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The Toy Shed Thread

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zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:13 am

Some pictures from the box the 12-inch Wonder Woman The New 52 figure comes in.

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sdsichero

2k11 Outhouse People's Champion

Postby sdsichero » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:38 am

Missed this news

The $500 Million Battle Over Disney’s Princesses

Since Walt Disney lumped Sleeping Beauty, Belle, and its other poofy-dressed ladies together under the brand Disney Princess in 2000, the market for all things pink and sparkly has skyrocketed. Princess merchandise—dolls, clothing, games, home décor, toys—is a $5.5 billion enterprise and Disney’s second-most-profitable franchise, after Mickey Mouse. (Disney’s new Star Wars movie might change that.) That doesn’t even include Frozen, which came out in 2013 and which Disney measures separately. The movie spawned the top toy brand in the U.S. last year, selling $531 million worth of dolls and dresses, according to NPD Group.


In toys, the most lucrative Disney Princess license is dolls. Specifically, 12-inch Barbie-esque figurines that girls can dress and undress until the dolls’ hairdos get tangled, they’ve lost their shoes, and it’s time to buy another.

Mattel has worked with Disney since 1955, when it became the first sponsor for the Mickey Mouse Club, and it’s been the company’s go-to dollmaker since 1996. Last year, Mattel put the size of its Disney Princess doll business at $300 million, though analysts at Needham say it’s closer to $500 million. With sales of Mattel’s most famous toy, 56-year-old Barbie, tumbling 20 percent from 2012 to 2014 and still falling, Princess dolls have been a much-needed revenue stream.

But not for long: The princess business disappears on Jan. 1, when Disney packs up its glass slippers and takes them to Mattel’s biggest rival, Hasbro. “Disney Princess was probably the greatest coup that Hasbro has had in the last three decades,” says Gene Del Vecchio, a former Ogilvy & Mather executive who has worked with Mattel and Disney in the past and helps Hollywood studios translate their movies into what he calls “merchandise opportunities.” Adweek likens Hasbro’s achievement to the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.

Disney is taking a risk turning to Hasbro. Mattel owns the doll market, and despite her recent stumble, Barbie is still the best-selling doll of all time. Hasbro, meanwhile, has traditionally kept to the boys’ side of the toy aisle, with brands such as Nerf and Transformers. But it has big plans for the princesses. Hasbro and Disney are redesigning and rereleasing every Princess doll, even Pocahontas, which few stores carry. Hasbro hired a few dozen people, mostly designers and developers, who work out of its newly expanded production studio in Burbank, just minutes from Disney. “We’re going to make the Princess brand far bigger and more ubiquitous than it has been in the past,” says Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chief executive officer.


Things got more complicated in the late 2000s, when Mattel released a line of princess-themed Barbie DVDs and dolls, essentially pitting them against Disney’s line. When Barbie’s sales started to fall in 2012, she became Mattel’s problem child. “Barbie is going to continue to be a brand that we spend a lot of time and attention on to make sure she [improves],” Mattel’s then-CEO, Bryan Stockton, told investors last year. Mattel’s focus on Disney’s Princesses waned. “Disney essentially said, ‘Yo, Mattel, you have a Barbie problem—in the process of fixing that problem, are you going to [still] pay attention to my brand?’ ” says Sean McGowan, toy analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.

In 2013, Disney set up a meeting with Hasbro, which already had Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel licenses, and its FunLab ran regular tests for the company. Before each Star Wars movie, for example, Hasbro tested kids’ familiarity with the franchise. They discovered that parents—“dads mostly,” says Frascotti—passed down their love of Star Wars to their kids in the same way that they taught them which sports teams to root for. “We have a fancy term for it that we made up,” says Frascotti. “We call it trans-generational emotional resonance.” Disney liked Hasbro’s FunLab reports. “They’d seen them work quite well for Star Wars and Marvel,” says Goldner. “Then they asked us what we knew about girls.”

