This past week, the Walt Disney Company held a Holiday Toy Preview in New York City. For two days, they transformed an event space at the Metropolitan Pavilion into a winter wonderland, complete with decorations, holiday music, refreshments and snacks, and toys, glorious toys!
The merchandise was displayed in eight sections; The Disney Dozen, Disney Baby, Girls, Boys, Disney Store exclusive, Gifts under $25, Apparel, and Tech. “Frozen”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and “Star Wars Rebels” were heavily represented.
We started at the Disney Dozen, the twelve toys that the Walt Disney Company expects to be top sellers.
First up, naturally, is a Frozen toy -the “Frozen Snow Glow Elsa” is a plastic doll that can say 15 sounds and phrases, and sings “Let It Go” when you raise her arms. Her dress lights up with a twinkling effect when you press on her snowflake necklace. She also comes with her friend, Olaf. Due to the film’s worldwide popularity, this doll will be produced to sing in 25 languages; the U.S. version will be English and Spanish. Snow Glow Elsa will be available this fall, retailing at $34.99, at mass retailers.
Staying with Frozen, the Animators’ Collection doll series will roll out a Frozen Gift Set. At $99.95, you’ll get both Anna and Elsa, and a small Olaf. The sisters come with two dresses each, a dress form, shoes, and accessories. The dolls in this series are young renditions of Disney characters, created by animators at the Walt Disney Animation Studio. These Anna and Elsa dolls are perfectly suited to recreate the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” scene! The set will be available this fall, at the Disney Store and DisneyStore.com.
The Fisher Price Little People brand has created the “Day at Disney” playset. This Walmart exclusive brings the magical experience of a day at the Disney Parks to life! The Mickey Mouse and Little People Eddie figures can ride Casey the Train, spin on the Tea Cups, go up and down on the Dumbo elevator, or hop in an “It’s a Small World” boat. The Mickey button on the central tower plays three songs. The third song activates a fireworks show, to cap off your perfect Disney day. Additional sets, called Scene Starters, are sold separately and include characters such as Donald Duck, Goofy, and Tinkerbell, along with popular Disney Park attractions and a Little People figure. The playset will be available this fall, retailing for $49.99, with Scene Starters ranging from $9.99-$19.99. This set is in my top two picks from the Disney Dozen. It’s bright and colorful, and I imagine families that are fans of the Disney Parks will enjoy playing with this set together, recreating magical Disney days!
If you daydream about Tokyo Disneyland merch, you’ll be thrilled to see that their wildly popular Tsum Tsum line has made it’s way to the U.S.. Tsum Tsum, meaning “stack stack”, plushes are rounded and long – like a piece of sushi – and come in a wide range of Disney Characters. They are wildly popular in Tokyo, and are expected to be a best seller here in the States. There’s also Tsum Tsum game app to be released, available on iOS and Android. The mini Tsum Tsum has a screen cleaning “belly”, to keep your smartphone shining. Due to the Trademark Embargo, photos of this line were not permitted during my visit, but the plush line, and app, are available now at the Disney Store, and on DisneyStore.com. The prices are $4.95 for a mini, $12.95 for a Middle, and a Big is $24.95. As I love all things “cute”, this line is my overall favorite in the Disney Dozen!
Mattel brings us a “Planes: Fire and Rescue” Fire Blastin’ Dusty toy. Dusty the Crophopper shoots “water balls” at the fire targets that are included in the set. To refuel, drive Dusty over the water balls and a mechanism scoops them into Dusty’s pontoons. Play is enhanced with sounds and phrases from Smart Sound technology. This study toy is available now, at mass retailers, for $49.99.
The Doc McStuffins “Get Better” Talking Mobile is a mobile clinic for toys. Your docs-in-training can care for toys in need with the light and sound heart monitor, otoscope, thermometer, and bandage sticker dispenser. Call in your diagnosis with a working hand-held radio, and secure patients to a gurney or patient seat. The mobile clinic’s siren plays the ‘Doc Mobile” song, to let patients know that help is on the way! This pull along toy is available this fall at mass retailers, for $39.99.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Giant Web Slinging Spider-Man Figure is a 14 inch action figure, ready to sling Spidey Shot Web Fluid or water to defeat villains. A button on Spidey’s back shots the “web” out of either the refillable water canister, or the 3.8oz can of Spidey Shot Web Fluid. Giant Web Slinging Spider-Man will be available in August, available at mass retailers, and will have a suggested retail price of $29.99.
