What happens when more than 30 Disney and Pixar artists are asked to put their spin on the adorable little green men from the Toy Story trilogy? That’s what MINDstyle asked and what they got was the ‘Alien Invasion: When Aliens Meet Artists’ sculpture exhibition that recently opened in Hong Kong.
Still coming down off the high off of the debut of Disney Store’s Imagination Park concept, it’s time to offer a new fix in way of what we can expect from the Disney Store this holiday season thanks to the Disney Consumer Products Holiday Tour which is finishing up its New York leg today.
But first, with New York in mind, here’s some information on the Disney Store Times Square in New York City that we’re eager to share. The store is slated to open in November, just in time for the holiday season. I got to watch a short video with a very hoarse Disney Store President Jim Fielding on a recent visit to the new space located in the heart of Times Square. There’s really nothing to report inside (at least not downstairs), but there was some plywood concept art type stuff along the side of the escalator. Although he has declined to call it a flagship store elsewhere, Fielding has previously stated this will be the largest Disney Store, encompassing two floors. In the video, he explains that while the second floor will be the Imagination Park concept, the entire first floor will be devoted to exclusive Disney-NYC branded merchandise.
Before being introduced to the new product lines and the holiday theme and products, I was also informed that (select) Disney Store locations will be selling vinylmations and that there are planned Disney Store exclusives on their way as well.
With Walt Disney Animation Studios presenting Tangled in November, there is a whole line of products rolling out soon to support it, but rather than repeat it all here, we refer you to the original article covering the Tangled products from Disney Store and Disney Consumer Products. We also covered most of the Disney/Pixar Toy Story and Cars product news in this article.
That brings us to the new line of Disney Princess Singing dolls which we first touched upon in the Tangled report. Although they are not the final bodies, the articulated dolls feature a small, easily-accessible button in their right hands. When pressed, the doll plays a fifteen second snippet of the princess’ respective iconic song in a cappella style. In order to do this, Disney Store enlisted all of the original voice actresses (except for Cinderella and Aurora) to record the song especially for the dolls. All of the arrangements are unique and performed to the liking of the performer, so while Anika Noni Rose’s Almost There is relatively what one is used to, Jodi Benson delivers a true but breathy performance of Part of Your World while Paige O’Hara’s Belle and Lea Salonga’s A Whole New World provide powerful and border-line operatic performances. The dolls, marketed as toys moreso than collectibles, are an unusual 17″ tall and will retail for $29.50 each.
Just in time for the home video release of Beauty and the Beast will be an extensive collection celebrating Belle and her enchanted friends aimed at every one from the toddler to the serious collector.
As a follow-up to the extremely popular limited edition deluxe Snow White dress which sold out, Disney Store will be introducing a very lush Belle dress limited to 2,000 pieces worldwide and retailing for $149.50. But perhaps the most exciting news, while not on display, is word of a whole line of high-end collectibles described as (air quotes) ‘life-size replicas’ (end air quotes) based on the enchanted friends. Specifically, there will be a Cogsworth at his character’s respective height which will be fully operational clock; a Lumiere which will hold candles; and a Mrs. Potts fully detailed china set — you get the idea. Unfortunately there are no plans for a life-size replica Belle at the present time.
Vinylmation has officially confirmed what we first told you yesterday on Twitter, that select Disney Store locations (including the new Imagination Park store in Montebello, CA) will begin carrying vinylmation figures which included the previously unreleased Toy Story (including many figures from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3) and Have a Laugh series pictured to the left.
We also announced that not only will stores be carrying vinylmation, they will also have their own exclusives.
For those wondering when these series will become available at the Parks, we were told by a reader who inquired at D-Street at Walt Disney World that they should start appearing within the week.
Disney Consumer Products kicked off its 2010 holiday tour this past week in New York City and brought representatives from every division imaginable to show off all of the new wonderful products you’ll be finding on the shelves this holiday season and we were there to help spread all the joy with you.
Many of the items from Disney Store are old favorites packaged in new ways with exclusive bonus items. For example, the Cars Toons diecast cars will be packaged as a collectible bundle for $119.50 and includes Mia and Tia as exclusives (actual cars not on display). Toy Story 3 collectible figures will be bundled together ($69.50 full retail), offering Lotso and the Alien trio as exclusives.
At D23 Expo in 2009, Disney Store President Jim Fielding regaled an eager audience with his tale of the Disney Store. From its humble beginnings to the next chapter in the Disney retail experience. Dubbed ‘Imagination Park,’ Fielding briefly touched upon what he defined as being ‘the best thirty minutes of a child’s day.’
Today, Disney Store turned to the first page of the new chapter as they unveiled ‘Imagination Park’ to the world via its Montebello, CA location, just outside Los Angeles and it’s every bit of wow that one had come to expect from the hype. Eventually all the Disney Stores are expected to adopt the new look and philosophy of Imagination Park, but — for now — 20 locations are expected to receive the update this year, including new stores in New York’s Times Square and San Francisco’s Union Square, amongst others.
With a new store design comes a new costume for Disney Store cast members and Imagination Park is no exception. The new Disney Store cast member costume is a gingham blue checkerboard shirt with khakis. Cast member name badges have also been modified, this time to include the individual cast member’s favorite Disney character.
