If there’s anyone, or in this case anything, to blame for the onslaught of alliterative merchandise lines that Disney has been pumping out for the last few years, it’s Instagram.
Now, I want to keep my Insta-game strong just like everyone else, but things are getting a little out of hand with Millennial Pink, Potion Purple, and, most recently, Arendelle Aqua.
I mean, really, what’s next? If you stick a color name and a property/concept into a random generator, I’m sure you could find out in no time.
The assumed “demand” for Instagrammable apparel has led Disney down the road of mass producing merchandise lines that are both visually cohesive and highly likely to go viral.
Though anyone can rock pieces from any of the aforementioned lines, and all of the other ones that I forgot because there are simply too many to remember (another piece of the problem puzzle), they are designed and marketed with female fans in mind.
With the newest addition to the bunch, Arendelle Aqua, I get that the timing is connected to the release of Frozen 2. And that makes sense.
But beyond that fact, and despite what I’m sure are impressive sales numbers, the real question that plagues me is: Is this what fans really want?
I’m all for the ‘to each their own’ mentality, but when you look at the merchandise that parks like Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are designing and selling, it’s difficult not to be a bit disappointed by what the domestic parks have to offer (Disneyland being the more unique and inventive of the domestic parks).
Parkgoers globally have differing tastes based on culture and preference, which explains the varying popularity and visibility of certain characters and properties, but I can’t help but think there are countless merchandise lines that domestic guests would rather see Disney develop than what is destined to be the next alliterative trend.
Here are a few ideas that I’d personally love to see come to fruition:
- A Frontierland-specific collection. While I might be biased, I think Frontierland is the best land in the Magic Kingdom, and there’s so much potential for unique items! I know that Frontierland merchandise pops up every now and again, but you’d think the land that houses two of the most iconic attractions in the park (Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad) would get a little bit more love. Also, just more Country Bear Jamboree merch, please and thank you.
- A desktop line for those that want to incorporate Disney into their office decor. As a Disnerd and someone who takes desk decorating very seriously (hey, if I have to spend 40 hours a week at work, I want my desk to look cute), I would kill for a line created with the office space in mind. Who doesn’t want a mini framed attraction poster hanging on their wall or a Powerline mouse pad?
- An expanded selection of wedding-related items for every phase of the planning process. I know the parks sell the typical bride and groom ears and themed gifts for the happy couple, but what about the engaged folks that want to add a bit more Disney magic to the experience? You’re already spending way too much money (usually) when you’re wedding planning – and I’m all too privy to this fact at the moment as I plan my own wedding – so why not drop even more on a snazzy binder or adorable thank you cards with your favorite character emblazoned on them? Team up with The Knot or any other wedding giant and boom, instant money maker!