From the Star Wars Rebels animated tv series, LEGO has created The Ghost. This hero starship is ready to battle the Empire. The starship features two cockpits, and a 360 degree rotating turret. Two spring loaded shooters, storage for a spare missile, and a Lightsaber stand at the ready, with 5 never before seen minifigures, each with their own assorted weapons! The ship also has escape pods that eject, in case of on-board emergency. This starpship was highly interactive, and should keep any LEGO or Star Wars Rebels fan amused for hours. Expect to see this on the toy shelves of mass retailers by August, for $79.99.
Another August release comes from the Disney Princess Palace Pets line. Magic Dance Pumpkin is Cinderella’s glamorous puppy. A shimmery white dog with blue accents, Magic Dance Pumpkin is animatronic, and easily controlled by a wireless light-up magic wand. She speaks over a dozen phrases and sounds, and even has some excellent dance moves! The dog is a mix of plastic and plush, with soft furry ears and fluffy tail, a tiara, removable fur cuffs, and a satin blue tutu. Pumpkin is certainly a dog fit for a princess! She’ll be available at mass retailers for $49.99.
A gift from the Frozen films is Hide-and-Hug Olaf: A Fun Family Experience. This boxed set includes a plush Olaf, and a brand new story about the snowman. Following the hide-and-seek theme of the book, parents can hide Olaf to coordinate with the story, so that children may find him, and give him a nice warm hug! This set becomes available on October 28, wherever books are sold, for $26.99.
The Star Wars Scene Maker is a free creativity app, already available in the App Store. This app allows fans to create 3D Animated Star Wars scenes using simple commands. Control, customize, capture, and share your own re-imagined iconic scenes from the Saga. This story-telling app should appeal to Star Wars fans of all ages!
Disney Infinity will be releasing their next chapter, Marvel Super Heroes, this fall. After last year’s successful launch of Disney Infinity, an interactive gaming platform, Disney Interactive is bringing gamers the characters and worlds of Marvel Superheroes. For release this fall, the Starter Pack sells for $74.99, Play Sets for $34.99, figures for $13.99, and power discs for $4.99, available at mass retailers, for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, WiiU, PC and iOS. Toy Box Mode allows the Marvel characters to interact and create new adventures with other Disney Infinity characters, in their virtual worlds, This is a great addition to the line, and will really open up the Disney Infinity universe.
That’s it for the Disney Dozen, but there’s so much more!
In Disney Baby, it’s the Year of Dumbo! A sweet crib set features baby Dumbo on the comforter, with a trendy triangle flag sheet print in sweet, soft colors that would be appropriate for boys and girls. Luxe outfits in grey and white are Dumbo themed, but with small, classy Dumbo details.Layette sets, Dumbo plush, and nursery decor round out the Dumbo Baby collection.
For the girls, there’s lots of new Sophia the First merchandise! A large, three story Royal Prep Academy dollhouse has multiple interactive elements, including an elevator that recognizes which floor it stops on, and suggests a coordinating activity. There is also a remote control Sophia atop her pet pegasus pony, Minimus, and a tea party set that uses over 40 sounds and phrases with five interactive pieces.
More Doc McStuffins merchandise includes a new holiday book, “A Very McStuffins Christmas”, as well as a Doc McStuffins doll that comes with a doll size Mobile Clinic, exactly like the larger version in the Disney Dozen. From V-Tech, a Doc McStuffins Discover and Learn “Big Book of Boo-Boos”.
Frozen merchandise was plentiful, including Hanna Andersson pajamas, in Anna or Elsa. These two piece legging and long sleeve pajamas will be sold at Nordstrom or on hannaandersson.com. There will also be a Star Wars line, for both girls and boys. There were other clothing options for Frozen, including hats, shoes, and Anna and Elsa costumes.
A Frozen Boombox, complete with mic, allows you to play and sing along to your favorite songs from the film, and also allows MP3 plug in to play from your personal collection. An Olaf singing plush dressed in his “Summertime” attire and a Frozen vanity with Magic Mirror technology are a few other standouts in the new collection Frozen of toys.
The boys section had plenty of new Star Wars merchandise including a Star Wars Rebel set, with a Star Destroyer ship, and multiple figures that can be magnetically controlled by each other. A double sided lightsaber breaks into three pieces, for a variety of play options. An assortment of large scale Star Wars action figures, SMS Star Wars designed headphones, and LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar were among the Star Wars standouts.
