Tuesday, December 13, 2011
When Walt Disney's Babes in Toyland was released in 1961, it was accompanied by what the Disney Character Merchandising Division described as "the best co-ordinated merchandising effort that we have ever staged at Christmas"—and no wonder, for Babes in Toyland is all about, well, toys. The promotional campaign for the musical fantasy started in September with $718,000 with of TV commercials publicizing the film, including those broadcast as part of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (then its first season on "the color network," NBC). There were 367 separate Babes in Toyland playthings and other merchandise manufactured by 45 companies in what Disney called "the giant Christmas promotion." These licensees included Dolly Toy Co., Parker Brothers, Louis Marx and Company, and Hassenfeld Brothers (now known as Hasbro). Colorforms was also in on the action, presenting an Annette Dress Designer Kit (available in two sizes, including the deluxe version seen here). The spread at top from the 1961 Sears "Wish Book" Christmas catalog also boasts some Toyland toys (naturally Sears was part of the big push), including the classic Gund hand puppets. To read more about Walt Disney's Babes in Toyland check out my article on the D23 website.