New Disney Infinity Figures, Power Discs Arrive for the Holidays

DisneyInfinity.VanellopeDisney Interactive has released a holiday line-up of Disney Infinity figures and Power Discs. Among the new character additions to the game’s Toy Box mode are Rapunzel from Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph, and Anna and Elsa from the upcoming Frozen.

The product highlights and U.S. release dates and details are listed below:

Rapunzel: With beautiful long locks, fierce determination, and signature frying pan, Tangled’s Rapunzel is powerful and has a unique style of combat. Available at Walmart between November 22 and December 31.

Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph uses his wrecking abilities and 8-bit cherry bombs to defeat enemies. Available at Best Buy between November 22 and December 31.

Vanellope: The Sugar Rush racer brings her Glitch ability, which allows her to teleport short distances and glitch out other characters. Available at Target between November 24 and December 31.

Frozen Toy Box Pack: Featuring Anna, Elsa, and two hexagonal power discs. Anna uses her grappling hook to get to hard-to-reach places and her shovel to defeat enemies, while Elsa utilizes magical ice abilities. National release set for November 26.<!-more–>

In addition, 20 new Power Discs will enter circulation, including “rare” versions. Circular Power Discs give characters special power-ups, while Hexagonal Power Discs unlock special gadgets, vehicles, and themes.

The Circular Discs include Ralph’s Power of Destruction, Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s Damage-inator!, Electro-Charge, Star Command Shield, and User Control. The Hexagonal Discs include Flamingo Croquet Mallet, Frankenweenie: Victor’s Experiments, Frozen: Frozen Flourish, Frozen: Chill in the Air, Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloweentown Sky, Pizza Planet Delivery Truck, and more. Rare Hexagonal Discs include: Electric Mayhem Bus, Condor Wing Glider, and Hook’s Ship from Peter Pan Ride.

COMMENTARY: 1996: The Best Christmas Ever

1996. It was the year of the New York Yankees, the Chicago Bulls, the Dallas Cowboys. It was the year of Jerry Maguire and the Macarena. It was the year of Bill Clinton’s reelection. But most importantly, 1996 marked the best Christmas ever, with toy companies cranking out some of kids’ favorite toys of all time.

Cabbage Patch Snacktime KidWho could forget the Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids dolls, from Mattel? Those pudgy-faced, yarn-haired little cuties each had a motorized mouth, and kids could feed their doll a french fry, a pretzel stick, a banana, and other yummy snacks. This was one of the toys my mom admits to pushing other moms out of the way for at Toys “R” Us on Black Friday morning. The food, which the dolls realistically chewed when kids inserted it into their mouths, fell into a backpack on the doll’s back, so kids could feed them over and over again. Of course, this beacon of glory was shortly recalled after the holiday season, as kids were getting their hair, skin, and fingers stuck in the doll’s mouth (as you can imagine, this resulted in many unhappy parents and kids with bald spots). While I made sure my hair was secured tightly in a ponytail while playing, my Snacktime Kid remained one of my favorite toys through ’97.

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Disney Infinity Release Toy Story in Space Play Set

disneyinfinityDisney Interactive has released additional details and assets for the Toy Story in Space Play Set for Disney Infinity. This is the first Play Set to be released since the game launch in August, and invites gamers to take on the role of space rangers Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, or Woody as they try to help relocate the Pizza Planet Aliens to a new world.

The Play Set will be widely available on October 22 at all participating retailers. The new asset release includes character images, action screenshots, and a gameplay trailer featuring both Play Set and Toy Box modes of Toy Story in Space.

 Check out the gameplay trailer below:

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President of Disney Consumer Products to Speak at PlayCon

bobchapekBob Chapek, president of Disney Consumer Products, has just been added to the lineup of industry professionals slated to speak at this year’s annual PlayCon, which will be held in Scottsdale, Ariz. from May 6 through 8.

Chapek will share his vision for driving future growth at Disney Consumer Products. He will also discuss the recent acquisition of Lucasfilm and the integration of Star Wars into the portfolio of franchises, which includes Disney Princess, Toy Story, and The Avengers.

For more info on PlayCon and its speakers, click here.

