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Thursday, March 16, 2017

The confusing success of Zootopia - An editorial by Surrika Tunnah

Hello there mammals, great and small! Surrika Tunnah here with an article that is a bit different than usual.  Yes, I am going to talk about Zootopia, but more about how its success has baffled me to no end. 

Everyone on this site and those that follow this fandom closely will know that Zootopia was a gigantic success and beat many of the odds to just even see the light of release.  Zootopia went through literally production hell. Re-write after re-write, threatened to be cancelled out-right and even have several complete story overhauls that changed and even deleted a ton of characters! It went through so many changes that even the art-book shows us the movies it could of been.

It deserves every bit of praise we shovel onto it, from its 1 billion dollar worldwide box office gross, to it's 24 amazing awards.  Not only because it's a great movie ,with a very good lesson on underlying racism and prejudice, but because it is literally a underdog story when it comes to movie production.

But it still doesn't feel like a success.  At least not to me.

Let me explain, after the break.

Images from my local Disney Store
You guys know me as the Meerkat of Merch, Surrika Tunnah.  I am a huge fan of this movie just as you are.  However, there is this nagging feeling in the back of my little meerkat skull that Disney don't really share the sentiment that this movie should be a success.

The first warning signs were with the merchandise itself. A lot of movies make their money off merchandise sales and Disney in particular are notorious for this.  Just look at Frozen! They are still making merchandise for it to this day.

My goodness, just let it go...
I am going to put forward a photo of my Zootopia collection to demonstrate a point.

Literally all of the Official Merchandise I could find.
You're probably thinking, "Wow Surrika that is a lot of stuff!" when I am thinking, is this all there is? Let me explain.

All of this merch you see here was available at the movies release. Since the movies release there has been no new merchandise made for Zootopia. None at all.  And I find this really bizarre.

Just cause those were available at release doesn't mean I got them at release. Some were bought at my local Disney Store.  Others were bought at Toys'r'Us or other toy retailers.  I noticed something after a month though.  All the merchandise had been stripped from the stores. Even the official Disney store didn't have anything, so I thought "Huh, well it has been a success. maybe the merch is selling like hot cakes and I just have to wait for them to restock."

So much princess stuff.  But nothing from last year's biggest hit.
Then a concerning thing happened, after 2-3 months of no stores restocking Zootopia merchandise at all. I found some merch in a store called Home Bargains.  For those who are not aware, Home Bargains is a store chain in Britain that buys from over-stocked warehouses and then sells them on for cheap.  So this could have meant my original thought of them selling like hot-cakes was wrong.

Why though? This film was a huge success...wasn't it?  The question had been nagging my mind constantly.  Financially and critically the movie was a success, but through the eyes of the general populous it doesn't seem that way at all.  There is nothing in day to day life that even hints at how huge of a success it was.  I walk into the Disney store today and the only thing Zootopia related they have is a Mr.Big plushie that has been hanging on the hook for several months.
Just look at him.  So lonely...
I mean, not even birthdays cards! I have yet to see a Zootopia birthday card, even in dedicated local card shops.
Notice anything missing?
Some of that merchandise I have was even imported, because for some reason not all merchandise was available everywhere- especially not in Britain.  If it wasn't for the internet I would never have known there was a official Finnick van toy, or even a ZPD play-set.

So why isn't Disney milking this potential cash cow?  What happened during this film that makes them so reluctant to even reference it in their own store?

These are questions I don't have the answer too.  We as fans know it was a success, a huge one.  But if I didn't know any better, I would swear this movie had flopped.  It's no lie that Disney had very little faith in the film which is why it was so under-marketed.

I really do hope they release more merchandise for Zootopia so people can see how much of a success it is.  That and I want an official Gideon Grey plushie, both bully and reformed.  As it stands at the moment there is absolutely no Gideon Grey merch...NONE!  A character that although with little screen-time plays a major part in Judy's character development.  Heck, he has a more important role than Finnick does.

