Disney Unveils shopDisney For E-commerce; Reveals Prototype Store Design

Disney Consumer Products announced today the launch of shopDisney, a new e-commerce destination offering the best assortment of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel products.

The company also revealed a new prototype Disney store design, which is being tested in select locations around the world bringing the magic of Disney to retail through innovative technology, storytelling and cast member interaction.

shopDisney.com features co-branded products and elevated collaborations from brands such as Coach, Le Creuset, Spyder, Steiff, rag & bone and more. Along with this, authentic products from Disney Parks and Disney Store will also be featured.

Disney stores around the world will also be incorporating more product for guests of all ages, beyond their traditionally child-centric assortment, the company said.

The new Disney store prototypes are now open in Century City, Calif. and Northridge, Calif. in the US as well as in Nagoya, Japan and Shanghai, China. Two more prototypes will open in 2017 in Miami, Fla. on September 28 and Munich, Germany later this year.

Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Announces Action-Packed Programming Schedule for D23 Expo

At the upcoming D23 Expo 2017, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) will showcase a blockbuster slate of programming from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel. Fans will get an inside glimpse into Disney products and collectibles during a presentation on the Walt Disney Archives Stage, while exclusive news about games and interactive experiences will be unveiled during a presentation in the 3,400-seat D23 Expo Arena. In addition to the DCPI pavilion on the show floor, Disney Publishing Worldwide will go “behind the pages” of some of their upcoming books during a series of panels throughout the weekend. Oh My Disney will also bring fun, fan-focused live activations to the heart of the DCPI pavilion all three days on the Oh My Disney Stage.

Programming kicks off on Friday, July 14, the first day of the Expo and continues through the weekend:

The Walt Disney Company’s Celebrated Product Legacy and the Exciting Future Ahead
Friday, July 14, 10 a.m., The Walt Disney Archives Stage
Fans and collectors are invited to the ultimate inside look at how products and collectibles have become an essential part of the fan experience for Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel. This session will provide a look back at the important role consumer products have played in the history of the Company, as well as a sneak peek at the product development process. Attendees will also get a first look at some of the most exciting upcoming and new product lines. And they can also expect a few surprises that no fan will want to miss!

Level Up! The Walt Disney Company’s Video Game Showcase
Saturday, July 15, 1 p.m., D23 Expo Arena
At the Games showcase, fans will experience never-before-seen gameplay, trailers, special guests, and other unforgettable surprises from across the Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel games portfolios. Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, DCPI, will kick off the presentation, which will feature many show-stopping moments including announcements from Marvel, and more information about highly anticipated games, including Star Wars Battlefront II™ from Electronic Arts, KINGDOM HEARTS III from Disney and Square Enix, and more.

Disney Books Panels and Presentations
Friday, July 14, Sunday, July 16, various stages
Guests will be able to go inside the pages of their favorite classic and contemporary stories during Disney Publishing Worldwide’s series of exclusive panels and presentations.

●      On Friday, July 14, at 10:30 a.m. in the D23 Expo Arena, Gravity Falls series creator Alex Hirsch and Star vs. The Forces of Evil series creator Daron Nefcy will discuss what it’s like to bring hit Disney XD series from the screen to page with bestselling titles Gravity Falls: Journal 3 and Star vs. The Forces of Evil: Star and Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension.

●      Mindy Johnson, author of Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation, will interview a panel of animators past and present and share how women make remarkable contributions to the legacy of Walt Disney’s animation studio. The presentation will take place on the Walt Disney Archives Stage on Friday, July 14, at 4:30 p.m.

●      Disney Legends Richard Sherman and Floyd Norman will invite fans to the D23 Expo Arena on Saturday, July 15, at 6 p.m. for a one-of-a-kind discussion about their upcoming book A Kiss Goodnight.

