Disney's Frozen still heating up holiday toy lists

Updated: 2014-10-01 10:17

By Bloomberg(China Daily)

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Two toys based on Walt Disney Co's hit animated film made it onto Adventure Publishing Group's Toy Insider Hot 20 list released Tuesday, making Disney the only entertainment company with multiple items on the roster.

Disney and its licensees had seven items on the list, a selection of toys that Adventure's experts believe will top kids' wish lists during the holiday season.

Disney's movie about a princess with magical powers was released on Thanksgiving last year and racked up more than $1 billion in global ticket sales, making it the fifth-highest grossing film of all time.

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The success caught toymakers by surprise, resulting in a dearth of related merchandise and creating a secondary market that saw Frozen dresses selling for more than $1,000 online. This holiday season, Disney and its licensees are better prepared, with plenty of inventory and products to satisfy fans.

"It's going to be a frozen Christmas, ice-cold," said Laurie Schacht, president of Adventure Publishing, which produces toy-industry magazines. "The appeal is so broad, and it's such a wonderful story that parents are happy to put merchandise like this in their kids' hands."

The Frozen-themed items on this year's list are a singing, moving doll of the movie's protagonist, Elsa, as well as the Cool Tunes Sing-Along Boombox - a karaoke machine for the film's best-selling soundtrack. Both items retail for about $35.

Disney, the world's largest entertainment company, dominated the list with items from its in-house properties or from licensees. Among them were a Marvel character version of Disney Infinity, which combines action figures and video-game play, and a wheeled medical kit based on the Doc McStuffins cartoon.

Other top toy lists also are being released this time of year by retailers that include Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Toys R Us Inc, which said Tuesday it will add 45,000 seasonal employees, the same as last year. While their selections often overlap with independent lists like the Toy Insider's, the retailers tend to have more items from the industry's major manufacturers, such as Mattel Inc and Hasbro Inc.

Mattel, the world's largest toymaker, had two toys on the Toy Insider's list, and Hasbro had one. Lego A/S also had a lone item: a construction set based on Star Wars, another Disney property.

Because technology has become such a big part of the toy industry, Toy Insider created a separate list for gadgets, which includes smartwatches from VTech Holdings Ltd and LeapFrog Enterprises Inc aimed at kids 4 years and older.