This has been Surrika, the baffled neighbourhood meerkat,  Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think about all of this in the comments!

62 comments:

  1. maybe it's the biggest success and they don't need merchandise to prove that :v

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    1. So why did Frozen get so much merch? By that logic it should be out-right dead by now. This is why it is so confusing.

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    2. I have a good portion of Zootopia merchandise. Target has a boat load as well as best buy.

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    3. Wait, Best Buy? THE Best Buy? The legendary creature of a store that seems to have vanished from around 95% of the world? You still have one in your area? Lucky... All in all though, I agree with the OP, the company seems to be underrating the movie merch possibilities.

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    4. I actually work at a Best Buy. Though the only Zootopia merch I've ever seen there was the blu-rays and DVDs.

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  2. Disney did the exact same thing with The Lion King IIRC. They expected a failure, and were surprised to find it succeed as well as it has. They clearly didn't expect it to occupy a top spot on the list of highest-grossing films of 2016, and they certainly, very clearly, expected Moana to get the Oscar, as it was a 'staple' film (being a musical film, and surprisingly it is NOT a Disney Princess film). Zootopia was clearly approved to fill a gap before Moana and somehow wound up the better and more popular film.

    Heck, we had a Compare The Market campaign over the winter... using Frozen! Hello! Talking anthropomorphic meerkats!

    I'm hoping all the successes of the film which caught them unawares will convince them that they should merchandise the film better in the future.

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  3. I have not been to a Disney store in a while, so I have a question. How much Moana merchandise is there? As I recall that movie was also a hit (though not as big as Zootopia admittedly), but from what I can make of the photos on this page there isn't any shown. Could it be possible Disney's merchandising machine has ground to a halt? Unlikely but you never know...

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    1. There is a ton still, they have dedicated 4 shelf's to it. When Zootopia came out it had 2 shelf's...I didn't take any Moana photo's because that wasn't the focus. The focus was lack of Zootopia ^.^

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    2. Ah well, I got nothing then. Thing is this editorial does remind me of this one encounter I had. Few months ago, I was frequenting a game store in my local city. And this little girl came in with whom I presume was her father and she had a Judy plushie under her arm. Not only that but she was talking to him about the film.

      "Judy is so awesome, isn't she?" she said. "She certainly is" her father replied. This wasn't even that long ago, the movie had been released for devices long before then. So I've been thinking, exactly how popular with kids is Zootopia? I mean they are the target demographic right? And as you said, it was a hit both critically and commercially.

      I'm rambling now aren't I? I'm afraid I have no idea what is going on. But if Gistech is correct then the same thing happened to the Lion King apparently. So maybe time will tell?

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    3. It was evidently popular enough to warrant didn't having Nick and Judy as a photo op in Disneyland. I super stoked for that when I went there last year for the first time and the line was huge! I really don't understand why Disney isn't merchandising it better, I'd love to have more stuff for it

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    4. Excuse my superfluous "didn't" in the first sentence there

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  4. I think a big part of it is, as you said, how poorly marketed the film was overall. The only official trailer I can recall seeing for it prior to its release was the one that was essentially just the DMV scene disguised as a trailer (with no inkling as to what the film itself was actually about). Since its release, I haven't seen any kids carrying around any Zootopia toys, nor wearing Zootopia t-shirts or hats, though I frequently see Batman, My Little Pony, Frozen, and so many others. I've not seen any Zootopia-themed holiday candy packaging, nor Valentine's cards, sugary breakfast cereal, backpacks, lunchboxes, kids' meal toys, or a wide variety of other things.

    I've also noticed that a lot of the merch that is available seems to be rather half-assed. There are plushies that only marginally resemble the characters they're meant to represent, there are lots of things with that strange, baby-ish, two-dimensional "chibi" artwork that I honestly just don't like, and there are kids' shirts and things that are inaccurate to the film and/or just plain random. For example, there are items with an image of Judy and the phrase "don't call me cuddly" (instead of "cute" - did they even watch the movie?), or an image of Nick and the words "the fox has arrived" (where did that even come from?), or possibly the worst, a picture of Flash with the phrase "chill, duuuude" (at odds with the character's actual personality and speech).

