Toy Fair: Disney Unveils Monsters U Plans

Disney unveiled product plans for its upcoming film Monsters University with fanfare Monday, kicking off the event with a marching band performance that was followed by appearances from voice actors Billy Crystal and John Goodman.

The Monsters University product line will feature more than 1,000 products from 125 licensees, led by toy companies Spin Master and Fisher-Price.

The continued success of 2001’s Monsters, Inc.–the franchise has raked in $1.5 billion in global merchandise sales to date and boasts 96 percent awareness among 13- to 54-year-olds–bodes well for the follow-up film, which will hit theatres June 21.

"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," says Josh Silverman, executive vice president of licensing, Disney Consumer Products, who was the key presenter at Monday’s Toy Fair event.

The planned line includes action figures, vehicles, play sets, plush, preschool toys and remote control items, as well product in categories beyond toys including stationery, apparel and accessories, home décor, publishing, food, and health and beauty, all of which will begin hitting shelves this spring. Disney Store will also feature a collection of exclusive merchandise.

Spin Master is planning a full toy range that will be highlighted by interactive toys such as the Scare-Off Sulley doll that automatically changes play modes to match its current surroundings and the Sulley Monster mask that allows kids to move Sulley's facial features while wearing the mask.

Fisher-Price is planning a full line of toys and play sets for preschoolers under its Imaginext line including the Monsters University Row play set by Imaginext.

The Disney Store will feature an exclusive collection of toys, action figures, luggage and apparel. One of the most unique items in the line will be the Monsters University Speak N Scare action figures, which work in tandem with a free digital app that lets kids rate and enhance their own monster roar and syncs with the action figures to control their actions.

The Monsters University publishing program will feature more than 30 new titles including novels/readers, illustrated storybooks, a full-color yearbook, a storybook collection with 17 tales and an oversized board book with. 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, available in June, will feature games, activities, comics and puzzles.

And Monsters University will be included in the new Disney Infinity system alongside characters from other top Disney franchises. The console game platform, which integrates collectible figures with video games, launches this June.

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