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Mouse Monthly Meets The D23 Expo

Mouse Monthly took part in the D23 Expo this past weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. At booth number 1217 in Hall B, we started showing the Disney community our original designs in collectible pins, tank tops and t-shirts, as well as our newest product, Head Holders (stands for displaying all your collectible antenna balls). What an incredible experience! Keep on reading!

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8 Things You Might Not Know About Canada And Disney

Happy Canada Day From Mouse Monthly

In America, we get pretty wrapped up in our own 4th of July celebration that we often don’t take time to notice similar events in other countries. Before I met my wife Jamie, a Canadian, I had no idea Canada Day even existed. So in the spirit of Disney, freedom, and greater understanding, I give you this list of 8 things you might not know about Disney and our Canadian friends to the North. Keep on reading!

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Is Disney Hedging Their Bet On Maleficent?

Maleficent Sneak Peek inside 'It's Tough to Be a Bug' at Disney California Adventure.
Maleficent Sneak Peek inside 'It's Tough to Be a Bug' at Disney California Adventure.
Maleficent Sneak Peek inside ‘It’s Tough to Be a Bug’ at Disney California Adventure.

Maleficent is cleaning up in theaters around the world, so why isn’t there more of a presence at Disney Resorts for this darkly misunderstood fairy queen? I think it has something to do with senior Disney management hedging on the success of the film before making a full marketing effort.

Lack of Maleficent Presence at Disney Theme Parks

Essentially all the Maleficent merchandise currently for sale. Taken at Disney California Adventure.
Essentially all the Maleficent merchandise currently for sale. Taken at Disney California Adventure.

On a recent trip to the Disneyland Resort, it didn’t take long to realize that there wasn’t much of a Maleficent presence in either theme park. The image above is essentially all the Maleficent merchandise for sale in the entire resort and it fits on one table.

Screen-printed Maleficent shirt, showing her large black wings from the movie.
Screen-printed Maleficent shirt, showing her large black wings from the movie.
Zoomed in look at the Maleficent shirt, with the iridescent black wings.
Zoomed in look at the Maleficent shirt, with the iridescent black wings.

It reminds me of the scene in Al’s Toy Barn in Toy Story 2, where Barbie drives down the Buzz Lightyear aisle and says, ‘Back in 1995, short-sighted retailers did not order enough dolls to meet demand.” Over in New Orleans Square, the Maleficent theme extends basically to a single statute for photo ops, which you can see in the image below.

Jamie and Jackie pose in front of a Maleficent statue in New Orleans Square, DL.
Jamie and Jackie pose in front of a Maleficent statue in New Orleans Square, DL.

If Maleficent is supposed to be Disney’s big tent-pole film, kicking off the summer movie season, where’s the merchandise? Where’s the plush? They’ve been planning this movie for years, so I don’t buy the explanation that they didn’t have time to design certain items or that we need to wait for a product roll-out. The dish towels certainly arrived on time.

Maleficent Dish Towel at the Disneyland Emporium.
Maleficent Dish Towel at the Disneyland Emporium.

Disney Management Playing It Safe?

I’m wondering if management, specifically those in Disney Consumer Products, is hedging their bet with this movie and potentially all big box office releases, which would seem to make pretty good financial sense. Test the water with audiences first, throw them a couple of shirts and a sneak peek and see if they bite before committing yourself to a full merchandising campaign. In other words, leave yourself an out.

Sign for the Maleficent sneak peak at DCA, with the Carthay Circle Restaurant in the background.
Sign for the Maleficent sneak peek at DCA, with the Carthay Circle Restaurant in the background.

For example, in the Magic Kingdom Disney’s commitment to Maleficent seems pretty blatant- a cutting-edge segment was created for their new parade, complete with fire-breathing dragon. However, this isn’t really as risky for Disney as it might seem.

According to Box Office Mojo, the movie is doing spectacularly in the box office, but if it didn’t the dragon float could always be brought back into synergy with the original Sleeping Beauty film. Disney could simply push the Princess Aurora angle of the classic film- distracting guests with a flammable, steam punk  lizard that walks and moves, while sweeping what could have been a very costly flop (Maleficent) under the rug.

