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Disney isn't horsing around when it comes to Sofia the First toys

Disney isn't horsing around when it comes to Sofia the First toys

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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?


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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.
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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").


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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 ...


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... her new step-siblings Prince James and Princess Amber ...


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... and her teachers at Royal Prep, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather (i.e. the three good fairies from Walt Disney Productions' 1959 release, "Sleeping Beauty") ...


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... those then became the characters that Disney Consumer Products decided to feature in the first "Sofia the First" playset ...


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... the initial pieces of clothing ...


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... and sleepware ...


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... 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!" show) ...


Photo by Gene Duncan. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... and the DVD & Blu-ray version of "Once Upon a Princess " (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 ...


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... 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 ...


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... the Sofia the First Necklaces for Girls ...


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... and the Sofia the First Tiaras for Girls ...


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... 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) ...


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... 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., ET/PT.

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 ...


Photo by Nancy Stadler

... 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.


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To be blunt, the likeness to Minimus isn't as good as it could have been ...


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... 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 wearing

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.


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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 Parade ...


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... 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?


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A little talking birdie told me.

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  • 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 drmike@imuneek.com.  I appreciate all of your info.  Thanks for the post.

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