As Friday's release of High School Musical 2 looms--to the dread of hapless parents already forced to endure daily doses of Radio Disney--the requisite product merchandizing has been wholly expected. But we didn't know that the locker-themed TV and clock radio we cited earlier were just the beginning of an entire fall line of gadgets aimed at kids and tweens, including cameras, camcorders, MP3 players, HDTVs and enough accessories to choke an elf. (The "Disney Flix Video Camera" pictured here goes for about $100.) Gizmodiva recommends the Hannah Montana-themed line. And we already know, of course, … Read more
MVNO Disney Mobile added two new cell phones today with the Samsung DM-S105 and DM-S110. These are the first Samsung phones for the family-focused carrier and they bear the common marks of their maker. Like just about every Samsung handset these days, the DM-S105 and DM-S110 sport thin profiles (0.7 inches) and come in flashy colors. The feature set, which is identical on both phones, offers something that both adults and kids will appreciate. Inside you'll find Bluetooth, a VGA camera, text and multimedia messaging, voice dialing and a speakerphone. So what's the difference between the two … Read more
As many a deafened parent of pre-teen kids will tell you, Disney's High School Musical is a force to be reckoned with. It has gone well beyond its TV-movie origins to become an international phenemenon, with live shows, DVDs, CDs and maddeningly repetitive pop tunes that are driving innumerable moms and dads to the brink of insanity.
All of which makes it a perfect storm, of course, for a major merchandizing blitz. Never one to shy away from a marketing challenge, Amazon is offering a "High School Musical Wii Bundle With Microphone" next month. But Gizmodo notes … Read more
CD sales are falling fast, but CDs are still the way most people listen to music. Digital downloads are supposed to be the future.
The music industry is stuck somewhere in the middle. Amid all the uncertainty, Disney is due to announce a hybrid approach on Wednesday, one that weds the old with the new.
A spokeswoman for Disney's Hollywood Records was tight-lipped, but did say the new offering will combine a physical disc with a downloadable element.
Why not? At this point, nothing seems to work for the record labels, although the idea of packaging discs and downloads … Read more
The whole world is watching as Steve Jobs' Apple launches perhaps its most-anticipated product ever, the iPhone, Friday.
But in technology circles at least, I've heard few, if any, references to the fact that Jobs' other company, Pixar--OK, Disney-Pixar--also has a major launch Friday.
And that, if you haven't been paying attention through the iPhone haze, is Ratatouille, Pixar's latest film and, if the early reviews are indicative, its latest hit.
Jobs is already noteworthy among tech titans for running two vital companies at the same time (at least when Pixar was independent), but I'm having … Read more
Expensive sports rights are a major cost for the United States television industry. Sports also brings huge ad revenue and a male audience that is much prized by advertisers because it's so elusive.
Now the NBA has signed new TV deals that run nearly a decade. This time the buyers get significant rights to Internet distribution of games, highlights and related content. Clearly, this is just another step toward the Internet becoming a full-fledged alternative to typical TV distribution. An ESPN executive said its Web site had a million unique visitors daily during the NBA playoffs earlier this year.… Read more
Portable DVD players seem to come in all shapes and sizes these days--and sometimes in pairs. Yes, the Disney dual-screen Mobile DVD player has arrived at our New York offices, along with one of Disney's new Pix Max digital cameras, which sports a "Pirates of the Caribbean" theme.
The idea behind the dual-screen DVD player ($180) is that two backseat riders can watch the same movie at the same time, with neither person having to deal with the perils of off-axis viewing. Both screens feature a 7-inch LCD display that straps onto the back of a headrest; … Read more
We haven't heard from Disney Mobile since the MVNO put out its first two cell phones a year ago with the Pantech DM-P100 and the LG DM-L200. So now at long last, we got our hands on a new handset, the Pantech DM-P205. Sporting a thin but relatively bland design, the DM-P205 offers a VGA camera, Bluetooth, a speakerphone, and voice dialing. See it from all angles in our slide show.
To ensure that the kids don't miss too much screen time during this year's summer road-trip season, Disney is about to launch its dual-screen mobile DVD system. The system features two screens with a choice of Disney-inspired faceplate designs (including Pirates of the Caribbean and Tinker Bell) that strap onto the back of the front-seat headrests.
The screens come with built-in speakers and (mercifully) headphones, as well as a 12-volt power adapter for plugging into the car for powering. There's even a subscription-based option to filter out bad language from the programs that the kids are watching. … Read more
It's being reported that Disney Mobile, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that runs off Sprint's network, will be getting some new features. Starting later this summer, users will be able to upload photos from their camera phones to a Disney photo-sharing site. Each user will get his or her own page, and parents will be able to control the ability of the kids to share photos outside the family.
The Call Control feature will be accessible through a parent's handset in the summer as well. This feature, which lets the grown-ups dole out and restrict minutes … Read more