When an “Ant-Man” branded caulking gun entered retail spaces such as Home Depot and Lowe’s last week, Disney themed merchandise officially crossed the 75 percent mark of all commercial products being sold and highlighted the firm’s advancements in meeting its goals of pervasiveness.
“It’s an exciting time for us,” said Disney Vice President of Merchandising, Ed Pleffer. “We have a vision of homes with ‘Disney’s Frozen’ themed bedrooms, ‘Thor’ themed kitchens, BB-8 themed office spaces at work, and Bart Simpson payday loan partnerships, until hardly a human moment is experienced without Disney pervading one sense or another. Everyday we move closer to that.”
Indeed, Disney is aligning their characters and properties with new products all the time. With Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, The Simpsons and their own in-house properties, there is no shortage of applicable content.
Partnering with Fram, Disney has launched a new automotive oil filter line featuring the characters Aladdin, the Incredible Hulk, Sideshow Mel, Count Dooku and Mary Poppins among others. Additionally, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’-themed septic tank risers and seals are positioning Disney merchandise in the commercial plumbing and pipe-fitting industry.
Here in Portland, at least a few of Disney’s product movements have some residents a little unsettled.
“I thought it was fun when the Timbers wore Deadpool masks against San Jose,” said Northeast resident Roger McGlow. “But those crosswalk signals just barely look like Captain America. They need to work a bit on the animation–make it clearer for real fans like myself.”
With recent releases of “Song of the South” blood glucose meters and corresponding “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” test strips to appeal to older generations, and smoke detectors that sing the Ewok song, “Yub Nub,” some may wonder if Disney is running out of territory to license.
For his part, Pleffer isn’t worried.
“You can’t lose your vision in all of this,” Pleffer said. “We keep moving forward.”
Not everyone in Portland has fully embraced all of these endeavors.
“I have mixed feelings about the all ‘Monsters Inc.’ curriculum,” said the parent of an Arleta Elementary fourth grader in SE Portland. “I feel they are both bending the Pixar canon a bit, and I’d prefer they just call it ‘Science,’ not ‘Scare Floor Dynamics.’”