Disney characters are set to play a key role in this week’s Toy Fair, with a raft of toy licensees displaying product to the trade.
This year will see several new properties join the Disney family. Current ranges will also be refreshed, while increased focus on apps and digital toys will ensure children and families can continue to engage with Disney stories and characters in more ways than ever.
The London Toy Fair 2013 will showcase a selection of the many products across the diverse portfolio that The Walt Disney Company UK has to offer, and that will be introduced over the coming year.
MONSTERS INC. AND MONSTERS UNIVERSITY
This month fans are able to enjoy the much-loved Monsters Inc. in dazzling Disney Digital 3D™ for the very first time. Summer will then see the release of the much-anticipated prequel Monsters University, set to be released theatrically on 12 July 2013. The film will be supported by cross-platform promotional activity across The Walt Disney Company, enabling licensees and retailers to leverage success in a variety of ways.
CARS AND PLANES
Disney/Pixar’s Cars remains a key evergreen franchise for Disney. The franchise is closely aligned to boys’ play patterns, ensuring it continues to be a popular choice at retail amongst existing and new fans.
As Cars continues to perform strongly in global retail sales, Disney has announced a special edition range of cross-category Cars Silver Series products. Creating new product development opportunities for licensees and unique point of sale opportunities for retailers, the Cars Silver Series is set to bring a fresh collection to market which will drive collectability amongst Cars fans.
As part of the Cars Silver Series, Mattel will develop new die-cast Cars models, enhancing the toy range for boys. The die-cast toys will be produced with double Ransburg Zamak metallic paint, making them super-shiny. Disney has also created a new, engaging back story to mark the range, which will be revealed in a special Cars Silver Series edition magazine featuring characters from the popular Disney/Pixar Cars and Cars 2 films.
Following the ongoing success of Cars, the much anticipated Planes from Walt Disney Animation Studios is due to land in UK cinemas 16 August 2013. Exploring the world in the skies above Cars, Planes introduces a host of new characters and adventures. Licensees and retailers have the opportunity to harness the appeal of Planes to boys and bring this new franchise into homes across the UK.
IRON MAN 3 AND THOR: THE DARK WORLD
Hot on the heels of the success of Avengers Assemble in 2012, Marvel’s Iron Man 3 (in UK theatres 26 April 2013) and Thor: The Dark World (in UK theatres 30 October 2013) looks set to provide licensees and retailers alike with a strong product offering.
As shown with the success of key Avengers Assemble product lines, film fans of all ages like to interact with their favourite onscreen super hero characters through other mediums. Be it with toys, clothing or digital, these properties resonate with an extended audience of fans of all ages, opening up further opportunities for licensees and retailers.
In Spring Disney/Pixar fans around the UK and Ireland will reunite as Academy Award®-winning Finding Nemo returns to the big screen for the very first time in dazzling, Disney Digital 3D™ on 29 March 2013. In 2008, the American Film Institute named Finding Nemo among the top 10 greatest animated films ever made. At the time of its release, it was the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time. It remains the fifth highest grossing animated film worldwide.
To mark this fun-filled, underwater adventure Disney will unveil a colourful range of products including outdoor toys, beachwear, bedding and lunchboxes that will introduce a new generation of family audiences to Nemo and his beloved underwater friends.
From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ The Lone Ranger. To be released in cinemas across the UK on 9 August 2013, it’s a thrilling adventure filled with action and humour, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes.
Toy Story is a franchise with almost unrivalled universal appeal which spans generations, both male and female. With a widespread existing fan base and new content scheduled for release throughout the year, there is a perfect opportunity to leverage this franchise through retail.
The third short in the Toy Story Toons series is set to be screened in the spring as a preview to Finding Nemo 3D. Partysaurus Rex features the delightful dinosaur Rex who holds a party for all his friends in the bath.
The momentum for the popular franchise will continue into autumn with the first-ever Toy Story TV special, coinciding with the Halloween sales period at retail. Toy Story of Terror is a 30-minute special featuring Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the gang.
Since its launch less than two years ago, Disney Junior, Disney’s pre-school television channel, has continued to create new stories and characters to grow its ardent fan-base. It is now the number one pay TV pre-school channel in the UK and 2013 is set to see continued growth and investment, further expanding licensing and retail opportunities to extend the storytelling through interactive product play.
Looking into 2013, Disney Junior’s original content shows no sign of slowing with the introduction of new franchises.
Henry Hugglemonster follows the adventures of fun-loving, five-year-old Henry Hugglemonster, the middle child in a happy, wacky close-knit monster family. The 52 x 11 minute series will retain the illustration style of the “I’m a Happy Hugglewug” books by Niamh Sharkey on which it is based, and opens up further product opportunity in the pre-school market.
Sofia the First follows the adventures of seven year old Sofia, who is on the verge of becoming a Princess after her mother marries a king. Featuring much-loved characters including Sleeping Beauty’s Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather and Disney Princesses Belle, Cinderella and Snow White, the series shows that it’s inner qualities that make you a Princess rather than the pretty dresses Sofia wears.