●      Marcy Smothers, author of the upcoming title Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food, will show guests in the Walt Disney Archives Stage on Sunday, July 16, at 10 a.m. how Walt Disney infused fun and creativity into his food—from his family’s kitchen table to the Happiest Place on Earth.

●      On Sunday, July 16, at 4:15 p.m. on Stage 28, Kingdom Keepers author Ridley Pearson, Disney Legend Marty Sklar, and fellow Imagineers will explore the history of Disney Parks through Maps of Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai.

●      Celebrating the 90th anniversary of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Dave Bossert and David Gerstein, authors of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons, will showcase the definitive history of the iconic character on Sunday, July 16, at 6 p.m. on Stage 28.

Throughout the weekend, select authors and artists will be available for signings and meet and greets at Talent Central and the Disney Dream Store.

DCPI Pavilion and Oh My Disney Stage
In the DCPI pavilion on the show floor, fans can “Live the Magic” and experience how Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel can enrich their daily lives. Divided into four distinct lifestyle environments, guests will be able to preview and experience all-new cross-category offerings from Disney’s licensees, authors and artists, including playing the latest games from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars, immersing themselves in the pavilion’s park environment of outdoor play and creativity, or watching cooking demos in the kitchen environment featuring influencers from Disney Family and Disney Publishing Worldwide.

At the heart of the DCPI pavilion is the Oh My Disney Stage, which will bring the fun, fresh voice of Oh My Disney to life through daily surprise-and-delight moments, including celebrity guests, panels, performances, game shows, toy unboxings, first looks, and a live taping of The Oh My Disney Show hosted by Maker creator Alexys Gabrielle. The stage’s events, programs, and shows will be shared live across the Disney Digital Network’s editorial channels like Oh My Disney, Disney Style, Polaris, and Disney Family and social accounts for every Disney character, franchise, and film. The full Oh My Disney Stage schedule and live streams will be revealed in July.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2017 are available for $81 for one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $72 for a one-day adult admission and $53 for children 3–9. Multi-day tickets are also available. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2017, visit D23expo.com.

Disney Merges Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive

It’s not the case anymore that consumers separate technology from toys or even books, so The Walt Disney Co.  is streamlining its consumer products and interactive divisions. The company has combined its two smallest segments into Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), which will be jointly led by co-chairs Leslie Ferraro, president of Disney Consumer Products, and Jimmy Pitaro, president of Disney Interactive.

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“Both Disney Interactive and Disney Consumer Products have a strong track record of connecting people to their favorite stories and characters,” said Disney COO Tom Staggs in a statement. “As technology and digital entertainment continue to evolve, a shared innovation strategy will enable this new segment to create unique and engaging products and experiences that exceed consumers’ expectations.”

The new structure will “share technological expertise and maximize opportunities and efficiencies” as well as leverage Disney’s licensing and retail relationships across both divisions.

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A new team called DCPI Labs will focus on using cutting-edge technologies to create new immersive products and report to both Ferraro and Pitaro. Disney Publishing Worldwide will also report to the new co-chairs, while functional areas such as finance, strategy and business development, technology, HR, and communications will be merged into joint teams.

Disney will begin reporting consumer products and interactive as one combined business as of the beginning of fiscal 2016.

In the most recent quarter, consumer products revenues grew 10 percent to $971 million, while operating income increased 32 percent to $362 million, and interactive revenues slipped 12 percent to $235 million while operating income surged 86 percent to $26 million.

‘Tradition Meets Innovation’ at Disney Consumer Products Showcase at Disney’s D23 Expo 2015

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Disney Consumer Products will unveil unique product experiences and exclusive merchandise at this year’s D23 EXPO, Disney’s ultimate fan event, held at the Anaheim Convention Center August 14–16. Reflecting a ‘Tradition Meets Innovation’ theme, the expansive Disney Consumer Products pavilion will provide interactive opportunities for fans of all ages to explore exciting stories and engaging experiences and products celebrating everyone’s favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars stories.