New Video: Toy Story Characters in Toymation

Let your imagination soar with DisneyPixar’s new space-themed “Toymation” video. The video features the Toy Story Buzz Lightyear Command Center and other action figures from Mattel.

In the video, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and sidekick Rex venture into outer space to battle the evil Emperor Zurg. Using stop-motion animation, this video combines old techniques with new concepts to create a modern animated short for Toy Story fans everywhere.

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Disney to Continue Expanding Retail Presence and Products

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is set to release new product developments in each of its properties within the next year.

Disney Baby: Disney is investing in this property by creating a two-way dialogue with new moms on a digital platform, social media, product seeding and a loyalty program. The first Disney Baby concept store will open in fall 2012 at The Americana at Brand in Glendale, Calf.

Disney-Pixar Cars and Toy Story: The Cars franchise has generated global retail sales of more than $10 billion. Cars 2 retail merchandise began to roll out globally in mid-May and DCP will continue to support the franchise with a wide assortment of products next year. Cars Toons will be previewed before Cars 2 in movie theaters and will also be in heavy circulation on Disney Channel. Summer 2012 will mark the opening of “Cars Land,” a 12-acre stretch of new interactive entertainment development at Disney’s California Adventure. Toy Story will also be developed as Toy Story Toon along with Cars.

Mickey Mouse and Winnie The Pooh: One of Disney’s most popular characters, Mickey Mouse remains a top-selling franchise with projections set at $9 billion global retail sales for fiscal year 2011. Winnie The Pooh returns to the big screen in the U.S. next month with anticipated success due to positive sales from the European release earlier this year. The Winnie The Pooh: What’s A Bear To Do? Puzzle Book app has topped the sales charts for the iPhone and iPad in 12 countries.

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Report: European Toy Sales Increase 5 Percent, U.S. Remains Unchanged

According to The NPD Group, although traditional toy sales in the United States remained unchanged during the first half of this year, revenue growth in Europe’s five largest toy markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK) experienced a 5 percent increase for the first half of 2010.

In the U.S., revenue totaled $7.771 billion from January 2010 to June 2010 compared to $7.748 billion generated during the same time period in 2009. In Europe, the UK experienced 8 percent growth, followed by Spain with 6 percent growth, Germany with 4 percent, France with 3 percent, and Italy with 2 percent, during the first half of 2010.

For the first half of this year, NPD EuroToys noticed that market growth was driven in part by sales of outdoor and sports toys. NPD EuroToys analysts also anticipate continued growth for Toy Story-licensed toys.  As of June, Star Wars is the No. 1 license for traditional toys in Europe, and Toy Story is the year’s fastest-growing license.

Toy Story Becomes UK’s Fifth-Largest Toy License

The NPD Group has reported that Toy Story has become the UK’s fifth-largest toy license, and the best selling movie-based license this year to date. Research from the group shows that licensed Toy Story 3 toys have sold an estimated £11m at retail in the UK during the first six months of 2010. Toy Story 2 toy sales in the UK totaled £7m over the comparable 25-week time period in 2000.

By category, Toy Story action figures topped the list of sales, representing almost one-third of all Toy Story toys sold in the UK. Other top categories included building sets, outdoors and sports toys, youth electronics, and games/puzzles.

Toy Story 3 released in the UK on Monday, July 19 (today).

Video: John Lasseter Talks Mr. Potato Head

Timed with the release of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3, Disney Consumer Products has released John Lasseter Talks Toys Vol. 7: Mr. Potato Head on its YouTube channel, Disney Living. The video is the latest in a series of profiles on the Toy Story characters. The series was launched last fall, prior to the release of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3-D.

Toys “R” Us Premieres Dedicated Toy Story Boutiques

In celebration of the anticipated theatrical release of Toy Story 3, Toys “R” Us is debuting dedicated Toy Story 3 boutiques, in all of its nearly 1,300 toy stores in 34 countries around the world.

The boutiques, which are open across the U.S., are filled with an assortment of Toy Story-inspired toys, including action figures, construction sets, role play accessories, musical instruments, and electronic devices. Similar sections will open in Toys “R” Us stores around the world, coinciding with the movie’s release in each respective country.