Hasbro researchers found that girls—young girls, particularly—weren’t nearly as into clothes and boys and happily-ever-after as they thought. “What we found was that girls loved the idea of a brand that embraced friendship and kindness,” Goldner says. Impressed with Hasbro’s analysis, Disney gave it a small license for Descendants, a made-for-TV movie it was developing about the teenage kids of its princesses.

Meanwhile, Mattel made what, in hindsight, seems like a pretty dense move: In 2013 it released its own line of princess-themed dolls, Ever After High. Unless you’re a girl under 10—or the parent of one—you’ve probably never heard of them. Designed to be the teen children of Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and other characters, they wear platform shoes, bodices, and short, sometimes see-through skirts: tarted-up versions of Disney’s Princesses. Stephen Sumner, a former Barbie designer now at Hasbro, did early sketches of the line. He says Mattel envisioned a line of witch dolls, then realized another company already had one. “So they had to turn it into princesses, even though there was kind of an overlap,” he says. Because the dolls were based on traditional fairy tales, Mattel didn’t have to pay Disney licensing fees. Disney didn’t like the competition.


Hasbro was busy working on its Descendants line when Disney called in early 2014 with a new proposal. “They said,” Goldner recalls, “ ‘What would you do if we gave you the entire Disney Princess business?’ ”

Disney explained that it was reimagining its princesses. Its license agreement with Mattel was coming up for renewal, and it was shopping for a new dollmaker. The company was starting to hear you’re-sending-the-wrong-message-to-our-daughter complaints from parents. The most biting criticism came from New York Times Magazine writer Peggy Orenstein, author of the 2011 book Cinderella Ate My Daughter. She often opined about the time her daughter’s dentist asked her to sit in his “princess chair” so he could “sparkle” her teeth. “Parents were talking about the ‘princess phase’ as if it were an actual stage of development,” says Orenstein.

Disney decided to try to portray the princesses more as heroines than damsels. The company worked with Jess Weiner, a branding consultant who helps companies rethink the way they market to women. “Disney wanted to reach girls and women in more authentic ways,” says Weiner. “We looked at the Princess products. On backpacks and things, these princesses had always been fairly homogenous-looking and in passive poses. Anyone who’s spent time with a 5-year-old knows they’re not into passively posing.” In new movies, Disney was able to create courageous, independent women from scratch. In Frozen, the princess Elsa winds up without a prince. Star Wars: The Force Awakens focuses on a female warrior named Rey, who runs and fights and at no point becomes enslaved in a gold bikini. But the older princesses needed some work. “The Princess franchise has to evolve,” says Josh Silverman, executive vice president for global licensing at Disney Consumer Products, the division that handles all the brand licenses. “The focus will be on empowered heroines.”

To win Disney’s Princess license, Hasbro had to figure out how to translate this lofty vision of “empowerment” into a plastic doll. Hasbro’s researchers talked to thousands of girls at the company’s Pawtucket headquarters, as well as in Hong Kong, London, and Los Angeles, and found that girls thought about princesses in much the same way that boys viewed superheroes. Sometimes they liked a character because of her dress; other times they focused on her abilities, such as archery and sword fighting (Merida, from Brave) or the ability to conjure ice and snow (Elsa). “Sometimes they want a prince, sometimes there is no need for a prince,” says Frascotti. Disney didn’t have to reimagine the princesses, it turned out. Girls had already done it themselves. The dolls had just never been marketed like that.

“Every girl knows Cinderella, but there are 11 princesses,” says Andrea Hopelain, a former Disney marketing director who’s vice president for global brand strategy at Hasbro. In toy stores today, at the end of Mattel’s reign, the available Disney Princess dolls almost always come from one of four movies: Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen. Toys “R” Us’s flagship store in Times Square is 110,000 square feet and sells toys to millions of children every year, but right before Christmas this year, it had only one Tiana toy (Disney’s only African American princess, from The Princess and the Frog). That will change with Hasbro. “We can reintroduce Mulan,” says Hopelain. “We can play up that Tiana is a great cook.”