Throughout the weekend, Disney Consumer Products will give fans the chance to get hands-on with the very latest in product innovations, explore fashion trends, books, apps, and more, as well as shop for collectible Disney Store merchandise at D23 EXPO. Special artist signings and stage presentations also will take place over the three-day event, offering fans the chance to get up close and personal with their favorite storytellers.

Events and attractions within the Disney Consumer Products pavilion include:

  • Playmation Marvel’s Avengers – EXPO attendees will have the chance to see if they have what it takes to gear up and join the Avengers! Be among the first to experience the recently announced Playmation product, a groundbreaking new system of connected toys and wearables that uses smart technology to inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the hero or heroine of Marvel stories.
  • The Marvel Universe – Fans of all ages collect across the ever-expanding Marvel Universe, and at D23 EXPO they can experience more of their favorite Super Heroes with a preview of the newest large-scale statues, action figures and more. Additionally, attendees will get a first-hand look at how the attributes of Marvel characters – cool, strong, relatable – come together in fashionable apparel and accessories. Attendees are encouraged to follow @StyledbyMarvel on Instagram and to share their own passion for MARVEL with the #StyledByMarvel hashtag.
  • Evolution of the Star Wars Stormtrooper – Explore the design evolution of the armor-clad legions of Clone Troopers and Stormtroopers that have fought for the light side and the dark side throughout the Star Wars saga.
  • #TeamMickey – Fans can show off their #TeamMickey spirit and commemorate their visit at a fun-filled Mickey photo booth.
  • Rock Your #MinnieStyle – The Minnie lounge will feature a nail bar and surprise product giveaways along with an inspired fashion and accessories statement.
  • D-Style – EXPO attendees will be the very first to preview D-Style, an all-new, curated assortment of fashion items and accessories debuting at DisneyStore.com this fall.
  • Make it a Tink Moment – Straight from Never Land, #TinkStyle will land at D23 EXPO. Guests can visit the ‘Bun Bar,’ where professional hair stylists will be on hand to give attendees the iconic Tinker Bell top knot while they peruse a glittering Tinker Bell product display.
  • Disney Junior ‘Fun Spot’ – Fans can experience galactic play with new stellar toys from Miles from Tomorrowland and have the chance to meet Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First at the Disney Junior ‘Fun Spot.’
  • Unlock Your Inner Disney Princess  D23 EXPO attendees can unlock their inner princess by leaving an empowering message on a special ‘Keys to the Kingdom’ gate.
  • The Breadth of Frozen – Fans will have the opportunity to check out Frozenproducts for the whole family and engage in fun activities held throughout the day.
  • Pixar Storytelling Comes to Life – Pixar films have delighted audiences for more than 20 years with memorable characters that have been brought to life in equally delightful product. Explore some of the newest products from everyone’s favorite Pixar films. Additionally, fans will be able to see the exciting new app from Disney – Cars: Daredevil Garage – that allows you to take your favorite Mattel diecast cars into the virtual world, using them to perform extreme stunts in crazy environments.
  • Discover Disney’s Descendants  EXPO attendees will get an exclusive look at the wicked world of fashion and toys inspired by Disney’s Descendants, the teenage progeny of Disney’s most infamous villains.

Disney Store

In addition to the exciting events and attractions offered in the Disney Consumer Products pavilion, the Disney Store shop at D23 EXPO invites attendees to shop an array of special products not yet available to the general public. Showcased throughout more than 3,000 sq. ft. of retail space, new collections and Limited Edition items will launch throughout the D23 EXPO weekend.

Offering even more collectible merchandise, Disney Store will be launching “Disney 3D Print Studio” at D23 EXPO, offering fans the chance to personalize new figures, including a Disney Mouseketeer, Star Wars stormtrooper, and Marvel’s Iron Man, with their likeness through the use of facial-scanning kiosks. Marking the first foray into 3D printing by Disney Store, the figures sold at EXPO will feature unique packaging with a special D23 Certificate of Authenticity.