Maleficent Dragon Parade Float at the Magic Kingdom
Maleficent dragon parade float at the Magic Kingdom.

I remember seeing a similar marketing strategy when Frozen was released. Though it has proven to be a wildly successful film in every regard, at first there was little to no available merchandise presence in Disney theme parks.

At Disneyland, they refurbished a simple meet-and-greet that was being underutilized for the Tangled characters, which didn’t cost the company very much because Rapunzel and Flynn could easily be moved to Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasy Faire.

Frozen Meet and Greet in Fantasyland, Disneyland, California.
Frozen Meet and Greet in Fantasyland, Disneyland, California.

However, as far a merchandising goes, there was barely anything available from Frozen at first. Now, the shelves overflow with Else and Anna books, dolls, shirts, cell phone paraphernalia, etc, not to mention a herds of adorable Sven dolls.

Another reason I can think of to wait to push merchandise is to rejuvenate the franchise in time for the DVD release. Picture this: you haven’t seen the movie for months and then you come to the park or visit a Disney Store and it hits you- “I really liked this move when I saw it back-in-the-day.” “Maybe I should buy the Blu-ray?” “Maybe I should buy my daughter this princess dress or my son this bow and arrow set?”

Maybe I’m slow on the uptake, and this has been movie studio dogma for decades. Does anyone know if this hedging is part of the official marketing strategy for the Walt Disney Company? If so, I think it’s a pretty savvy policy.

Let me know what you think in the comments below and make sure to sign up for our free weekly newsletter so you won’t miss any of our great content. Thanks for visiting and we’ll see ya’ real soon!

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Disney Baby Bump

Collage of each 'Baby Bump' picture from each of our visits to Disneyland.
Collage of each 'Baby Bump' picture from each of our visits to Disneyland.
Collage of each ‘Baby Bump’ picture from each of our visits to Disneyland.

Now that our son Jack has arrived and life as we know it has changed, I thought it would be fitting to reflect for a moment on the past nine months. For the uninitiated, I have taken ‘Baby Bump’ shots of my wife on each of our visits to Disneyland. I took these pictures in the same spot each time so we could look back and watch her pregnant belly grow.

The site wasn’t picked randomly. We decided to have Jamie stand in front of a honey pot because the nursery was going to be decorated in a Winnie the Pooh theme. I put together a little video below, so watch that honey pot disappear!

 

See ya’ real soon!

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A New Mouseketeer Is Born

Jack the Mouseketeer

 

 

Jack the Mouseketeer
Our new son Jack, born April 11, 2013, with some makeshift mouse ears.

Our son, John “Jack” Alexander Spock Blasingame was born today, April 11th, 2013, at 7:59am. Jamie is recovering nicely and glowing in her new role as a mother. We can’t wait to take Jack on his first trip to Disneyland, which will probably happen around the middle of May. See ya’ real soon!

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Magical Trash CanFans

Magical Trash Logo

One of the great, albeit unorthodox blogs we follow is Magical Trash, run by a great Disney fan named Steve Tanner. We submitted a photo near the Enchanted Tiki Room from a recent visit and he posted it on his site! We are now official CanFans- thanks Steve!

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Coffee Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day from Mouse Monthly! I’m out of town, so Jamie and I can’t spend it together, but I’ll make it up to her in a couple of weeks with another visit to Disneyland, which will probably be our last before the baby is born. Look out for the last Baby Bump picture. See ya’ real soon!

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Merry Christmas from Mouse Monthly!

Jamie and Alex Blasingame on Dumbo

Merry Christmas from Mouse Monthly! We’ll be hosting my parents at our place this year. We’re looking forward to all the new surprises Disney has in store for us next year and showing the all to our new son when he shows up. See ya’ real soon!

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Happy Thanksgiving from Mouse Monthly!

Thanksgiving Turkey Graphic

Happy Thanksgiving from Mouse Monthly! Jamie and I are heading up to my folks place in NorCal for some turkey and football. See ya’ real soon!

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