Employees of the Times Square Disney Store were somewhat
surprised when they came into work on Tuesday morning. Overnight, the exterior
of this store had taken on an icy blue hue.
Photo by Nancy Stadler
And who's that just inside the entrance, greeting customers as they walk in off
of Times Square?
Photo by Jim Hill
Why, it's Olaf, the snowman character from Disney
"Frozen." And even though we're still officially three weeks out from
when this new Walt Disney Animation Studios production officially hitting
theaters, the Times Square Disney Store has just been "Frozen" over.
From what cast members who work at the Times Square Disney Store were telling
us yesterday, all of this work was done in a single night. With the entire
front third of this store's retail space being redressed to help showcase &
support dozens of lines of Disney "Frozen" products.
I have to admit that it was really kind of staggering to see
the number of "Frozen" products The Walt Disney Company has already
got out on store shelves ahead of the release of this Chris Buck / Jennifer Lee
Now keep in mind that most every item that you see here is a Disney Store
exclusive. And that the real giant of the retail world -- WalMart, Target et al
-- will also have their exclusive Disney "Frozen" merchandise.
As I wandered through the Times Square Disney Store last night, it seemed like
Disney Consumer Products had anticipated every possible angle when it came to
ways that people might be looking to bring the characters from
"Frozen" into their lives.
Take -- for example -- if your child wanted an Elsa or Anna doll. Well, you
could chose between the fashion doll set ...
... the mini-doll set ...
... the plush doll version of these "Frozen"
... or -- better yet -- the Elsa-and-Anna-as-toddler dolls.
Photo by Jim Hill
If your kids aren't much into cuddling dolls these days and would perhaps
prefer a more active way of playing with the "Frozen" characters ...
Well, there's always the sleigh play set ...
... or the Kingdom-of-Arendelle playset (complete with castle and assorted action
If your child prefer fashion to playthings, there are all
sorts of clothing-related ways to celebrate Disney "Frozen." The
Disney Store has outfits that make use of the rosemaling that you'll see on the
clothes of many of the characters in this WDAS production.
Your child can actually dress up like Elsa or Anna if they
Or if they'd prefer go outside and have their own icy adventure, your kids can first
pull on "Frozen" -themed hats & scarves ...
... and coats ...
... and then tromp on out into the ice & snow. On the
other hand, if your son or daughter would really prefer to stay inside and then
only pretend that they're out in the cold, there's this set of dress-up
... and gloves.
Mind you, it wasn't just the kiddie crowd that Disney
Consumer Products was catering to with all of this "Frozen" merch.
Sure, there were plates & bowls here featuring the characters from this new
Walt Disney Pictures release that children could eat out of / off of.
... but there were also some handsome coffee mugs featuring
Elsa & Anna that were clearly aimed at adult consumers.
IPhoto by Jim Hill
"So who was the most popular character?," you ask.
Based on what I observed last night in the Times Square Disney Store, that
would have to be Olaf.
Mind you, Disney kind of stacked the deck in this particular situation. They
had a cast member positioned at the very front of the store holding an Olaf
... right next to the static display version of Olaf which
was supposed to remind everyone that Disney "Frozen" was opening in
theaters on November 27th ..
... and as each person came in off of Times Square, that
Disney cast member would first say "Hello" to each would-be customer
and then say "Have you met Olaf?" Which perhaps explains why the sales
of Olaf plush ...
... and Olaf t-shirts were so strong last night.
That said, I did observe one Olaf-related injury last night. To first set the
scene properly, I need to point out that this Olaf plush had a rather large
& pointy, carrot-shaped nose on the front of his face.
As I was taking pictures of the back of the
"Frozen" display, I observed this pair of girls walk into the store
straight off of Times Square. And as soon as they entered the
Disney Store ...
... one of the girls spied this hanging basket of Olaf
plush. She then grabbed one of these stuffed toys out of that basket, and -- with
it held high in her hands -- turned to her friend and says "Isn't this the
Photo by Jim Hill
The only problem was that this young woman's friend was still moving forward
when the girl who was holding the Olaf plush suddenly turned towards her. Which
meant that this young lady walked face-first into Olaf and wound up getting a
plush carrot right in the eye.
And let me tell you: The torrent of authentic New
York profanity which poured out of this young lady's
mouth immediately after getting an Olaf in the eye ...
... turned the Times Square Disney Store's Rated-G atmosphere into something
just shy of NC17.
So you might want to be a little careful around that snowman, folks. For while
Olaf may look sweet, this new Disney character clearly has a tricky side.
Wow- Disney's really pulling out the stops for this movie, aren't they? Hopefully the movie's as good as the merch is plentiful, or they're' gonna need to make a whole lot of shelf space at the Disney Store Outlet, and I don't think they have much room right now with all the Lone Ranger and MU stuff. ;)
Olaf being the focus of peoples' attention kinda makes sense to me - he's the character people have seen the most in the previews. It's hard to get too excited about the other characters if you don't know much about 'em yet.
Just to take this discusssion on a whole 'nother tangent , I visited the Times Square Disney Store back in February, and the thing that surprised me - especially after seeing the outside facade of the Disney Store - is how small the actual retail space inside the store is; it can't be much bigger in there than a typical Disney Store. I heard the World of Disney on Fifth Avenue was gigantic, and so was the old NYC Disney Store. Any idea why they went for the smaller store space? I figured it was either that somebody realized the amount of space was overkill,they wereen't generating enough traffic to justify the greater square footage that World of Disney had, or that in order to get better location, the square footage was the best they could do for the cost. Just curious...
And on another slight tangent.... coffee mugs. That's about all you see for adults these days from the Disney Store. Such a great store with tons of adults with money coming through, and that's about what it boils down to. Oh, I know, there's jewelry, watches, dinner sets, kitchen gear, sports wear, sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. Lots of Disney "stuff" - especially at World of Disney in Orlando - so maybe I should be more direct: How about some nice clothing for adults like we used to see in the Disney Stores? Remember really nice button down dress shirts, with just a hint of Disney? Nice, classy ties? Not that I mind the "in your face" character ties for family events and pediatricians, but how about one or two that I could wear in a board meeting? I'm sure there have been and could be again equivalent items for the ladies.
Of course, by the time World of Disney had its last run of dress shirts for men, the sizing was a bit wacky (a shirt with a 36" sleeve only came with a 17 1/2 neck, so you had to be tall AND fat to wear it.) so I might be picky and also ask for decent sizes/selections.
Shoot, give me all that and I might even buy a stuffed Olaf and Sven!