Hasbro’s ideas impressed Disney. “It was pretty late in the game last year when we became aware the loss was a potential,” Sinclair says. “It deteriorated in about three or four weeks.” Disney officially gave the Princess license to Hasbro in September 2014. Mattel is tight-lipped about how and when it found out, but Sinclair was surprised when Stockton, still CEO, called him to say they’d lost the business. “We took Disney for granted. We weren’t focusing on them,” Sinclair says. “Shame on us.”


When Hasbro’s Disney Princess dolls go on sale on Jan. 1, all 11 will be available in toy stores for the first time. The dolls will have different heights and waist sizes (though not by much). Their flawless skin will come in various shades of—well, mostly white—and their facial features have been directly modeled after the characters in the films, not painted on a preexisting mold. Their arms are stiff, and their hair isn’t as easily brushable as Barbie’s, but they’re simpler, cleaner, and easy to tell apart. They look like Disney’s animated characters come to life.

These distinctions are subtle, but, Hasbro and Disney hope, they’ll make each princess feel like a fully realized person, not just one of 11 lookalikes separated only by the color of her dress. Hasbro CEO Goldner admits that the first few months of sales will probably be slow as stores discount Mattel’s old dolls to get rid of inventory. “After that, it’s our brand to manage,” he says.

Both Hasbro and Disney say they plan to highlight the princesses’ bravery and skills in future advertising, and to give the nonwhite princesses more shelf space. “A 4-year-old girl doesn’t realize how the world she lives in is different from 10 or 15 years ago, but her parents do,” says Frascotti. And parents, he points out, are the ones who buy the toys.
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sdsichero

2k11 Outhouse People's Champion

Postby sdsichero » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:40 am

Hmn Bandai (Japan) will start showing figs (SH Figuarts line) from Civil War starting January 6.

http://tamashii.jp/marvel/20160101_shf_civil_war_special_website.php

zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:37 pm

At toy stores Batman v Superman merchandise has begun appearing on racks while assorted DC Comics Hot Wheels vehicles are also on the racks like this 1966 Classic Batmobile (below) which cost just a handful of dollars.

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sdsichero

2k11 Outhouse People's Champion

Postby sdsichero » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:42 pm


zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:15 am

There are a few Star Wars toys I hope to find in stores. Among them are a 12-inch Rey, Stormtrooper, Snowtrooper, Captain Phasma and Kanan Jarrus to join the 12-inch Ezra I already have.

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rustyrusty

Garbage Collector

Postby rustyrusty » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:58 am

I gave your mom a 12 inch Ezra.

zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:11 am

As Batman v Superman Dawn Of Justice edges closer, more merchandising has begun to appear

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zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:16 am

New Suicide Squad merchandise

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zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:20 pm

rustyrusty wrote:I gave your mom a 12 inch Ezra.


LOL And she really enjoyed it.

zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:34 pm

New Batman v Superman merchandise

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zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:20 am

Superman looks weird in this Batman v Superman 3-pack

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zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:43 am

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zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:39 pm

Well the good news is that Batman v Superman Dawn Of Justice merchandise is now in stores. The bad news is that there is a very limited range of figures available and even worse, the amount of space stores are devoting to the movie is minimal. At the TRU store I visited earlier there was one rack with three shelves. About two meters tall by a meter and a half wide. Top shelf had 6-inch action figures of Batman Armored, Batman (in disgusting yellow/golden outfit), Superman but no Wonder Woman. Why no WW? She is limited to one figure per box! Second shelf had a cool looking Batmobile and Batman mask. Third shelf was devoted to a 12inch Batman/Superman action figure pack. That's all.

zryson

YOU WILL NEED A NURSE

Postby zryson » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:51 pm

The best news about the 6-inch Batman v Superman action figures? The regular Batman, Superman and Batman Armored figures look incredible. Seriously, they are among some of the finest action figures a collector/fan can find in toy stores at the moment. The articulation is great but what sets them apart is the sculpt and paint work - its all done extremely well. Pictures soon.

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