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Christmas comes early at Disney Consumer Products' Holiday Showcase event

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Christmas comes early at Disney Consumer Products' Holiday Showcase event

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Okay. I know. It's not considered cool or kosher to peek at your Christmas presents. Especially six months ahead of time.

But half the fun of attending a PR event like yesterday's Disney Consumer Products' Holiday Showcase in New York City is that you get a preview of what will be showing up on store shelves shortly. The toys ...

Disney's newest Cinderella playset
Disney's never produced a "Cinderella" playset that's this complete before. With three
separate dresses for Cinderelly to wear, not to mention dolls of Anastasia,
Drizella and Lady Tremaine. Photo by Nancy Stadler

and playsets ...

Disney Cinderella pumpkin coach playset
Note the detail on this transforming coach playset. With the wheels on
Cinderella's pumpkin coach replicating the look of this same vehicle
in that 1950 Walt Disney Production. Photo by Nancy Stadler

... that the Mouse will be putting out there to help cash in on / support the October 2nd release of "Cinderella" on Blu-ray .

Cinderella Blu-ray release in collectible jewelry box
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment's limited edition version of
the "Cinderella" Blu-ray will not only include both of this animated
feature's direct-to-video sequels, these discs will also be
housed in a collectible jewelry box case.
Photo by Nancy Stadler

Not to mention "Wreck-It Ralph" ...

(L to R) The title character of this upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios release as
well as Vanellope von Schweetz, one of the characters featured in the "Sugar Rush"
portion of this Rich Moore movie. Photo by Nancy Stadler

... which will be rolling into theaters on November 2nd of this year.

You gotta love that Wreck-It Ralph plush in the back of this shot
which replicates the 8-bit version of this video game
character. Photo by Nancy Stadler

What's fascinating about attending an event like DCP's Holiday Showcase is that you then get a real sense of how the retail side of the Mouse House truly operates. The years of advance planning & careful coordination that go into making sure that the Tinkerbell & Periwinkle toys will hit store shelves in mid-September, six weeks ahead of when the latest Disney Fairies home premiere, "Secret of the Wings ," finally becomes available for purchase on October 23rd.

These "Disney Fairies" action figures have an interactive feature. When Tink &
Periwinkle are placed back-to-back, their wings light up.
Photo by Nancy Stadler

As you might expect, DCP is always looking for new ways to cash in on the popularity of already hot characters like Agent P from "Phineas & Ferb) " ...

There were a plethora of platypus-related products on display yesterday.
Photo by Nancy Stadler

... But every so often, you'd see a trial balloon. Like a shoe which featured the likeness of Isabella, the leader of the Fireside Girls on that hit Disney Channel / Disney XD animated series. The goal is to see if consumers -- particularly young females -- might be interested in purchasing products which featured this "Phineas & Ferb" character's likeness.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Swampy the Alligator from Disney's "Where's My Water" mobile game was getting a similar sort of push. DCP is testing the waters, if you will, to see if there is really enough consumer demand out there to justify further expansion of the Swampy the Alligator / "Where's my Water" brand.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

That -- at least according to a number of people that I've spoken within retail circles -- is the Disney difference. This Company understands how important it is to keep even the evergreen characters that Disney owns (like the Muppets, for example) fresh and current ...

Photo by Nancy Stadler

... which is why Dr. Teeth, Gonzo and Animal will be showing up on snowboards this holiday season.

But at the same time, it's about taking the assets that you already have (Take, for example, the Disney Villains ) ...

Photo by Nancy Stadler

... and finding new ways to showcase them. Like imagining these classic characters as fashion icons; running the gamut from Disney's original bad girl, the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" ...

Photo by Nancy Stadler

... all the way up to Mother Gothel from "Tangled" ...

Note Rapunzel's healing flower on Mother Gothel's
dress. Photo by Nancy Stadler

... giving each of these Disney Villains a glamorous makeover. Not to mention supporting this series of limited edition designer dolls with a beauty collection of cosmetics -- lip gloss, nail polish, eye-liner and the like ...

