VEGAS 2011: New franchises and entertainment set to boost Disney even further

Mickey Mouse is world's largest franchise; Disney Baby Store plans; Cars 2 products to eclipse Toy Story 3.
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Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products, has revealed that sales of Disney-branded merchandise have grown at a rate of 12 per cent per annum over the last ten years.

In a special presentation ahead of Licensing International next week, Mooney also outlined the division's strategies for growth, how it will continue to broaden its market reach and increase global sales.

"We've not only grown the number of Disney franchises from only two in 2000 to 13 in 2011, but classic franchises have not suffered because of it," Mooney said. "This is evidenced by global retail sales of Mickey Mouse and Friends merchandise on track to generate $9 billion and the incremental retail space devoted to Cars 2, in addition to the already substantial Cars line."

The firm will be looking to build Disney Baby as a brand and a business, moving it into retail with the opening of the first concept store in autumn 2012 in the LA area.

Meanwhile, in less than five years, merchandise for the Cars franchise has generated global retail sales of more than $10 billion. Cars 2 product began rolling out in May, and projections are that it will exceed last year's sales of Toy Story 3, positioning it to become the largest merchandise programme in licensing history.

Further content and events will keep pushing the Disney Princess franchise, kicking off with Rapunzel being welcomed into the fold this autumn. A short-form animation is due to air on Disney Channel in spring 2012; Beauty and the Beast will be released on Blu-ray 3D for the first time, while there are also two special edition releases planned.

On top of that, Disney Junior will premiere Sofia the First in autumn 2012, a full-length animated special and series pilot set in the storybook world of the classic Disney Princess characters.

Plans for Disney Fairies and Winnie the Pooh are also ongoing.


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