    Like you, I've had to scrounge around for things on eBay, and I've even encountered a few obvious knock-off items from China that have been of better quality than a lot of the official merchandise. I find it really odd that a Golden Globe and Oscar-winning film that grossed over $1 billion should see so little love overall from Disney. Adult fans of the movie can't even find any decent offerings for t-shirts outside of sites like Redbubble which primarily utilize fan-art. Even the slim pickings in terms of digital apps and video game tie-ins is pretty baffling. I sometimes wonder if it might have something to do with the fact that it's not a musical, but then I remember that "Wreck-It Ralph" wasn't either, and yet that was marketed and merchandised so much more prominently than "Zootopia."

    Given the financial and critical success, as well as the size of the movie's online fan-base (it's frequently at the top of Tumblr's "top fandom" lists), you'd think that they would pay its marketing and merchandising a little more attention. Alas, though, 'tis a mystery for the ages. I suppose that we can always hope for more and better merch if and when we ever get a sequel...

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    1. I also find Funko's figurines to be weird and creepy-looking, but that's just me. :P

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    2. A couple more people disturbed by the chubby chibi figures, yay!

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  5. I felt the same way, here in México Zootopia is not recogniced as a top hit movie, and in a lot of toys stores there are none Zootopia´s merchance, besides they dont want to restock it.

    I do the same thing, i had to imported some books and plushies that i cant buy here, it´s so sad

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  6. You aren't alone in wondering what is going on. At Disneyland, I found a grand total of 12 articles of Zootopia around the entire park. Now you might say that is quite a bit, however, eight of them were drawings you could have a Disney artist draw for you (so they didn't exist until you paid for them), one play set and three pins. That was it. What was even worse, is that merchandise for Song of the South, a movie that Disney had tried to hide, had just as much merchandise in and outside of the park as Zootopia did.

    Even cast members working in the park didn't know why there was a lack of Zootopia merchandise, as many people asked them each day where they could find it. Interview after interview I conducted showed the same thing; everybody wants Zootopia merchandise but can't find any.

    Regarding my own retail experience at Kohls, we had an entire section dedicated to Moana, as well as another whole section to Finding Dory. Both sections still exist...why?

    Because they aren't selling. Everyone came in asking for Zootopia merchandise, even asking if we carried the movie! Kohl's didn't even ask to host any Zootopia merchandise, as Target was the only one that bothered to carry anything, and even now, they don't have a single Zootopia item to the store's name last week when I went.

    So you are spot on in your article, though it continues to baffle me as to why Disney doesn't take advantage of the success of this amazing movie.

    Final detail...I've spoken with nearly 71 people while at work in the past year about Zootopia, customers with their kids and do you want to know what I found? Each person I asked the question of, "What do you like better, Frozen, or Zootopia?" only two said they liked Frozen better. 69 said Zootopia, including a little boy wearing an Olaf shirt who wouldn't even let me finish before he screamed "Zootopia!"

    Disney, if you even pay attention to this page, realize this. People are in love with this movie and want to celebrate it with buying products from it. I've met three kids who want to be police officers now because of it. Please start merchandising the movie...please.

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    1. I work for Target and I noted a severe lack of merch both at release and a lack of resupply in the months after. Both Finding Dory and Moana currently have full sections at my store (Moana also has an endcap), but Zootopia have a tiny sliver of shelf space that is thoroughly understocked at the best of times, and we have the best selection in the area. It's sad and frustrating.

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  7. Maybe it's a localization thing, here in America I have been able to find cards, (birthday, seasonal, and valentine) gummy snakes (but only gummy) and an array of books, plush, and figures all from local stores. But even with all the stuff I do have it's minuscule compared to the amount of Moana stuff available, my guess is as the show was a gamble from the get-go they didn't want to go to much in on it to begin with.

