×

‘Star Wars,’ Tsum Tsums and ‘Descendants’: A Preview of Disney’s Holiday Toys

In a surprise to no one, Disney will be filling lots of stockings with “Star Wars” and Marvel merchandise this holiday season. “Episode VII” products hit shelves on “Force Friday,” Sept. 4, at 12:01 a.m. in retailers across the globe. Fans, however, will have to wait until Dec. 18 for the film’s release.

Besides “Star Wars,” the Mouse House spotlighted a lot of their other properties in a holiday toy preview. Here are a few things to watch for:

1) With the success of the Disney Channel original movie, they’re hoping to draw “Descendants” fans of all ages.

In addition to dolls, clothes, fashion accessories and Halloween costumes for the tween-and-under set, Disney and Hyperion published a prequel novel “Descendants: The Isle of the Lost,” written by Melissa de la Cruz, noted author of YA series “The Au Pairs” and “Blue Bloods.” With talks of a sequel to the novel, Disney looks to be engaging with fans just beyond the doll-playing age. The July 31 premiere boasted 10.5 million viewers in early DVR playback.

2) Tsum Tsum characters are stacking up sales.

Not familiar with Disney’s Tsum Tsums? From the Japanese word for “stack,” the ridiculously cute plush characters feature giant heads and oblong roly-poly bodies, and are available in an easy-to-collect mini size for $4.95 as well as a medium and large size. There’s also an equally addicting mobile game for even more synergy. Many compare the craze to the Beanie Baby, thanks to limited releases. Tots and collectors stalk the Disney Store, website and the theme parks to collect, especially on Tsum Tsum Tuesdays. At D23, a $24.95 per month Tsum Tsum subscription was announced. Also introduced at their Holiday Toy preview were vinyl figure Tsum Tsums and adorable, interlocking Tsum Tsum lip balms.

3) Disney is embracing integrated technology play. 

Disney Consumer Products introduced Playmation in June, an interactive wireless set that utilizes wearable technology and motion sensors. The cloud-based receiver and app utilize Bluetooth technology so that the playset can be used in any room or even outdoors.

Another featured product was Mickey’s Rocket Builder, a smart toy designed to integrate with their Imagicademy app. Children can play with a physical toy and simultaneously play with it digitally.

4) Infinity adds to the toy box.

With the launch of Disney Infinity 3.0 on Aug. 30, “Star Wars” and Marvel, two of the Mouse House’s most valuable brands will be able to play together in their toy box. The “Star Wars” gameplay includes classic trilogy characters Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Yoda; and Twilight of the Republic and Rebels characters. They join Marvel characters like Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow, as well as Pixar characters like Buzz Lightyear and Wreck-It-Ralph. The Infinity system was launched in Sept. 2013; Disney announced that more than 3 million units were sold as of Jan. 2014.

What else can we expect from Infinity? An Infinity producer told Variety that fans are always making requests to add their favorite Disney characters to the lineup. Fans asked for more princesses, so Mulan made her debut in the Aug. 30 launch. “The Lion King’s” Simba is also a fan favorite, but developers are still working on gameplay for non-bipeds.

5) The new kid on the block for tots is “Miles From Tomorrowland,” but the other kid properties are well represented, too.

Disney Junior has a bona fide hit with “Miles,” the No. 1 show across preschool networks since it debuted in February. Among the toys available were action figures, costumes, and a Stellosphere spaceship. “Miles” was well-represented at the toy preview along with other TV properties like “Doc McStuffins,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” and “Sofia the First.” And sorry, parents, you’ll still be buying “Frozen” merchandise until you-know-what freezes over — Elsa, Anna, Olaf and the gang are still popular on the shelves, as well as other Disney stalwarts like “Cars” and Pixar’s summer box office hit “Inside Out.”

More Biz

  • The dark Manhatten skyline, seen from

    StubHub Refunds $500,000 to Customers Shut Out by New York Blackout

    Saturday’s blackout in New York had an outsized effect on the city’s nightlife, with Madison Square Garden and the entire Broadway district seeing multiple shows cancelled due to the the power outage. As a result, StubHub has refunded more than $500,000 worth of tickets for cancelled events. According to a statement from the company, the StubHub [...]

  • Weapons Cache

    D.A. Files 64 Charges in Bel-Air Weapons Stockpile Case

    The L.A. County District Attorney’s office has filed 64 counts against Girard Saenz, the man who allegedly kept a stockpile of more than 1,000 weapons at a Bel-Air home linked to the Getty family. Saenz is accused of illegal possession of assault weapons, transferring handguns without a dealer license, possession of short-barreled shotguns, and possession [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

  • Warner Music Group Logo

    Warner Music Acquires Musical Theater Indie First Night Records

    Warner Music Group has acquired First Night Record, an independent record label for West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings. The company will be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music Division, led by President Kevin Gore. First Night co-founder John Craig will join the Arts Music team under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theatre productions in [...]

  • Woodstock 50 to Hold Open House

    Woodstock 50 to Hold Open House for Local Residents Before Permit Review Tuesday

    If nothing else, the producers of Woodstock 50 are persistent. After two permit applications to hold the troubled festival at the Vernon Downs racetrack in Upstate New York were rejected by the town of Vernon codes office, the producers and venue owner Jeffrey Gural today invited the local community “to embrace the Festival’s spirit of [...]

  • ILM Star Wars The Force Awakens

    ILM to Open Latest Effects Facility in Sydney, Australia

    Sydney, Australia, is to be home to Industrial Light & Magic’s fifth production hub. The Disney-owned special effects company currently has facilities in San Francisco, Vancouver, London and Singapore. The decision to open the Sydney outpost was announced Monday local time by executive creative director and head of ILM Rob Bredow, ILM executive Luke Hetherington, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content