First of Many New and Remodeled Disney Stores to Open in June

With a wave of a wand, a Disney princess magically appears in the mirror. Photo courtesy Disney Consumer Products.Disney Store is poised to redefine children’s retail, launching a magical new store design in major markets across the United States and Europe this summer.  The innovative Disney Store design will be unveiled for the first time in June at The Shops at Montebello in Montebello, CA just outside of Los Angeles, followed by the European premiere in early July in Madrid, Spain at La Vaguada. A unique destination developed from a child’s perspective, the new store design integrates the latest technology to create an enhanced shopping experience inspired by Disney’s most popular characters and stories.

“We have infused Disney magic into all elements of this one-of-a-kind retail experience, and have selected prime retail centers to launch the Disney Store of the future,” said Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide. “Special features like the iconic Disney Princess castle with magic mirror and the Disney Store Theater are just two of the amazing elements in the new store that will enrich every child and family’s experience at the Disney Store.”

More than 20 new and remodeled Disney Store locations are slated to open this year in premier retail centers throughout North America and Europe.  North American locations have been confirmed for Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York; Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica, California;  International Plaza in Tampa, Florida; Stockton St. in San Francisco, CA; and Fashion Valley in San Diego, CA.  European locations cover four markets with openings in Spain, Portugal, Italy and the UK. These include NorteShopping in Oporto, Portugal; Orio Center in Bergamo, Italy; and UK locations including Centre MK in Milton Keynes, Bon Accord Centre in Aberdeen and Donegal Place in Belfast.

(more…)

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

 
 

LA’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to Host ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Exhibition

In celebration of Alice in Wonderland’s Blu-ray™ and DVD debut on June 1, 2010, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE), in partnership with Disney Consumer Products (DCP), are unveiling a first-of-its-kind Alice In Wonderland Exhibition in the FIDM Museum & Galleries at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles.  The exhibition is free to the public and opens on Thursday, May 27 and will run through September 30, 2010.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

 
 

Celebrated Designer Charlotte Tarantola Announces Line Inspired by ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Charlotte Tarantola's 'Alice in Wonderland' collectionThe surreal/fantasy-adventure film directed by Tim Burton, “Alice in Wonderland,” comes to DVD and Blu-Ray on June 1, 2010 (U.S. retailers). In the spirit of this fantastic journey, Disney Consumer Products and Charlotte Tarantola have come together to create stunning cardigans worthy of this celebrated Disney line: Charlotte Tarantola for Disney. Well-known in the fashion industry for her trend-right designs that play up coloration and innovative treatments, Tarantola was given access to Tim Burton’s artwork for “Alice in Wonderland” to develop a collection that captures the allure and mystery of Alice’s surrealistic journey in an apparel line that is decidedly 21st Century.

The collection offers prints, ruffles and sparkles that will make you never want to leave Wonderland. Like Alice peering through the looking glass, you can see flowery friends, tea-time treats, pocket watches, lace and mysterious keys, elements from the film with a balance of artistry and subtlety found only in other Tarantola creations.

“The arresting settings and characters in Tim Burton’s interpretation of “Alice In Wonderland” provided great inspiration and have made it possible for us to work with a group of renowned designers to create a truly unique collection of lifestyle products that will continue to position Disney at the forefront of fashion trends,” said Pam Lifford, executive vice president, global fashion and home, DCP. “Our collaboration with Charlotte Tarantola brings it all together in a way that is fun and interesting for consumers and Disney fans alike.”

(more…)

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

 
 

Disney and MLB Announce All Star Game Mickey Statues for All Teams; Collectible Statuettes Available

The statuettes, seen here in the stands of Yankee Stadium, are replicas of seven and a half foot tall, life-size statues that will be placed at key Southern California landmarks leading up to the All-Star Game on July 13. Rich Pilling/MLB PhotosMajor League Baseball Properties and Disney Consumer Products today unveiled 36 different designs of MLB-themed Mickey Mouse collectible statuettes and related apparel and merchandise in celebration of the 2010 MLB All-Star Week festivities taking place July 9–13 in Anaheim, Calif. as part of a new collaboration between the organizations. The statuettes are replicas of seven and a half foot tall, life-size statues that will be placed at key Southern California landmarks leading up to the All-Star Game on July 13.

This special line of commemorative collectibles, commissioned in conjunction with MLB and Disney Consumer Products’ licensee Forever Collectibles, will be uniquely decorated with bold graphics featuring logos of each of the 30 MLB Clubs as well as an American League and a National League design. In addition, four statuettes will feature various All-Star Game themes. All are available in a 7.5-inch size through MLB.com beginning today and later this month through DisneyStore.com and additional retailers including MLB stadium shops, Walgreens and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

The 36 life-size statues are also decorated using the same logos and designs as the statuettes. With a height of 7.5 feet and weighing 989 pounds, these MLB-themed statues will begin to appear at landmarks throughout Southern California closer to the 2010 All-Star Game. Exact locations will be made public at a later date.

“With the All-Star Game returning to Anaheim, now is the perfect time for these two iconic American brands to team up and celebrate the premiere sporting event of the summer,” said Bob DuPuy, President & Chief Operating Officer, Major League Baseball. “These Mickey Mouse statuettes will allow fans of all 30 Clubs to share in the excitement of All-Star Summer even if they can’t make it to Anaheim for the festivities.”

(more…)

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

 
 

New Report Shows Disney Continues to Dominate Consumer Products Market

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.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

 
 

Alien Pleas to ‘Save Planet Earth’ with New Eco-Friendly Merchandise at Disney Store

Lee Swillingham & Stuart Spalding Men's Tee ($48) 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.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

 
 

Disney Pook-A-Looz: Classic Disney Favorites with an Irresistibly Cute Twist (Plus Limited Time Offer!)

825236999_ij8p2-o 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.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

 
 

A Taste of Disney at the DIFFA Dining By Design 2010 Collection

(L-R) Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh, Owl © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. 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.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

 
 

Disney Consumer Products Welcomes Tiana to the Disney Princess Family in Unprecedented Ceremony

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at Disney's Hollywood Studios 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).

Day Dreamer Long Sleeve Top with Lace Gloves Manufacturer: Jaya MSRP: $16.99 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.

(more…)

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

 
 

Report: Disney Consumer Products and Pixar Present ‘Toy Story 3′ – Part Two

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.

img_0695 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.

Epic Mickey iPhone/iPad App 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.

img_0685 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).

img_0676 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.

img_0719 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!

img_0681 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.

(more…)

Enjoyed this post? Share it!