The Disney Store has had its share of corporate logos over the years and the current one (pictured, top) hasn’t been around for all that long, but a recent trademark application for a logo featuring ‘words and a cluster of stars’ suggests that Disney Consumer Products may have more in mind than just a series of store makeovers for its retail chain and online shopping destination.
License! Global, the premier publication for brand extensions and retail intelligence, and the official publication for Licensing International Expo, the World’s Brand and Property Marketplace, today announced the Top 125 Global Licensors. This exclusive list ranks and analyzes the world’s largest brands and licensing companies by total revenue of licensed products at retail.
In honor of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, Disney Store unveiled a new line of eco-friendly merchandise today. Featuring the tag line ‘Save Planet Earth’ and featuring Alien from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3, the new line of merchandise will be available at Disney Store locations nationwide only from April 12 though Earth Day, April 22.
Now available at Toys ‘R’ Us, the Disney Store, DisneyStore.com and the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, we first came across Disney Pook-A-Looz last year at the Disney D23 Expo and instantly fell in love. Their official tagline is Too cute for their own good and we couldn’t agree more!
The quirky, offbeat take on classic Disney characters was inspired by the urban vinyl toy culture which has progressively been taking the nation by storm and helps to accentuate physical features that the characters are traditionally known for.
‘We focused on capturing one key element, gesture or trait of each character during the design process. We wanted the look to be very unique, quirky and cool,’ said Jose Zamora, lead designer. ‘When you think of the Queen of Hearts, you think of her mouth, so we brought that out in the design. With the Cheshire Cat, you think of the teeth. So we focused on that famous grin.’
The initial collectible set of 20 is available from DisneyStore.com and some individual Pook-A-Looz can be found Disney Store retail locations, the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort and at Toys ‘R’ Us which also sells Pook-A-Looz-inspired accessories such as keychains and clothing with more on the way. Some Pook-A-Looz, such as the Jack Skellington and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas can only be found at the Disney theme parks and keep an eye out for seasonal and other Pook-A-Looz in the future such as the Muppets collection which is expected to be released in Fall of 2011 (and consider this our request for Maleficent). Be sure check out the official Disney Pook-A-Looz website for more information and photos (including their really cute backsides).
PLUS: For a limited time only! Purchase the entire 20 piece Disney Pook-a-Looz set and get FREE shipping on your entire shipment at DisneyStore.com! (offer valid only through 4/4 so act fast!)
With special thanks to Disney Consumer Products, we have hi-res images of the initial collection. We do advise that if you own a pair of sunglasses with cuteness protection factor of at least 15, that you wear them before clicking the thumbnails below. We’ve also thrown in a few of our own photos from the Disney D23 Pook-A-Looz exibit including our most prized possession — the D23 exclusive Steamboat Willie keychain.
The Disney Pook-A-Looz plushes retail for $12.99 each while the keychains retail for $7.99 each.
Founded in 1984, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) organization launches a tour each spring titled Dining By Design mixing top design with fine cuisine. Currently located Pier 94 in New York City through March 22, the tour will make stops in Kansas City, Chicago and Francisco.
For the third year in a row, Walt Disney Signature joins the DIFFA exhibition, this time teaming up with renown Italian designer Cappellini to bring a touch of Disney to haute design, allowing attendees to indulge in a delectable combination of dining and Disney.
Disney Consumer Products offered an unprecedented event earlier today that had even the skies opening up and pouring tears of joy on the otherwise gloomy streets of New York City. The event, which had celebrities from television, film and theatre mingling with Disney royalty, had Princesses Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan officially welcome Tiana from The Princess and the Frog to the Disney Princess family.
Held quite appropriately at the New York Palace luxury hotel, celebrities and their families such as Tina Fey (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live), Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Nine Dead, Melissa & Joey), Kelly Bensimon, Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl), Audra McDonald (Private Practice), Nigel Barker (America’s Next Top Model), Matt Walton (One Life to Live), Amy Landecker, Miss Teen USA Stormi Bree Henley with Miss USA Kristen Dalton and more strolled down the purple carpet for the event. Also in attendance from the film, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday were directors John Musker and Ron Clements along with voice talents Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Jennifer Cody (Charlotte), Michael-Leon Wooley (Louis) and Jennifer Lewis (Mama Odie).
