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Disney Enlists Monster, Others In CE Co-Brand Effort

6/21/2010 07:03:00 PM Eastern

New York - A selection of
TRON-themed consumer electronics products and accessories that Disney Consumer
Products (DCP) will ship in October will be co-branded with the names of high-end
CE manufacturers Monster Cable, Razer and Performance Design Products (PDP).

 The Disney/Monster co-branded iPod/iPhone-docking speaker system features a shape inspired by a data disk prop in the new "TRON" movie.
 A pair of Disney/Monster over-ear gaming headphones will retail for a suggested $349.

The
co-branding effort is part of an effort by DCP to extend its CE product target
audience beyond kids and tweens to the teen and adult markets, using products
priced at around $100 and higher, said Chris Heatherly, DCP's toys and
electronics VP. All are custom-designed and unique to DCP, and they leverage
the brands of "high-quality partners with credibility in the consumer
electronics industry," he said. At prices less than $100, he explained, people are
comfortable buying products that bear only the Disney brand for children.

The TRON-themed
products include two headphone pairs and an iPod-docking speaker system from
Monster, a gaming mouse and gaming keyboard from Razer, and game controllers
and iPod/iPad/iPhone cases from PDP. They will appear in stores in preparation
for the Dec. 17 theatrical release of Disney's "TRON: Legacy in 3D." The movie
is a sequel to 1982's "TRON," the first movie to use computer-generated
graphics. The sequel will appeal to children as well as adults who saw the
first movie, Heatherly said.

In 2009,
DCP launched its first co-branded electronics product, the Asus-made Netpal
netbook for 6- to 12-year-olds. In 2011, the company expects to extend its
co-brand strategy beyond the TRON franchise.

Most of the
TRON selection is targeted exclusively to CE specialty dealers, but PDP game
controllers and iPod cases will also be sold through mass merchants, Heatherly
said.

In the
future, DCP will use its co-branded CE strategy to expand its penetration of
kids' electronics in mass-market retailers, which in recent years scaled back
their selection to make room for such growth categories as GPS, MP3 players,
and iPod peripherals, Heatherly said. Now that sales of portable navigation
devices (PNDs) are down, growth rates in iPod-docking speaker systems have
fallen from their peak, and retailers' have scaled back their selection of MP3 brands
to focus on the iPod, DCP believes it's time for mass retailers to "to refocus
on kid's electronics," Heatherly contended. "Kids will always need electronics
designed especially for them" to be durable and to meet their ergonomic needs,
he explained.

DCP's kids'
electronics products are currently sold by Toys "R" Us and some mass-market
retailers.

For its
TRON-themed co-brand launch, DCP will offer three Monster Cable products. One
is a $349-suggested over-ear gaming headphone with noise-suppressing microphone
for hands-free calling. It's due at Best Buy, Amazon and Game Stop in October.
Those retailers will also offer a one-piece $249-suggested iPod/iPhone-docking
speaker system whose shape is inspired by a data disk prop in the new TRON
movie. It features lighting effects, and a free downloadable app for the iPhone
and iPod Touch will add clock functionality and a music virtualizer display. Monster's
third product is a $99.99-suggested in-ear headphone with microphone.

Razer's two
PC peripherals include a $139-suggested light-up gaming keyboard with
programmable macro keys and a detachable numeric keypad that can be connected
to either the left or right of the QWERTY keyboard. The other product is a $79-suggested
ergonomic gaming mouse with 5600 dpi 3.5g gaming-grade sensor.

From PDP,
Disney will offer wired PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 controllers and a wireless
Wii controller, all at a suggested $49.99. PDP will also offer TRON-inspired
cases for the iPod, iPhone and iPad for distribution through specialty CE and
mass-market stores, and on these, the PDP name will be less prominent,
Heatherly noted.

The TRON
electronics selection is part of TRON-themed product line that includes toys and
a TRON game for PlayStation3 in 3D, Xbox 360, Wii and the iPhone/Touch. The
toys include action figures, said to be the first with impulse projection
technology to project moving digitized faces onto their helmets. The figures
also speak. A Zero Gravity Light Cycle is a radio-controlled vehicle that can
be driven on a wall because it creates a vacuum.

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