Photo by Nancy Stadler

... -- as well as bags, silk scarves and other items of apparel.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

So as you can see, there's a level of real sophistication here. Not just in the design of these limited edition Disney Villain items, but in Disney's overall approach to the retail world. Making sure that the right products arrive in the marketplace at precisely the right time. Take -- for example -- the Disney-licensed Spider-Man items pictured below which are out on store shelves right now. Just in time to capitalize on the July 3rd release of Columbia Pictures' "The Amazing Spider-Man."

Photo by Nancy Stadler

Don't get me wrong. It's cool to go to an event like this and then see something that you want to own RIGHT NOW. Like that Wreck-It Ralph or  this super-cool Zurg which Thinkway built ...

Photo by Nancy Stadler

But for me, the fun of attending something like Disney Consumer Products' Holiday Showcase is not that you get to see what's hitting store shelves six months ahead of time. But -- rather -- you get a look at how the retail arm of The Walt Disney Company really operates.  Which -- given its almost military precision, planning everything down to the last detail -- is both fascinating and a little bit frightening when you get to see it up-close like this.

Your thoughts?


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  • We're getting a designer villains series to compliment last year's designer princesses? Sweet! Admittedly the Cindy doll set is only half new - the fairy Godmother, Cindy, Prince, and the dresses are in stores now and have been for a while (though Cindy herself just got a slight make-over). However the addition of the sisters and Lady Tremaine really make this set a draw for collectors. Also gotta love the beautiful boxed set. Sad it has to come with such subpar sequels... but whatcha gonna do.

    Thanks for the glimpse at what's to come and for those looking at those villains - get in stores the day they arrive. Last year my local stores were out of much of the merchandise less than three days after it debuted. And that's for the stuff like the nail polish, bags, and cups. Nevermind the insanity that was the dolls themselves.

  • Is that Zurg for the Toy Story Collection!?!  Any word on other Toy Story Collection Toys, Jim?

  • How do you know that Zurg is from Thinkway, there was also a rex and buzz that wasnt thinkway

  • How do you know the Zurg is from Thinkway?

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Because that's what I was told by the Disney Consumer Products rep who took Nancy, Alice and I for a tour of the Boy's section of the Holiday Showcase yesterday. Mind you, this DCP staffer could have been mistaken. But they were pretty definite about identifying who made what (i.e. "This is being made by Mattel. This is being produced by Hasbros. This is a Disney Store Exclusive, etc.") as they toured us through the building.

  • If they told you that Zurg was Thinkway......what did they tell yo about the Rex and Buzz that were right by it?  I ask because Thinkway already made a Rex, and they look very different, and it made it seem like Rex and Zurg were both made by disneystore and were part of a new line together.   Were there any other items from Thinkway?

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Brian, those toys were referred to in passing. As in: "Check out our cool new Rex." I'll send a note to DCP to see if they can clarify whether those other Toy Story toys are being built by Thinkway. But keep in mind that the primary focus yesterday was on the newer product lines which will be supporting films, blu-rays and TV shows coming to the market over the next six months. And Toy Story ... Well, it's more of an evergreen line for DCP right now. One that you tend and pay attention to, but isn't exactly the Company's primary focus.

    When I hear back from DCP with definitive info, I'll post it here, okay?

  • Thanks alot!  I can tell you several toy story fans are very curious, thanks for the info!

  • So that Zurg should be in stores around November?

  • Thanks for the glimpse at what's to come and for those looking at those villains - get in stores the day they arrive. Last year my local stores were out of much of the merchandise less than three days after it debuted. And that's for the stuff like the nail polish, bags, and cups. Nevermind the insanity that was the dolls themselves.

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  • Sorry for so many questions, but in your estimation, how tall was the Zurg?  Buzz is approximately 12 inches, would you say he was taller than Buzz? Same size?  Also, did any other toys there get declared as "Thinkway"?  Is there any indication it was from the "Toy Story Collection" line?

  • Nevermind, I sent the picture to Thinkway and they denied it being from them

  • Is the zurg going to come out November or December?

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