As someone who followed “Frozen” basically from the day it was announced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, it’s quite gratifying to see it doing so well in all aspects of success. Disney really did produce another classic with this movie.
Anyway, I’ve only visited a Disney Store once, but I agree that its still quite an experience simply because it does recreate that magical Disney feeling. I walked out that store without spending a dime, but I’m still glad I went in anyways.
“Disney had high expectations for the film, noted Jonathan Storey, Disney Store Vice President. But demand went even higher than they thought it ever would, selling out “Frozen” products everywhere. They’ve been racing to keep up.”
I wish someone would call them out on this one because all signs indicate that Disney had absolutely zero faith in Frozen.
1) Variety in Merchandise: As someone who’s been buying Frozen stuff since October then the lack of variety was initially shocking. There were probably less than a dozen product choices in the Disney Stores and they were all very poorly executed (same generic picture reused, printed utensils/circle flatwear rather than original designs, lack of popular 8″ plush, etc.
The lack of choice was likely due to the recent merchandising failures (by Disney standards) with Monsters U, Brave and Tiana that began their product run with easily twice as many product choices. Even if you were into this franchise from the start (before the frenzy began), there simply wasn’t EVER many items to choose from.
2) Costumes: Disney costumes were always overpriced and of poor quality. But in the last 2 years they’ve actually stepped up in costume design, yet the Frozen ones they came out with way back in September are awful which indicates that they weren’t showcasing them as “must-haves” and they rarely even appeared in the Halloween displays.
3) Licensing: This is the biggest sign that Disney didn’t care about Frozen. There is absolutely no licensing. Where are the Kellogs Fruit Snacks? Where is the Build-a-Bear dresses? Why is there such a lack of 3rd party retailers selling Frozen shirts? Where’s the Legos?
With Monsters U, Princess and the Frog and Brave then stores were overrun with licensed items that didn’t sell and eventually hit the clearance racks pretty hard. So it would seem that with Frozen then Disney got very conservative and decided NOT to make a big retail push. The way the production process works (so I’m told) is that orders are placed months in advanced and after a product run is complete then the company moves to the next company. So, with Frozen, Disney didn’t order much and when the success hit them by surprise (yes, they were surprised) then they’ve had to wait in line again
So this lack of supply isn’t only because of the huge demand, but mainly because Disney’s had no idea that Frozen was going to be well received.
Agreed. I saw an early screening and ran to the New York Disney Store for the first time in years to see what they had for Frozen. It was pathetic. The evidence of their lack of faith was in the early commercials for the film. Emphasis was on Olaf, Sven and Kristoff. I couldn’t understand it. Elsa and Anna were the most inspiring characters in the film and that song….well we know what happened with the song! The film speaks to the soul of girls and women and we all know corporate America have no faith in us spending money. Huge mistake! Huge!
Yeah, we know what happened to the song–It got subjectively blown out of symbolic proportion BY the “souls of girls and women”, and eclipsed what Disney thought would be the family-film story center of the movie, since they only had Tangled (and the good word-of-mouth for Wreck-It Ralph) to go by.
As we saw from the trailer, they thought Olaf was going to carry the humor of the story…How did THEY know the audience was going to turn their little fairytale musical into the free and liberating Oprah Network? 😉
I work for build a bear, and I just wanted to let you know that Build A Bear has developed concept art, and their ideas for frozen merchandise. Mainly an Anna and Elsa dress for the bears, and an Olaf to stuff. We are just waiting for approval from Disney. It would be incredibly mean if they say no due to the fact that literally everyday we have people asking where are Anna and Elsa’s dress or if we have a Olaf to stuff. I mean Olaf would be perfect, do you wanna build a snowman at build a bear? I can’t think of plush more perfect for build a bear!
Hey there, that’s awesome that build a bear might be adding Frozen characters to the line! Do you know if they have any plans for Maleficent, what with it being the number 1 movie worldwide right now?
“I wish someone would call them out on this one because all signs indicate that Disney had absolutely zero faith in Frozen.”
Actually, they didn’t–The Snow Queen had been tossed around a dozen different failed storylines since the Eisner era, the studio thought this was their last-ditch cleanup, and even the “Evil Hans” plot was thrown in at the very last stage, when they originally thought Elsa was going to be the villain.
The boardroom basically saw the main story of the movie as a “troubled” ex-storyboard project patched together with duct tape, like they had with Emperor’s New Groove and Meet the Robinsons, and that probably explains why they didn’t SHOW us the main characters in that “Funny Olaf and Sven” teaser. They thought the kids’ humor would sell the movie, more than the Broadway-fangirl aspect, but when they did try to sell us the musical, all of a sudden it was “The GREATEST MOVIE since Lion King and Tangled!…You liked those, didn’t you??”