More details about Disney Store merchandise offered at EXPO will be released in the coming weeks.

Disney Publishing

Disney Publishing will take fans into the world of books, apps, and everything in between by showcasing how artists, storytelling, and innovative content come together to create stories full of magic and adventure.

  • Disney Storytelling Pop-Up Shop  EXPO attendees are invited to take a magical journey into the world of storytelling featuring titles that span Disney’s fascinating history. Look behind the magic through Disney Publishing’s Disney Editions books that showcase a vast array of feature films, Disney Legends, and Imagineers, available for purchase at the Disney Store retail space.
  • Discover the Magic of Learning with Disney Imagicademy– Dive into the world of technology-driven learning through apps designed to encourage children to learn by creating, doing, and making.
  • Disney Publishing’s Digital Discovery Zone  Fans can immerse themselves in the exciting world of innovative storytelling through a collection of digital experiences that will engage the imagination of people of all ages.
  • Whisker Haven Tales with the Palace Pets  Take a journey into a secret realm deep in a fairy tale land between the Disney Princess kingdoms called Animal Royal Kingdom of Whisker Haven, where the Palace Pets characters can meet up with their friends, play, and save the day.
  • Introducing Star Darlings  Coming this fall, the Star Darlings characters will encourage girls to make wishes from the heart and find their inner star. At D23 EXPO, fans can see a sneak peek into their world, with exciting Star Darlingsgiveaways being conducted throughout the weekend.

Disney Publishing will also present in Stage 28 at D23 EXPO. Located inside the Disney Consumer Products pavilion, Stage 28 will feature exciting presentations and author signings including:

Friday, August 14

  • 3–4 pm: Stage 28: Exploring the Past, Present, and Future of Storytelling with Ridley Pearson and Marty Sklar
    New York Times bestselling author Ridley Pearson joins Disney Imagineering Legend Marty Sklar as they discuss their seemingly different careers and roles as storytellers, along with how their worlds pleasantly and serendipitously collided with the creation of Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers series.
  • 4:30–5:30 pm: D23 EXPO Dream Store: Ridley Pearson autographing

Saturday, August 15

  • 10–11 am: Stage 28: One Little Spark—Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering—with Marty Sklar in conversation with Eli Erlandson, Shelby Jiggetts-Tivoni, Daniel Joseph, Dexter Tanksley, and Kevin Rafferty
    From the acclaimed author of DREAM IT! DO IT!, Disney Imagineering Legend Marty Sklar joins five well-known Imagineers in a lively conversation about what inspired them to go into the arts, ultimately become Imagineers, and the advice they have for young creative talent who wish to do the same. Sklar will engage his fellow Imagineers in an inspiring discussion that will appeal to young and old alike–those who hope to take that “Road to Imagineering” someday, along with the parents and grandparents who encourage young people to follow their dreams.
  • 11:30 am–12:30 pm: D23 Autograph Central: Marty Sklar signing
  • 2:45–3:45 pm: D23 EXPO Dream Store: #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz autographing for The Isle of The Lost: A Descendants Novel

Sunday, August 16

  • 1:30–2:30 pm: Stage 28: An Animator’s Gallery: Presented by Dave A. Bossert and Eric Goldberg
    Based on the book containing whimsical, deluxe Art Deco-themed art showcasing Walt Disney characters in a style reminiscent of caricatures from the famed walls of Sardi’s and The Brown Derby, join Disney Supervising Animator Dave Bossert and Director Eric Goldberg as they discuss the stylized images in the collection that first debuted as a display within the Roy E. Disney Animation Building in Burbank, California. Fans of all ages, and from all over, will learn what inspired Goldberg to create these playful portraits, starting with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse through characters from Frozen and Big Hero 6.
  • 3–4 pm: D23 Autograph Central: Dave Bossert and Eric Goldberg signing

Additional details and updates about Disney Consumer Products events and activities will continue to be updated on www.D23EXPO.com, on Facebook, and Twitter at “DisneyD23.”