Rocket Raccoon appears to slated as top-sales-dog in the Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise. A large Rocket Raccoon plush and a battery operated Rocket Raccoon toy, that talks and makes sounds, were prominently displayed. LEGO gets in the Guardians game with multiple new sets, already available for purchase.
A toddler sized Lightning McQueen car bed draws you into the new Cars merchandise. A new “Cars” Off-Road car track, which includes a die-cast Off-Road Lightning McQueen, boasts an “Action Shifter” feature, in which the player has to “shift” to help the cars get up the off road portion of the track. Additional “Cars” die cast charcters are available for purchase and use on the same off-road track.
Hiro and Baymax are set to fly in a new “Big Hero 6” action figure set, where Hiro secures to Baymax magnetically. A Baymax Arm Armor slides onto the players arm, and shoots a foam fist.
Burton and Disney/Pixar have teamed up to create some great ski onesies, in a mixed Pixar print, and a full James P. Sullivan print.
New Jake and the Neverland Pirates toys, including LEGO Duplo, more “Planes: Fire and Rescue” toys, and a large three piece Velcro plush of Olaf from “Frozen” were amongst the news boy’s line.
On to the Disney Store line, “Frozen” merchandise abounds with more costumes, dolls, and clothing, including a faux fur coat, pajamas, and Olaf slippers.
A new Limited Edition Collectors Box Set of Disney Princesses and their Princes dolls look to be a best seller, with finely detailed costumes and a clear box, ready for display. Other Box Sets included eleven Disney Princess dolls, and a full Sleeping Beauty Collection, which includes Aurora, Prince Phillip, Maleficent, and Sampson.
Star Wars merch will now be sold in Disney Stores, and they’re putting out some great items. High quality costumes are very detailed, as are some character hoodies, such as R2D2 and a furry Chewbacca.
In the Gift Under $25, there’s something for everyone! An Olaf Snow Cone maker, and MIx ‘Em Up Olaf – a Mr. Potato style toy – were great options. Guardians of the Galaxy toys include action figures voiced by the actors, a Nerf Guardians of the Galaxy Blaster, headphones, and LEGO sets. Marvel characters get their own cars, and mini plush.
A Disney Princess board game, Pop-Up Magic, has a pop-up castle and princess game pieces. Additonal pop-up boards are available for purchase, to create a large Disney Princess diorama, and add to game play. PlayDoh has more for princess fans, with Pincesses in their ballgowns, that you press colorful PlayDoh onto. Some figures also come with their respective castle turret or tower. New Pirate Fairy dolls and Palace Pets, now with Snow White, are also available.
In Disney Apparel, Under Armour takes on Captain America – cleats, tees, hats, and backpacks make an impressive Marvel selection – especially the cleats!
Vans puts out a Star Wars collection that isn’t “in your face”, with Storm Trooper heads hidden within an intricate design, all in black and white. A Marvel Comic Strip dress for Forever 21 and a vintage style Minnie Mouse dress for Hot Topic give the ladies some cute options, too!
Lastly, I had the chance to see some of the new tech/apps coming out. DisneyMoviesAnywhere.com and app had a big presence, and a great reward for downloading the free app – a free download of The Incredibles. The DMA app has over 400 Disney titles, links to your iTunes, and also serves as a “cloud” service for all of your Disney films. Many newer DVD/BluRay sets came with a code, that you somply enter in, to get not just the film, but all of it’s bonus features as well. Stream movies when you’re online, or download a few for a trip, and easily erase them when you’re done, they’ll still be available for streaming. For Disney families and fans, this is a no-brainer!
Harmonix, makers of Rock Band, have teamed up with Disney for a completely new video game experience. In their new game, Fantasia: Music Evolved, you take on the role as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice – just like our friend Mickey Mouse, in the film version! Outside of the plot, there isn’t a strong Disney presence. You interact with the XBox Kinect to, essentially, “conduct” songs. Multiple realms have coordinating selections of music – I saw ‘neighborhood’, and the songs for this cityscape were of the modern Pop variety, but ‘forest’ would have a different style of music all together. After you hit your cues, and create and add in new beats, your realm changes…more is added, and characters appear – the characters I saw were veggies! You can even upload your musical creations onto YouTube if you are using the XBox1!
Overall, I imagine there will be a lot of happy Disney fans this Holiday Season…whether you’re hoping for Marvel, Frozen, Planes, Princess, Star Wars, or any other Disney properties, it looks like they have you covered!
(for specific release dates and costs on anything pictured here, please get in touch with me on Twitter at @DisneyinBK )