Disney is already prepping for the release of its new animated film Frozen, debuting this December. The film, which stars Kirsten Bell, follows the adventure of Anna, along with her mountain man and snowman friends, as she tries to free her kingdom of the Snow Queen's spell, which has locked the land into a deep freeze. Disney expects the film, and its winter release, to inspire a variety of licensing opportunities.
For the summer season, Disney is launching a new video game that employs toys a la Skylanders. The Disney Infinity video game will unite characters in a virtual "Toy Box" from a mix of films, such as Jack Sparrow and Lightning McQueen, which can be purchased to play along with the game. By putting a figure on the console, the player can unlock aspects of the video game. "Disney Infinity introduces a new way to interact with the best of Disney on one game platform, both now and in the future," says John Pleasants, co-president of Disney Interactive.
Disney's newest preschool animated series, "Doc McStuffins," which follows a girl named Doc who can speak with and heal toys, has been a hit in the U.K. and in the US. The show is ranked No. 1 in the U.K. and is the No. 1 preschool launch in the history of cable television. Due to its success, products based on the show, including a talking plush, the Doctor's bag set, and a mini bean bag, have been Disney's fastest-selling toys.
VTech is partnering with Disney to bring new e-books and videos to the InnoTab 2 and Storio 2. Novel content will be from popular Disney shows and films such as Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Lilo and Stitch, Tangled, The Lion King, and Finding Nemo. Currently, these titles will be available in the UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Spain, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Fashion Angels Enterprises is releasing its new line of coloring, sketching and activity craft kits centered on fashion that feature everyone's favorite Disney Princesses, including Ariel, Mulan, Jasmine, Belle and Cinderella. Products available are an artist tote, a velvet poster coloring kit, fashion design sketch portfolios and mini sketch books. "We are extremely excited to work with Disney to offer some dynamic, new products that will entertain and engage children in a fun way," says EVP for Fashion Angels Bill Uzell.
The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm from founder George Lucas for $4.05 billion. Both were ranked in the Top 15 in License! Global's annual ranking of the Top 125 Global Licensors. The deal allows Disney to operate live-action film production, visual effects, audio post-production, animation and consumer products. The deal is set to bring about a new feature film to be released in 2015. "For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next.
New special edition Silver Series merchandise, developed by Mattel and Disney, based on the Cars films are set to hit shelves in Spring 2013. A Silver Series magazine will profile the novel range of characters. Mattel will be producing die-cast models created with double Ransburg Zamak paint. Disney plans on creating a Planes set after the film debuts in August 2013.
Disney acquired the rights to The Hive television show for cable and satellite in all countries except Australia and Israel. Agent Space Enterprises has also said that plush, toys and LeapPad and iPad apps are on their way as well. "The Disney US deal once again spotlights the series' charm and appeal for young children," says Tatiana Kober, president of Bejuba Entertainment, the distributor of The Hive.
Orb Factory's Sticky Mosiacs collection will now feature characters from popular Disney films including Cinderella, Ariel, Tinkerbell and Snow White. The new characters will appear on the Original Sticky Mosiacs and the Mini Sticky Mosiacs as well as the Jewelry Box Collection. "Sticky Mosiacs is Alyss Toys' most successful brand. We have already achieved widespread distribution of the original Sticky Mosiacs range and we are confident that this new range will open up even more doors and bring many more users into the brand," says Elizabeth Nield, sales and marketing director at the firm.
Specialized Disney merchandise, which was once only available in Disney stores and theme parks, will hit shelves at J.C. Penney just in time for next year's back-to-school season. The products, which will include apparel, plush toys, footwear, sleepwear, costumes and backpacks, will be available in approximately 520 stores and on jcp.com. Children's brands Carter's and Giggle are also looking to follow suit and set up shops in the department store.