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. Now through June 30, 2015, tickets are $67 for one-day adult admission and $48 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $58 for one-day adult admission and $42 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $188 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

About Disney Consumer Products

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company DIS, +1.55% that delivers innovative and engaging product experiences across thousands of categories from toys and apparel to books and fine art. As the world’s largest licensor, DCP inspires the imaginations of people around the world by bringing the magic of Disney into their homes. DCP is comprised of three business units: Licensing, Publishing and Disney Store. The Licensing business is aligned around five strategic brand priorities: Disney Media, Classics & Entertainment,Disney & Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Princess & Tinker Bell, Lucasfilm and Marvel. Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, magazines, eBooks and apps. DPW is also committed to the educational development of children around the world through Disney Learning, which includes our flagship learning brand, Disney Imagicademy, as well as Disney English and other Disney-themed learning products. The Disney Store retail chain operates across North America, Europe, and Japan with more than 350 stores and provides high-quality, unique products. Disney Store also operates ecommerce sites in several countries, which can be found here. For more information, please visit www.DisneyConsumerProducts.com.

Disney Unveils Playmation, Toys That Play Back

Friday, May 15, 2015 in Encino, Calif. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision for Disney/AP Images)

 

For more than two years, inside a Walt Disney laboratory built to resemble a child’s bedroom, grade schoolers have been secretly testing an at-home version of Iron Man’s high-tech armor.

Disney’s goal: Use wireless systems, motion sensors and wearable technology to strike a balance between what children want to do (tap screens and play video games) and what parents would prefer (more running around).

The Walt Disney Company unveiled a resulting toy line on Tuesday called Playmation, which will arrive in stores in October. For about $120, an “Avengers” theme starter pack will include a red Iron Man “repulsor” glove that players wear on their right hand and forearm and four smart toys, including two action figures.

Used together, the parts lead players on villain-destroying missions — run, duck, dodge, jump, shoot. A related app provides access to additional assignments and powers. “It’s physical play for a digital generation,” Thomas O. Staggs, Disney’s chief operating officer, said in an email.

Analysts who have had the opportunity to scrutinize Playmation said it could solve a puzzle that had largely stumped the traditional toy industry: What if toys could play back? The answer could ensure the relevancy of companies like Hasbro and Mattel — and Disney — to future generations of children.

“I see this as a breakthrough item, especially in the action and role-play aisle,” Jim Silver, the editor of TTPM, a toy review website, said in an interview. “What Disney has done here is so sophisticated that I actually don’t like the word ‘toy’ for it.”

This can be tricky terrain. Smart toy efforts tend to prompt swift and severe reactions from watchdog organizations, with privacy as a main concern. The latest example is Mattel’s new Internet-connected Hello Barbie, which records children’s speech, analyzes it and provides pertinent responses.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a Boston advocacy group, instantly deemed that toy “Eavesdropping Barbie” and began organizing parents against Mattel. The toymaker, whose profit fell 45 percent last year, in part because of declining interest in traditional Barbie products, has defended the digital doll, citing substantial privacy safeguards.

Mindful of this pitfall, Disney has “doggedly designed Playmation with privacy in mind,” said Kareem Daniel, senior vice president of strategy and business development for Disney Consumer Products. The Playmation components, for instance, are intentionally not tethered to an Internet connection during play, he said.

Disney is speeding ahead with the rollout of Playmation. “Star Wars” theme sets will arrive next year; prototypes shown last week to a reporter involved Jedi training and Darth Vader skulduggery. A “Frozen” version is scheduled for 2017. Aimed at children 6 to 12, the toys can also be worn by adults.

With a plethora of characters in the Disney stable and a flexible technology platform to tap into, “Playmation’s potential is tremendous,” Mr. Staggs said.

