Japanese toymaker Tomy is journeying deep into the mind of a young girl from the American Midwest to find inspiration for its new toy line based on Disney-owned Pixar’s first movie release in two years, Inside Out. The newly announced master toy licensee plans to align the film’s cast of emotions—joy, fear, anger, disgust, sadness—with innovative toys (figures, plush, playsets) to bring the characters to life off screen.
Inside Out revolves around Riley, a young girl who is uprooted to San Francisco when her father gets a new job. Living inside an HQ in her mind are her emotions, which help her navigate her new life, while conflicting in ways that produce maximum laughs.
“Kids are going to want to come back and recreate those scenes from the movie, and we’ve given them everything they need to be able to do that,” says Willie Wilkov, CMO of Tomy. Targeting girls four to eight, poseable figures, which light up and project images onto a playset, lead the toy line that’s designed to express the strengths of the emotions and their disparate personalities.
Licensor Disney Consumer Products is also working on a larger program for Inside Out in which apparel and accessories—featuring bold and colorful designs inspired by the emotions—are also key categories. Books, housewares, and game and app content (including the InsideOut: Storybook Deluxe app) will round out the product offering.
With Inside Out premiering Stateside on June 19, the product line starts rolling out at mass, mid-tier and specialty retailers across the country on May 15. Globally, products will be made available at retail four to six weeks before the film’s debut in each region.
Tomy and DCP are also teaming up on the toy program for Pixar’s second release this year, The Good Dinosaur. Featuring the extraordinary adventure of a young boy and an Apatosaurus, the movie premiers on November 25, so scant details about the film or the consumer products program have been revealed. Tomy does confirm it’s prepping a line of action figures and RC walking-and-talking toys that employ RFID technology.
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2015 issue of Kidscreen