At this time of year, when people are rushing to get the best gift for the holidays, it’s great to know that Disney/Pixar’s toys are in good hands. I’m talking about John Lasseter and his involvement with Disney Consumer Products, of course.
The LA Times profiled the creative, corporate toy enthusiast to get some insight on his strategy for producing best selling toys such as the multi-billion dollar Cars franchise. The article mainly focuses on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog (an excellent movie, check it out ASAP if you haven’t) and its tie-in products but also features quite a few Pixar tidbits.
As with everything that Lasseter is involved with, attention to detail is key. Although he is budget conscious, he doesn’t spare crucial elements that make the character, simply because that would be selling out. For example, when the Ultimate WALL•E toys were in development, Thinkway suggested to add wheels under the toy, Lasseter insisted on treads just like in the film for integrity’s sake. And treads it is!! But it doesn’t end there, Lasseter also asked Mattel to make the Cars die-cast toys at a 1/55 scale (as opposed to Hot Wheel’s 1/64) so that no detail would need to be spared. That’s dedication to the characters!
It’s really no wonder that Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer pushes for such quality, after all, he is the major driving force behind the studio. With the movie-accurate Toy Story Collection out now and tons more toys in development, it’s going to be a very merry Christmas for the folks at Disney Consumer Products and their customers. I just wish there was more enthusiasm for Up toys in this division of the Mouse… There’s more interesting stories over at the LA Times article, it’s definitely worth a thorough read.
Update: An interview with Thinkway Toys’ CEO is now on LA Times’ website giving you a first-hand account of some of the stories above.
Think about all this when you’re last minute shopping. Disney Store anyone? What Disney/Pixar products are on your Christmas list or on a significant other’s list? Let us know in the comments.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
"Quality is the best business plan."