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‘Frozen’ Merchandise Shipments Up 470% for Holidays

Disney’s “Frozen” isn’t showing any signs of thawing at retail this holiday — a year after the blockbuster toon debuted.

Shelves will be well stocked with merchandise tied to the film, with shipments of “Frozen” dolls, costumes, books, games and other products having increased 470% between August and October versus the same period last year, according to data provided by Panjiva, which tracks the global trade biz. The August to October period is when retailers typically prep for the peak holiday shopping season.

In fact, shipments of “Frozen” products in the U.S. are more than double the combined number those for last year’s favorites, “Sofia the First” and “Doc McStuffins,” also Disney properties.

The interest in “Frozen” merchandise orders from retailers doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Stores typically don’t offer a considerable amount of movie merchandise unless the film is a proven property or based on an established brand. “Frozen” now certainly meets those criteria, given that the film is the highest-grossing animated film with a worldwide box office haul of nearly $1.3 billion since its release in theaters Nov. 22, 2013.

But retailers also have been encouraged by consumer interest in merchandise related to the property — and don’t want to be caught without anything to sell as some were last year when some “Frozen” merchandise was hard to find come the holidays in 2013.

Disney Consumer Products said it has doubled the property’s presence at retail this season to meet strong demand for everything “Frozen.”

In addition to strong homevideo sales, “Frozen” has been a major revenue generator for Disney elsewhere throughout 2014, with the property having sold more than 3 million Elsa and Anna dresses this year. An estimated 2.6 million children planned to dress up as “Frozen” characters during Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation.

The continued interest in all-things “Frozen,” other Disney properties for younger audiences, as well as Marvel and “Star Wars” related products, should help boost Disney Consumer Products past the nearly $41 billion figure it generated in 2013.

Disney already has more plans for “Frozen,” launching 16 themed food and health product categories between fall 2014 and spring 2015, including fresh apples and grapes, juice, yogurt, bandages and a complete oral care line. New “Frozen” products also will be released around the “Frozen Fever” short from Walt Disney Animation Studios, that will debut in spring 2015.

But this holiday, merchandise featuring Elsa’s Snow Queen has beat out Anna products by 74%, Panjiva found. The “Frozen” Snow Glow Elsa doll by Jakks Pacific has appeared on top toy lists for the season.

The film’s singing snowman Olaf also is far outselling the more traditional Frosty the Snowman by 77% during the holiday shopping season, according to Panjiva. Sales of Frosty the Snowman merchandise fell more than 30% between August and October. DreamWorks Animation owns the rights to Frosty through its acquisition of Classic Media.

“Disney’s ‘Frozen’ has shown explosive momentum and continued popularity well beyond the movie’s box office life,” said Josh Green, CEO of Panjiva. “Retailers, who feel confident the ‘Frozen’ craze is far from over, are betting big on the Disney blockbuster as a major driver of holiday shopping sales this year. Based on our analysis, ‘Frozen’ is set to be the clear winner of the 2014 holiday season.”

Overall, the total shipments of goods coming into U.S. ports from August through October rose 5% over last year, while shipments of toys were up 3%, according to Panjiva.

The projected top sellers are expected to be toys based on “Paw Patrol,” a TV series for preschoolers starring a pack of puppies, as well as Zoomer, a robotic dog, with orders from retailers related to the latter property up 300% this season.

Shipments of Mattel’s Barbie dolls rose 32% between August and October, while there are large numbers of orders of “Doc McStuffins,” “Monster High” and “Sofia the First” dolls, joining “DohVinci,” “Little Live Pets,” Elmo and Nerf as the more popular toys at retail this season.

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