Cars 2 introduced audiences to new characters such as Finn McMissile and Francesco Bernoulli, and offered licensees fresh, multi-cultural story lines to build into new product ranges.
Consumer products based on the new movie are finding their way to retailers’ and press top Christmas lists and the property claimed the toys’ top spot as property of the month in September (NPD).
In addition to die-cast cars, remote control vehicles and the full range of toys, the Cars franchise also offers a clothing range, a publishing programme and home décor line. The franchise also branches into the food and drink industry.
Disney will be supporting Cars further with new content and consumer products for 2012 and beyond, with a new portfolio of merchandise for children, adults and collectors. Content developments include new Cars Toons shorts, which will feature as a bonus on Disney DVDs, and offered in high rotation on Disney Channel and Disney XD, as well as through other digital platforms.
Marianthi O’Dwyer, vice president of merchandise licensing, The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland said: "Not only have we continued to benefit from the popularity of Disney’s core evergreen brands, but this year’s big entertainment property, Disney/Pixar Cars 2, has gone from strength to strength, becoming our largest toy line yet with over 300 new toys - offering something for everyone and a year-round opportunity for retail.
"Disney has focused on making sure the Cars property stays true to its core values of storytelling, diversity of lovable characters and the all-important themes of racing, humour and friendship. This property also follows a natural play pattern for boys, which makes it very relevant and popular with our key audiences."
Disney and Spin Master also recently launched the AppMATes Mobile Application Toy featuring characters from the Cars 2 movie.
The new DVD features a number of extras, including a new animated Cars Toon short Air Mater and the return of the Toy Story gang in the animated short that accompanied the film in cinemas; Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation.
Also, in summer 2012, Disney Parks & Resorts will open 12 acres of Cars Land, featuring three new attractions at Disney California Adventure.
O’Dwyer concluded: "Since the release of the first film, over 200 million die-cast vehicles have been sold – that’s enough to stretch from London to Tokyo – and with the launch of the Blu-Ray/DVD and a whole range of planned and potential new ranges on the cards, we are well on track to reaching the moon and back."