After the purple carpet was cleared and the honored guests had made their way indoors to the ballroom, a horse-drawn carriage rolled down Madison Avenue, stopped directly in front of the Palace and Princess Tiana took to the purple carpet herself, escorted by a live jazz band and dozens of her adoring fans.
The event itself began with Anika Noni Rose who addressed the gathered group of families consisting mostly of little girls dressed as Disney princesses. Rose said that the first dream she ever recalls having as a child was that she would grow up to be the voice of a Disney character and how her dream came true. She spoke of Tiana and offered her own advice to the princess’ fans: meeting Prince Charming is a great thing, but they should never lose sight of their dreams and who they are.
With such an overwhelming response to the recent soundtrack giveaway, we’d be mad as a hatter not to offer another round of exciting Alice in Wonderland inspired merchandise from some of the hottest outfitters and toy manufacturers around. Thanks to our friends at Disney Consumer Products, we’re proud to offer one lucky Stitch Kingdom reader chosen at random this awesome Alice in Wonderland gift pack valued at approximately $110 and consisting of:
- An Eat Me/Drink Me 59fifty fitted cap from New Era in a New Era zipper black hat case
- A Mad Hatter Kubrick and Chesire Cat Be@rbrick collectible set
- A Mad Hatter tee shirt featuring the Mad Hatter holding a tea cup reading ‘Mad As A Hatter… You’re Mad’ (not pictured, size men’s large)
- Our jealousy* (* cash value: 1/100th of a cent)
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.
I was extremely fortunate to attend an event earlier this week in which Disney Consumer Products launched dozens of new toys from Mattel, Thinkway Toys, LEGO, Hasbro and JAKKS Pacific, just some vof the licensees for Toy Story 3 products with the aid of some very special guests.
Held at Gotham Hall in the Herald Square area, the space was magically transformed into the Sunnyside Daycare Center featuring oversized props, shrinking us all down to toy size. An over-sized chair provided an appropriate photo opportunity while Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear were on hand to greet guests and to take complimentary photos.
To kick off the presentation, Mary Beech, Vice President/General Manager for Global Studio Franchise Development at Disney Consumer Products, talked about the previous night’s event at the Toy of the Year Awards in which John Lasseter was inducted into the International Toy Hall of Fame. We were shown the mini-documentary that was shown during the awards show which focused on Lasseter’s contributions to the industry and featured many of his colleagues at Pixar as well as his wife, Nancy, and his three sons who spoke of receiving a Buzz and Woody for Christmas after Toy Story had first been released.
[SinglePic not found]Lasseter took the stage next and talked about the genesis of the toy story franchise — how the idea was hatched after witnessing his niece’s approach to toys and wondering how the toys would react if they were alive. After implementing some of the concept in the Pixar short Tin Toy, he talked about how the story was made to be able to reach an older audience by giving the toys neuroses such as Rex’s expectation to be the fiercest creature on earth despite his tiny little arms or Mr. Potato Head’s chip on his shoulder because his body parts are always being removed and re-arranged. Of course, Lasseter says, a toy’s biggest fear is being outgrown, leading into a key plot point in Toy Story 3 in which the toys are led to believe that a daycare center is nirvana — a ‘retirement home for toys’ — in which there will always be a steady flow of children needing the toys and no need to become emotionally attached to the kids as they come and go.
Legendary entertainer and reigning ‘Dancing with the Stars’ champ Donny Osmond joined Fisher-Price at the International Toy Fair in New York yesterday to help launch their newest product, Dance Star Mickey.
Introduced by Mattel Brands President Neil Friedman, Donny burst onto the stage with Mirror Ball Trophy in hand and immediately set the room on fire, regaling those in attendance with details of his lengthy relationship with The Walt Disney Company beginning with the Osmond Brothers being discovered by Walt himself.
Before long, Donny was joined by special guest Mickey Mouse himself who fearlessly accepted a dance-off challenge issued by Osmond. After a little tap dancing and a bit of disco, it was the Mouse’s split that sealed the win.
At last it was time for the curtain to rise, revealing the real star of the presentation, Dance Star Mickey, Fisher-Price’s most technologically advanced toy to date. Using a new, innovative mechanism, Dance Star Mickey is able to move and gesture in a very fluid and life-like way.