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So what can you see at NYC's "World of Disney" store ? Muppets. Lots & lots of Muppets

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So what can you see at NYC's "World of Disney" store ? Muppets. Lots & lots of Muppets

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So Jeff Lange & I hit the road this past Sunday. Driving all the way down from New England to check out the newly opened "World of Disney" store in New York City. (And -- for a full report on that recently remodeled 5th Avenue facility -- come back to JHM tomorrow for all the words & pictures. LOTS & LOTS of pictures. Anyway ...)

And -- as we walk in the door -- what do we see? Surprise, surprise. It's a huge pile of "Incredibles" merchandise. The same sort of stuff that you'd find were you to walk into any other Disney Store in the country this week.

But behind all of those Syndrome action figures was actually a real surprise: Muppets! Lots & lots of Muppets!

Photo by Jeff Lange

Mind you, we're not just talking about some stray display of Kermit & Piggy plush. No, sir. NYC's "World of Disney" store also featured some stylin' Muppet t-shirts for sale in its first floor area.

Photo by Jeff Lange

And -- as you made your way up to the second floor -- you'd find even more Muppet material available for sale ...

Photo by Cory Mitchell

... With Kermit & Co. also capering above the shopper's heads. Doing what they could to brighten up the "World of Disney" 's display areas.

Photo by Jeff Lange

Which -- all by itself -- should be enough to hearten all you Muppet fans out there. But the piesta de resistance can be found right next to the stairway that takes shoppers up to the third floor. A huge, fanciful wood-and-metal sculpture that would do Jim Henson proud.

Photo by Jeff Lange 

"Why would this particular sculpture do Jim Henson proud?," you ask. Well, first of all, Jim Henson loved hot air balloons. And -- second of all -- if you look close, you'll notice that this trio of balloons is covered with Muppets.

Photo by Jeff Lange

Given that I was somewhat surprised to see so much Muppet material available for sale at NYC's "World of Disney" store, I found one of the store's floor managers (who turned out to be a JHM reader) and asked her what was going on. She said:

"The Muppets are supposed to be a huge part of the 'World of Disney' 's sale plan. We were told by Disney Consumer Products to put Kermit & Piggy front & center in the store. So that's exactly what we've done. Even going so far as to commission an artist to put together our Muppets balloon sculpture.

The only problem is -- as of this moment -- there's not a whole lot of Muppet-related stuff that Disney likes enough to put up for sale in our store. Which is why most of the stuff that we've got for sale here is from the 'Muppetvision 3D' show. But -- in the months & years ahead, as all of the licensing deals that Henson originally arranged eventually expire and Disney finally gets control over who gets to produce what -- you'll see even more Muppet stuff turn up here at the 'World of Disney.' Items that actually meet Disney's high standards for quality.

But -- for now -- if you want 'Muppetvision 3D' merchandise, we're the only place (outside of Orlando & Anaheim, of course) where you can pick up this stuff. So be sure to tell JHM readers who like the Muppets to come on by NYC's 'World of Disney' and buy something.

Will do.

Anywho ... As I mentioned earlier, JHM will be presenting a full report on NYC's "World of Disney' store (which -- truth be told -- isn't really all that different from the old 5th Avenue facility) tomorrow. For now ... Well, I thought you folks might like to see how the Walt Disney Company (particularly the retail side of the house) has really big plans for Kermit & Co.

Really big, BIG plans. If the size of this sign in Times Square is any indication of what the Mouse is looking to do with the Frog.

Photo by Jeff Lange

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