Disney Marches Into 2013 American International Toy Fair

i-tpDG26q-LDisney established its university spirit at the 2013 American International Toy Fair on Monday February 11, 2013, kicking-off with a marching band to reveal the hottest new toys from the Monsters University product collection, which consists of more than 1,000 products from 125 licensees. The audience of toy-industry insiders was treated to an appearance by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor John Goodman, voice of James P. Sullivan, who was presented with a custom-built toy celebrating his beloved character from the film. Pixar veterans, director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae, were also on hand to offer an inside look and screen a never-before-seen trailer. Inspired by Disney·Pixar’s Monsters University, releasing in theaters June 21, 2013, the new toy line delivers hours of imaginative play filled with innovative and interactive features from leading toy companies Spin Master and Fisher-Price. John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, joined the event via video to reveal some of the most innovative toys to the audience. (see video above)

Since its release in 2001, Monsters, Inc. continues to thrive, generating $525 million in global box office and $1.5 billion in global merchandise retail sales to date. The film also boasts 96 percent awareness among 13-54-year-olds, with 60 percent of parents owning Monsters, Inc. on DVD.

“Given the trajectory of Monsters, Inc. and the overall track record of Disney·Pixar films, we set out to develop a robust Monsters University product collection that takes play to a whole new level and leverages technology and creativity,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president of Licensing for Disney Consumer Products, who was also a key presenter at the event.

The new toy line includes action figures, vehicles, playsets, plush figures, preschool and remote control items to help kids recreate key moments from the film. Monsters University will also be supported with product lines from stationery, apparel and accessories, home décor, books and a magazine, and food, health and beauty items, along with an exclusive collection from Disney Store and DisneyStore.com. The new products will be available at retail starting this spring.

Monsters University Product Line Highlights:

Technology & Innovation

Technology is a key feature in the new Monsters University line, with toys featuring sound and light detection, digital apps and facial sync technology to allow for more interactive play than ever before. The resulting line includes new innovations such as:

From Spin Master:

  • Scare-Off Sulley (SRP $79.99, available fall 2013) is the most interactive toy in the Monsters University collection with five different modes of play and the ability to sense its environment, changing play modes automatically to match its current surroundings. Kids can interact directly with Scare Off Sulley by challenging him to a “scare off” – if they scream loud enough, he will fall backwards in fear.
  • 100 percent kid powered, the Sulley Monster Mask (SRP $24.99, available spring 2013) allows kids to move Sulley’s eyebrows and lips as they put on the mask and open, close or move their jaws up and down.
  • The Roll-A-Scare Race Playset (SRP $19.99, available spring 2013) allows kids to utilize the Roll-A-Scare™ Monsters Assortment (SRP $6.99 each, available spring 2013) to roll, pop and scare with favorite characters from the movie. The monsters slide down the playset and as they reach the bottom they pop-up for scaring fun. Each figure is uniquely stylized and has a surprise pop-up activation that can also be activated with a Student ID card that springs the monsters open. There are 12 characters to collect in total to recreate favorite scenes from the movie.

From Disney Store:

  • The exclusive Monsters University collection from Disney Store will include toys, action figures, luggage, apparel and more. One of the most unique items is the Monsters University Speak N Scare Action Figures line (SRP $34.95, available June 2013) featuring favorite characters from the film. In tandem with a free digital app, kids can rate their own “roar” or enhance it using different tools. The app can also sync with the action figures to control their scaring actions. Other modes of play include play mode with more than 40 phrases, scare mode with five different sound-activated roars and interactive mode that allows the action figures to converse with one another.

From Disney Interactive:

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  • Disney Infinity is a bold new gaming initiative from Disney Interactive that features a new line of collectible figures based on Disney and Pixar’s biggest franchises. The characters come to life in a new video game featuring true-to-property Disney adventures in the game worlds of Monsters University, The Incredibles, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more, as well as in a giant virtual “Toy Box” where players can create their own Disney experiences. At this year’s American International Toy Fair, attendees were given an opportunity to preview the game and play to solve challenging puzzles, battle enemies and explore iconic locations from Monsters University, while collecting unique characters, vehicles, and gadgets and saving them to a “Toy Box.” Disney Infinity will launch in June across all consoles and will have a phased roll out across mobile and online devices throughout 2013 (SRP $4.99 – $74.99).

From Disney Publishing:

  • The Monsters University publishing program includes over 30 new Monsters University books debuting in the U.S. this spring including novels/readers, illustrated storybooks, a full-color yearbook, a storybook collection with 17 tales, and an oversized board book with flaps featuring illustrations by Pixar talent Harley Jessup. Additionally, Disney Magazines will release a Monsters University special movie magazine featuring Mike and Sulley’s college adventures and all-new characters from the film. The 96-page magazine includes exclusive content such as games, activities, comics, puzzles and more, available in June.

Preschool

From Fisher-Price:

  • Fisher Price will introduce a variety of toys and playsets from the Fisher-Price by Imaginext® line including the Monsters University Row Playset by Imaginext® (SRP $29.99, available spring 2013), which comes with electronics featuring character voices to relive the fun of chasing Archie the scare pig through the quad. The set comes with two figure disks that either spin the bottom floor so you can have the monsters chase Archie in circles or catapult Archie across the set, through a trap door and into his cage.
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Robbie Bulus

Robbie is the Owner and Editor-in-Chief at Socalthrills.com, Entertainment Website. He’s been involved with Journalism and Blogging for the past 10 years. Robbie is also an Independent Travel Agent at World of Magic Travel. If you’re looking to book your next Disney Adventure or a fun family vacation, send an e-mail to: robbie@worldofmagictravel.com