I agree with you as well. They had little faith in the movie; never thought it would take off the way it has. My local Disney store never even had any Ana or Elsa costumes before the movie, just a few nightgowns. Now they are scrambling to catch up with demand for product. Having worked for a company that developed product for Disney, I can tell you their processes for licensing approval, art approval, sample approval, etc. take longer than anyone can imagine, even longer than the average product development would take. Their licensing fees are HUGE, so if they had no faith in the film before it came out, I’m sure that came through and companies were not lining up to produce Frozen anything. I imagine it’s going to take a while before we see goods in the stores, not just Disney but any place that would sell their licensed goods, but the pent-up demand will probably lead to immediate sell-outs wherever they are sold.
Actually there was a great variety of Frozen merchandise in November before the movie became a huge success. There were plush dolls of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven. There was a singing olaf, and Anna and Elsa dolls, along with kristoff and Hans. There was warm wear, including a nice jacket gloves and a scarf and boots. There were very well done costumes, better than any others I’ve seen. There were tee shirts, night gowns, pjs, outfits, shoes, even a boys line of these items. There was the dinner wear abd a jewelry box. Even a very nice snow globe. But when that movie came out and Christmas was coming, all those wonderful products sold out! After Christmas anything that the stores wound get sold faster than they could out it out. Now it’s just crazy how badly people want this stuff!!
I got frozen fruit snacks today at walmart.
I bought a box at heb, but it only had 2 little pkgs with the frozen pic and the rest were of other Disney princesses. Disappointed because I have 3 little girls and only 2 frozen pkg of gummies.
That is nice that they are selling adult stuff online but what about their fans accross the border? for 1 little shirt its over double the price to ship its really sad-that we can’t join in as well- you have a huge! fan base in canada and would be bigger if it didnt cost one child worth to have it shipped here
Agreed! Once I tried to order a $10 pin that had $20 shipping charges on it. A friend of mine in the US offered to receive it for me for the more manageable sum of free. He said that it arrived in a nice big box, which probably explains some of the shipping costs (he in turn mailed it to me in a padded envelope for about $3).
What’s really weird is that Disney Movie Club is able to offer reasonable shipping (sometimes even free shipping), but not Disney Store. Even if they offered free or modest delivery to a Disney Store location, that would be fine. But nope. As it stands, it’s just to exorbitant to pay anywhere from 50% to 200% in shipping fees.
This is one adult Disney fan who refuses to buy online. I’d rather do without than pay tax AND shipping then hope the fulfillment house doesn’t screw up my order – again.
I’ll wait until I visit the park and purchase there, if there is anything worthwhile.
The good thing is I’ve noticed a lot more free shipping promotions recently at the Disney Store online. I’m hoping they will eventually go to an Amazon model, shipping for free when you spend over a modest amount (I think they do currently ship for free if you spend over $100, but that’s too much for me)
We were just at WDW last week and were at Epcot’s Norway Pavilion first thing in the morning last Wed where the Norway gift shop adjacent to the Anna & Elsa meet & greet had just received a new shipment of Elsa costume dresses. People were buying them like crazy, two at a time. Total madness!!
I was at Disneyland earlier this month, and at every store I was in at least two or three people asked cast members where could they buy Frozen merchandise/costumes? And the reply was always that only one store in the two parks had any Frozen items, and the costumes were always sold out. And everyone always looked very disappointed.
I’ve had the impression over the past year or so that the Disney Store has become so hyper-focused on kids’ movie related merchandise that they are missing out on some key markets, particularly adults. Disney Store used to have some great home product lines, but it has all but disappeared and what is left has grown stale. From what you posted it sounds like their VP is completely disconnected from the outside Disney world.
I agree. I miss the days when they had the nice housewares and collectibles in the stores.
I Can’t agree w/ you MORE Rich!!! What happend to the Disney store we all loved??? This guys REALY seams like a BOZO!!! Can’t wait till he’s out and some one that Realy cares and RESECTS Disney comes in!!
I miss the collectible large snow globes, that you could afford! And items for our home!
The impression I got was that they simply don’t see adults as a key market.
I understand the logic behind it: in a retail store you theoretically want every square foot to be moving merchandise, so you focus on the stuff that sells in high volume… plushes, toys, and costumes for kids. Sure you might sell a couple $50 snowglobes a week, but you sell a couple $10 Olaf plushes an hour, and that decides what you’re going to stock.
The problem with that logic is that it creates an exhausting atmosphere of sameness… An attitude that the Disney Store is just all kids stuff, all the same plushes and packs of character PVCs and things. Spatula City. You don’t necessarily have snowglobes and housewares because you expect to move a lot of them. You have them because you need variety to create an inviting atmosphere for shoppers (that’s especially important in the current version of Disney Stores, which are very slick and have some nice tile, but just straightforward retail shops… I preferred the original style with simple animatronics and video walls and things that made it feel almost like an extension of the theme parks).
