Television

Disney in merchandising overdrive for new preschooler shows

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MUMBAI: With the trend in licensing moving toward younger ages, The little big Mouse is not one to be left behind. The Walt Disney Company through its merchandise division Disney Consumer Products is gearing up for a marketing blitz to strengthen its preschool portfolio.

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) merchandise will feature elements of the interactive learning specific to the shows. Little Einsteins and My Friends Tigger and Pooh will kick off in spring 2007, focusing on different aspects of early child development and combine to address the needs of the "whole" child. Disney Consumer Products (DCP) merchandise will feature elements of the interactive learning specific to each show.

"Parents have enjoyed Mickey and Pooh for years, and now a new generation of preschoolers are being introduced to these characters with a fresh CG-animated look. Little Einsteins rounds out a very strong preschool block that blends entertainment with education," said DCP chairman Andy Mooney. "Retailers are also seeing potential in these shows and clearing shelf space based on the strength of Playhouse Disney as a preschool platform."

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (MMCH), which premiered in May on Playhouse Disney channels and Disney Channels around the world -- the first-ever same-day global launch of Disney Channel programming. The show focuses on problem solving and early math curriculum. 

MMCH toys will launch this Fall with all other product categories launching in spring 2007. The toy line from licensee, Character Direct, will feature interactivity and gadgets direct from the television series, as well as new technology and innovation. Name That Song Mickey is a key item in the line - the product features a wireless piano combined with a soft Mickey plush that interactively teaches kids music through numbers.

Little Einsteins which premiered in October 2005. The show, which fosters creativity through music and art, began debuting around the world, most recently in Australia and New Zealand and will next launch in France, India and Taiwan. DCP will launch a broad cross-category assortment of product in spring 2007.

My Friends Tigger and Pooh will premiere in spring 2007, wherein the show teaches life lessons, such as friendship, as well as early earth science. Tigger and Pooh are "Super Sleuths" and the audience helps them solve mysteries in the Hundred Acre Wood. A licensing program is currently in development for mass and mid-tier retail distribution for spring 2008.

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