars at the International Toy Fair, StarWars.com recently brought us news of a couple of new exclusive limited edition releases coming soon to Disney Parks.
In honor of The Empire Strikes Back which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2010 comes this extremely limited edition action figure of Stitch as the hologram of Emperor Palpatine. Limited to a run of only 1980 (get it?), each piece is accompanied by an individually numbered card and branded as being specific to the 2010 Star Wars Weekends event, thus it will be available exclusively at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Note: this is a continuation of an article that begins here.
After the presentation was complete, I was able to speak a little bit to Lee Unkrich who graciously posed for some photos and entertained my questions, particularly on how his recent inspirational decision to auction his own personal Pixar memorabilia on eBay to raise money for Haiti disaster relief went (he provided a guesstimate on the total and he and the legions of Pixar fans did impressively well, that much I will say). So congratulations to Lee for the generous donation as well as for the film.
I also got to speak at length with Chris Heatherly, Disney Consumer Products’ General Manager & Vice President of Toys, on various topics (all Disney) as well as received some personal demonstrations of some of the new toys.
By far, most of the toys presented at the event were from Mattel with demonstration models including the Buzz Lightyear Deluxe Action Wing Pack and the Toy Story 3 Action Links Playsets.
I was most surprised with the Buzz Lightyear Wing Pack, both for the better and for the worse. On the pro side, I was completely expecting the Wing Pack to be restricted to child size, but the backpack/strap style actually fits adults surprisingly well. On the con, the wings are motor-controlled, not spring release so they expand a bit slower than one might perhaps hope (but it’s doubtful many kids will notice or care). On the motor action, a representative for Mattel told me that there is actually a mechanism in place to respond if the wings end up being forced by small hands, so that the mechanism is virtually indestructible, so that is a good thing. Overall, it is pretty neat with large ‘LED’ lights that light up and blink when the wings expand at the press of the giant red button (which contracts the wings at the next press) and features popular Buzz phrases, both automatically and at the press of other buttons, just like the real toy. Using accelerometer technology, when the child (or adult) bends over at about 30 degrees or so (and more), the wings automatically make flying noises and light up and also respond in kind to the swaying movement as the Space Ranger-to-be runs/flies/falls-with-style around.
For the Action Link playsets, individual sets of varying sizes and prices link up to produce a wacky series of Rube Goldberg-esque events. There will be five sets at launch, of which three were on display at the event (though I did manage to see the other two at the Mattel showroom) and the gimmick is that the sets (which incidentally are purely mechanical, so no batteries needed) can be arranged in any order, changing the whimsical sequence with each arrangement. I did find resetting the sets trying my patience at times because they each operate with a hair trigger and — just like with setting up dominos — it’s frustrating to be in mid-setup and inadvertently fire off half of the sets, forcing you to attempt to reset them again. Still, there is quite a bit of fun and novelty value to it despite some of the inevitable setbacks (maybe teaching patience also makes it an educational toy).
Not presenting at the International Toy Fair, but well represented at the event was original Toy Story licensee and innovative toy developer Thinkway Toys. Of course a ‘LOT’ of attention went the way of Lotso, the overly fluffy pink male bear who happens to be strawberry scented (although maybe a tad more Frankenberry than strawberry), but Thinkway has quite a few more new exciting products to share with Toy Story 3.
There is, for example, the Toy Story Collection Mr. Potato Head. Or rather the Animated, Talking, Part Popping Action Mr. Potato Head. The very animated and vocal potato responds to voice and eagerly chats away and entertains, but he’s always just one loud noise away from exploding, sending his body parts scattering in all directions. He also has the capability of realizing when the wrong parts are in the wrong place (purely G rated of course, he is a Playskool toy afterall).
Tucked away with the rest of the Thinkway Toys on display, I also managed to catch a glimpse of both Jessie and Bullseye who have been added to the collection. Yeehaw!
But speaking of incredibly horrible reverse-segues, on the former topic of Playskool and Mr. Potato Head, Hasbro is introducing a set of Toy Story 3 themed Potato Heads including Spud Lightyear and Woody’s Tater Roundup (Reach for the Fry!) which were on display. I also understand there will even be a Mrs. Potato Head themed as Jessie.
Another product on display from Hasbro that I’m particularly excited about is a Toy Story themed edition of the classic electronic boardgame of Operation. Buzz. Aliens. Probe. Need I say more?
In the gallery of photos below, you’ll see many more of the Toy Story 3 products you can expect to see in stores within the next few months. With around 250 new products from about 20 different licensees, I promise there’s plenty more to come than just what you’ll find here, especially from Mattel who I’ll cover a bit more in a future article.