The core Playmation toys reveal a subtle but important shift at Disney Consumer Products, which has recently experienced rapid growth. (The unit generated $1.4 billion in operating profit last year, a 22 percent increase from 2013.) Disney traditionally has not designed its own toys but rather has licensed its characters to companies like Hasbro and Mattel.

But Playmation was created inside Disney, reflecting an attempt by the company to become more assertive in the creation of new toy categories and generate more growth. In success, Disney will also shut out competitors: Non-Disney characters will not be allowed into what the company is calling a “toy ecosystem.” (Sorry, Batman.)

Playmation has a few challenges. For starters, the line arrives during a management change at Disney Consumer Products. Bob Chapek, the executive who most ardently supported Playmation, was promoted in February to take over the company’s theme parks. His merchandising successor, Leslie Ferraro, has adopted Playmation, but her experience has been entirely in marketing.

In addition, only two people can have the full Playmation experience at one time, at least initially; that could frustrate children.

Depending on how Playmation is marketed, the toy line could also bump into Disney Infinity, a video game and toy product sold by a separate Disney division. To play Infinity, users collect character figurines, which resemble the Playmation action figures. Infinity 3.0, focused on “Star Wars” and costing a cheaper $65 for the starter set, will also arrive in stores in the fall. (Disney said it saw no threat of cannibalization.)

Still, toy analysts said they were encouraged by the depth of Playmation. The “Avengers” set comes with 25 missions out of the box. Disney will also sell add-on Playmation toys — Hulk hands, various action figures — starting around $15 each.

“I don’t think this is something that kids are going to play once and forget about,” Mr. Silver said.

Originally Published in The New York Times

PANDORA Jewelry and Disney Announce New Strategic Alliance

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Today, PANDORA Jewelry announced a new strategic alliance with The Walt Disney Company that will give the brand a presence in Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, beginning with the sponsorship of the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida this fall.  In addition, PANDORA, in collaboration with Disney Consumer Products, is creating an original collection of beautifully designed Disney-themed jewelry launching at retail locations this fall.

“To say that PANDORA is excited about our relationship with Disney is an understatement,” said Scott Burger, President, PANDORA Americas. “Having a presence in the theme parks gives the brand another opportunity to engage with families and play a significant role in both the big and small moments of their lives.

Our consumers and retail partners have been requesting Disney-themed products for years and we are thrilled to finally offer them a brilliant assortment of charms that are the perfect balance of sophistication and whimsy. Our design teams have worked to build a collection that meets the exacting quality standards of PANDORA, preserves the integrity of the Disney characters we have all come to love over the years, and gives our consumers another way to share their stories,” continued Burger.

The new collection of hand finished sterling silver and 14K gold charms will feature inspirations from some of Disney’s most beloved characters. The initial launch, expected to roll out to PANDORA stores early November 2014, will include 25 different styles; an additional 16 styles will be sold at Disney merchandise locations, including the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.  The Disney collection from PANDORA will also be available in PANDORA stores throughout Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central America and the Caribbean in November.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunities ahead through our alliance with PANDORA,” said Tiffany Rende, senior vice president of Disney Corporate Alliances and Operating Participants. “In addition to debuting a new line of PANDORA jewelry at retail that we know will be a fan favorite, we are collaborating on other product lines and guest experiences at our domestic Parks and Resorts.”

Later this fall, select merchandise locations at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Vacation Club properties and Disney Cruise Line ships will begin selling the collections.  Additionally two Disney merchandise locations, Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and La Mascarade d ‘Orleans in Disneyland Resort in California, will unveil unique retail installations, combining PANDORA’s sleek aesthetic and Disney’s creativity.

The new Disney products represent PANDORA Americas’ third licensed collection to launch within the past 12 months.  Starting in 2015, Pandora will become presenting sponsor of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend held annually at the Disneyland Resort.