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Pam dropped me a note on Wednesday to ask:
I was wondering if anyone knows whether or not Disney will
start producing Minimus the flying horse from Sophia The First in a figure form
for the public to be able to purchase?
Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc. All rights reserved
You're talking -- of course -- about the character that was
introduced in "One of the Princes," the very first episode of "Sofia
the First" to air on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior. And to my way
of thinking, there are two reasons that Minimus made such a big impression on
viewers of this new animated series. One was Eric Stonestreet, the Emmy
Award-winning star of ABC's "Modern Family," who did such a nice job
when it came to voicing this overly-anxious flying horse.
Eric Stonestreet in the studio
recording Minimus' dialogue. Photo by
Rick Rowell.Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
And the other is that Minimus arrived on the scene at a time
when the viewing public is very interested in talking cartoon horses (Thanks --
in large part -- to "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic").
Copyright Hasbros. All rights
But here's the thing. Pam. When the folks at Disney Consumer Products were initially looking at "Sofia the First" to try and
determine which characters viewers of this new Disney Channel / Disney Junior
series might be interested in, given that Sofia mostly interacts with her
animal friends, Clover the rabbit, Whatnaught the squirrel, Robin the robin and
Mia the blue bird ...
... her new step-siblings Prince James and Princess Amber
... and her teachers at Royal Prep, Flora, Fauna and
Merryweather (i.e. the three good fairies from Walt Disney Productions' 1959
release, "Sleeping Beauty") ...
... those then became the characters that Disney Consumer
Products decided to feature in the first "Sofia
the First" playset ...
... the initial pieces of clothing ...
... and sleepware ...
... with ties to this new Disney Channel / Disney Junior
series. And seeing as the "Sofia
the First" characters began appearing in the Disney theme parks two weeks
ago in puppet form (as part of the newly revised "Disney Junior -- Live on Stage!"
Photo by Gene Duncan. Copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
... and the DVD & Blu-ray version of "Once Upon a
" (i.e. the original television animated movie that introduced the
"Sofia the First"
characters to Disney Junior viewers back on November 18, 2012. Which -- thanks to the 5.2 million
people who tuned in -- then became the #1 cable TV telecast of 2012 among Kids
2-5 and Girls 2-5) hitting store shelves next Tuesday ...
... you can expect that consumer interest in this new hot
set of Disney Junior characters will just continue to grow. Which -- given that
Disney Stores all over the country are reporting that they've already
completely sold out of the Sofia
the First Costumes for Girls ...
... the Sofia
the First Necklaces for Girls ...
... and the Sofia
the First Tiaras for Girls ...
... that they had in stock ... Well, you just know that
somewhere deep inside the Mouse House, there are Disney Consumer Products reps
who are doing the happy dance right about now.
You want proof that "Sofia
the First" is now a big, fat monstrous hit for the Mouse? Check out the
first "Sofia the First" knock-off product (i.e. this booklet of
Princess Sofia Glitter Paper Dolls) ...
Copyright Award Publications
Ltd. All rights reserved
... which Award Publications Ltd. sent out into the world
back in January.
Mind you, most of the products that I've described so far were
Disney Store and DisneyStore.com exclusives. More to the point, they were sent
out into the world before "Sofia
the First" actually began airing on the Disney Channel Friday mornings
from 9:30-10:00 a.m. ET/PT and then on
Disney Junior Friday afternoons from 5:30-6:00 p.m.,
But starting in June & July, there's a second wave of
"Sofia the First" product
heading into stores. Nancy and I actually got the chance to check a few of
these out last month when we went to NYC to cover the 2013 edition of the American
International Toy Fair. And the Disney Sofia the First Magical Talking Castle
Photo by Nancy Stadler
... and the Disney Sofia the First Talking Sofia and Animal
Friends playset ...
... that Mattel is building will be available for purchase
at all manner of major retailers later this summer. Among them WalMart, Target
and Toys R Us.
But that wasn't what you asked, was it, Pam? You wanted to
know about the Minimus character from Disney's "Sofia
the First." Specifically whether any toys which replicate this overly-anxious
flying horse are headed to the marketplace anytime soon.
Well, I am pleased to report that -- starting in June --
Mattel will be putting a Minimus and Sofia playset out there.
Copyright Disney Enterprises
/ Mattel, Inc. All rights reserved
To be blunt, the likeness to Minimus isn't as good as it could
have been ...
Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc. all rights reserved
... but it's not bad for a first effort. Plus this playset
will feature Sofia in her Royal
Prep flying-horse-racing outfit. Which will be a nice break from that purple
ball gown you always seem to see Sofia
Also according to what my sources at the Disney Channel told
me just this morning, a Minimus plush will be hitting store shelves about the
same time that the Minimus-and-Sofia playset does. And (in an even better bit of news
for you & your family) Minimus is a recurring character on "Sofia
the First." Which means that you can expect to see even more episodes featuring this
overly-anxious flying horse popping up on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior
in the not-so-distant future.
So as you can see, The Walt Disney Company isn't horsing
around when it comes to finding ways to cash in on its new Disney Channel &
Disney Junior hit, "Sofia the First."
And just so you know, that walk-around version of Sofia
which made a brief appearance in the 29th Annual Disney Parks Christmas Day
... is expected to begin appearing in the parks
sometime later this year. Though the way I hear it, the first place that this
walk-around version of Disney's first little girl princess is expected to turn
up is at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Where Sofia
will soon be joining Jake the Neverland pirate, Handy Manny and Agent Oso at
the Disney Junior Play 'n Dine experience. Which is offered at this DHS's Hollywood
& Vine restaurant at breakfast and lunch time.
How do I know that?
A little talking birdie told me.
My 17 month old stopped watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and all she wants to watch is Sofia. Your expertise makes me jealous. I am glad that there will be more products because all we play with is the one playset. We are going to Disney in May, it will be her first trip. I am booking the Hollywood and Vine lunch just so we can take a picture with her. Please forgive any mispellings, I am legally blind and the website is not fully compatible with my screen reading software. If you have a minute, could you just send me an email if you are certain she will be at the Vine for lunch. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate all of your info. Thanks for the post.