We had already known about the castle which features a special mirror: when children hold special Disney Princess merchandise with an embedded RFID chip in the packaging, they are instantly greeted by Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White or Tiana who appears in the mirror right before their very eyes — as if by magic.
But if you’re thinking Imagination Park is neglecting the boys, think again! Because right here in Imagination Park is a small RIDEMAKERZ station. The very same custom-R/C car store that has already set up shop at Downtown Disney at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts has found a home in Imagination Park. But what sets this particular RIDEMAKERZ apart is that it offers vehicles and accessories based on Disney/Pixar’s CARS, which are exclusive to the Montebello store.
Virtually everything Fielding has talked about in Imagination Park can be found here. A large custom screen housed inside a gazebo allows children to pick and choose the multimedia presented to them and provides other exciting opportunities to take advantage of the new technology.
Another Imagination Park element talked about is the ability to add a little scent to the air, such as pine trees if A Christmas Carol was playing in the store. Although it’s not quite there yet, the ability to scent the air is there and it does just that about every 20 minutes or so with the single scent currently available. And what’s a park without trees? Or more precisely, what’s an Imagination Park without magical trees? These treescan interact with guests and provide special experiences you’ll have to see to believe such as creating displays of virtual fireworks to celebrate special occasions.
One thing that’s missing that had been discussed is something called ‘mobile checkout’ — the ability for Cast Members on the floor to check out guests on the spot without having to wait on line at registers. Although it’s not available at the present time, we hear it may not be far behind.
And the magic doesn’t stop at just the experiences, we also encountered some additional surprises in way of inventory. For example, while they’re not even available in the parks as of yet, the Montebello Disney Store is selling Toy Story and Have a Laugh Vinylmations.
The Disney Store at the Shops at Montebello opened today as part of a soft opening with a grand opening planned for June 29. Today, the first 500 guests received a special gift (Mickey ears) while on June 29, there will be a formal grand opening of the store with Disney execs and characters appearing throughout the day in addition to the other festivities.
Toy Story 3, the record-breaking #1 movie in the world, is so hot it’s cool as everyone’s favorite toys take to the ice in Disney On Ice presents Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3! An award-winning creative team and a cast of world-class skaters are bringing Woody, the pull-string cowboy; space ranger Buzz Lightyear; Jessie, the yodeling cowgirl; and the rest of the gang to fans and families around the country in this brand-new live ice spectacular produced by Feld Entertainment. This fast-paced and witty tale of friendship launches a 2-year, 75-city North American tour on September 3rd in Lakeland, FL.
To enhance this live experience, the production will feature state-of-the-art projection design, allowing adults and children alike to virtually shrink down as Andy’s room is transformed from human to toy-sized. Families are whisked away, reliving iconic moments from Toy Story and Toy Story 2 before they embark on the brand-new adventure of Toy Story 3. This innovative 3D technology, a first for any Disney On Ice show, blends four separate images into one massive 3D projection using the entire ice surface to create oversized effects and scenic elements, altering the audience’s perception of scale. Memorable scenes take on a new life as a pinball machine of monumental proportion is created at Pizza Planet, with the massive pinball table projected onto the ice and the score board on the stage behind it. This perspective, among many others throughout the show, reinforces the audience’s experience as a toy-sized spectator.
“An award-winning team of artists, designers and technicians are redefining the theatre of ice with a show that challenges the audience’s perception of scale,” says Producer Nicole Feld. “Disney On Ice presents Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 is Feld Entertainment’s most innovative show ever.”
After reporting an amazing $41M box office on its opening day, Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 has gone on to take in a reported box office opening weekend estimate of $109 million, crushing Pixar’s previous record of $70.4 million set by The Incredibles in 2004. When considering inflation, The Incredibles barely passed the $100 million mark within its first week whereas Toy Story 3 has already surpassed that number (~$106M) in just a few days.
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) unveiled limited edition Toy Story 3 designer t-shirts recently by fashion provocateurs Henry Holland, Victor Glemaud, Jonathan Saunders, Costello Tagliapietra, and Cassette Playa at a private celeb-studded fashion unveiling at REVOLVEclothing boutique in West Hollywood. Each designer was inspired by a Disney?Pixar Toy Story 3 character and chose Rex, Hamm, Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear as their design muses. On the same day as Disney?Pixar’s Toy Story 3 film opens in U.S. theaters (June 18, 2010), these edgy couture tees inspired by the franchise are now available exclusively at the popular online retailer REVOLVEclothing.com and at the REVOLVEclothing boutique for SRP $70-$108.
In honor of the theatrical release of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3, The Disney Store created a limited edition talking Jessie doll which will be sold at select locations nationwide. For the product’s unveiling at the Michigan Avenue store in Chicago, IL, D23 invited a limited number of members to have the first opportunity to purchase the doll as well as meet and greet with Toy Story 3 co-star and voice of Jessie, Joan Cusack.
Aflac today announced the creation of a special Toy Story 3 paint scheme for the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion that will be driven by Carl Edwards at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA on June 20. )
The paint scheme reflects a collaboration between the Georgia-based insurance company and Disney/Pixar, following the release of a television commercial using Pixar’s unique brand of animation. This marks the second time Aflac and Disney/Pixar have worked together for cross-promotion.