My Husband and I have been waiting for the longest time to get our hands on an Olaf plush for our son. We keep going back to the Disney store at our local mall in Columbia MD,just for them to feed us the same words each week.Every time we go “we just ran out, it’s no telling when and what we will receive but we are getting more frozen soon” the first time I heard them say that was in February. Just to be disappointed each week, until there was literally nothing left at the store. The only place I have been able to find an Olaf plush is online. This website is selling a 9 inch Olaf plush for just over 60 dollars, but there’s no telling where it will be coming from, or if I will just be sending my money away to never receive the stuffed toy. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA19C1CZ6288&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-_-pla-_-Plushed+%26+Stuffed-_-9SIA19C1CZ6288&ef_id=U1a-ewAABFUod3pI:20140422191842:s
Thank goodness we happened to end up with Sven, but that’s all the frozen merchandise we own. Hoping to see a steady flow of merchandise soon. Im not one to spend an outrageous amount of money we could just be saving for our next Disney trip on something as small as a 9 inch plush.
There are some Olaf plushes on eBay that are more reasonable than that. I would try there first. Some of the sellers do have very good ratings so you’re much more likely to know you are getting the Olaf you ordered.
I got a 9″ plush Olaf on Amazon today for $8.xx. Follow “couponingtodisney” blog. She posted the sale and I was able to order 2 of them for my kiddos.
If adults are looking for disney themed shirts they have to look no further while walking around the mall than the nearest hot topic. Every week they have an entire new line of disney products. Since Christmas I have bought about 10 shirts all of which are characters we never see…Gizmoduck, Scar, Jafar, Talespin just to name a few. They currently have Elsa, Anna and Olaf shirts.
I think Storey is naive to think that these little girls are going to turn their focus to Ariel because it’s summer and Maleficent because of the new movie. The Frozen phenomenon is still going strong, and I think not having product just increases it. I am one of those mom’s trying to get my hands on the dresses. Was VERY disappointed to go to the NYC store and all they had were the DVD’s and CAn. Heck, I got a beach towel at Wal -Mart. Really?
@Tracy, I think Frozen could work well more in winter time than in summer time.
I read that now it’s “The Little Mermaid” as summer approaches and soon it will be “Maleficent”. Ariel is one of the most popular princesses and obviously Disney Store will be filled with more Ariel’s merchandise: the last year Ariel sell very well, she is the top-seller of the Disney Princess, she sell more than Merida and also in dolls she sell more than Rapunzel.
The Frozen phenomenon is still going strong, but I dont’ know if in the future this phenomenon will be strong enought, also Rapunzel is not as strong like in 2010-2011.
“Storey wasn’t even familiar with the terms “Disneybounding” and “Disney Side,” so don’t expect a line of apparel inspired by Disney character looks any time soon.”
Really? As a simple Disney fan I know about these, and one of them is even an official Disney Resort marketing initiative. Sorry, but as a VP of merch, if you don’t have a clue as to what your fans are doing then its time to move on.
Disneybounding is not hugely popular yet, but there are whole message board forums and Pintrest boards for them. While I am not interested in it personally, it is an opportunity to sell clothing to adults that is Disney in design but without hitting you over the head with MIckey and other character artwork plastered all over it. I know that why some adults not buy their clothing, and this why i find it mind boggling that the DS would not be interested something like this.
I agree and was quite surprised when he gave me a puzzled look after I asked about it.
If Disneystore would give adults more princess costumes we would buy them. Snow White’s limited dress sold out pretty quickly. Oz did not sell out well because the movie is not as big as Disney princesses are. Plus if you want to dress up like a witch you can pull together a black dress and hat really easy. If you want to be Glinda you find a more iconic looking pink dress. Oz was an okay movie, but the costumes were not as desirable as authentic and beautiful Disney princess costumes for adults would be.
Disney is driving me crazy. I just happened to check today and there was new merchandise displayed but it already sold out. I have had better luck at places like Oriental Trading, Kohls, and Amazon for Frozen items at the same or lower prices than the Disney Store and still good quality.
When will the disney infinity frozen toy box pack go on stock again?
I was at a disney store this morning on a hunch, and sure enough there was a crowd of people in line to buy all the frozen stuff. They even had a lottery to sell the elsa dresses! All the elsa dolls were gone in a couple of hours! I was lucky enough to snag a classic elsa doll for my 4 year old!
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What about the frozen merchandise that they don’t sell in stores anymore? I have been looking for the purple frozen stationery kit and frozen tri-fold journal for months now and i have not seen in stores or online since february. would love to see the limited edition dolls make a comeback or at least have disney make the coronation dresses for the classic dolls. it’s not fair to see the coronation dresses on the limited edition dolls and not be able to afford them.
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Rather than adults, children are more fascinated by visiting the Disney store. Over the years, the brand has limited adults merchandise. Of the ones which are listed on its online store don’t look appealing. Since to release of Frozen movie, the fan base has grown but I guess launch of the movie toys has worked in its favour.
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