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    1. East coast America by any chance? Because they got some exclusive stuff too. (Which I had to import)

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    2. I live in Ohio, myself, but I've hardly seen anything at all outside of the Toys 'R' Us deluxe figures and a few books in my local grocery store. I've gotten almost all of the stuff I have via eBay or Amazon.

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    3. Here on the west coast I've seen several different cards, and a few things here and there. Books aren't too hard to find, but plush and figures do seem to just be the leftovers from the initial run.

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    4. Living in Ohio, I'm lucky if I find something Zootopia-related at Ollie's Discount Outlet, found a few activity/coloring books there a few weeks ago for instance!

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  8. At least you are able to buy merchandise. In my country, I haven't seen a thing related to Zootopia. Anything at all! 😭

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  9. It's exactly as Gistech had said: Disney planned for Zootopia to be a filler movie, and Moana to be the crown jewel.

    Licensing deals need to be hammered quite early before a movie's launch. Designs need to be submitted for approval.

    I bet someone at Disney licensing 'suggested' that licensees "should now start *focusing* on Moana because it will be the GREATEST movie ever" around May or June. So the licensees stop designing and producing Zootopia merch as they shifted production to Moana merch.

    Then Zootopia totally steamrolled Moana in ticket sales. And awards. And many accolades. And Disney is caught flat-footed with absence of merchandise.

    That is why it is *very* important for the fandom to keep Zootopia trending, here and there, to show Disney that, even after one year, the love for Zootopia -- and the demands for Zootopia merch -- has not sizzled. Despite the lack of merch and official canon material.

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    1. There's that. If it's possible to keep this train going.

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  10. It's exactly like Pocahontas and the Lion King, Pocahontas was slated to be the headliner​, and the Lion King was the B team.

    History repeats itself. The noble Savage title flops, and talking animals reign supreme

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  11. Wait...there's ACTUAL Zootopia merchandise?? I thought I was lucky that my son worked at a movie theater and I got one of the posters....

    Seriously, let's just be glad the movie was as much of a financial and critical success as it was. Would I like more stuff? Yes. Is it really necessary? No. Does the virtual lack of merchandising make the message of our favorite movie all the more profound and believable? ABSOLUTELY!


    --CS
    (rides off into the sunset)

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  12. When I asked a Disney store manager recently about the lack of Zootopia (they had 5 different plush in the store at the time, and figure sets), she said that they had a lot of merch when the movie came out and it was pretty standard how they were restocked. A different employee expressed his astonishment that the plush dolls were restocked and that Disney released the Junior Ranger Scout Nick plush suddenly.

    Disney Japan is still making Zootopia merch. They just had a March preorder for Easter (Looked like it was all Judy stuff). In the US Zootopia is not completely forgotten...yet. There were Zootopia Valentines at Target in February, which I was really surprised by. This month I bought some new Zootopia birthday cards I'd never seen before. While I was hoping for some Easter merch since, well, Judy is a bunny, I did find a Zootopia Easter card at Target.

    As to the lack of Gideon merch, I'm "pretty much sure" it's because he's a red fox and the series already has Nick and Finnick. I feel they wanted to show how diverse Zootopia is by showing a wide array of different animals.

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    1. There's that, I suppose the problem for Gideon is simply because he had rather as short part to play in this film, certainly not the exposure some of the others had.

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    2. However Gideon didn't have too much less screentime than Finnick did, and more impact than the Fennec; part of it is likely both the fact that he's another red fox as well as his lack of either sarcastic charm or adorability like Nick and Finnick respectively have.

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  13. In my quest for Zootopia merchandise, I’ve cataloged most of what I could find, see my catalog (Paquero's Zootopia Merchandise Guide.pdf) if you’re interested.

    There are several product lines for which Zootopia is conspicuously absent, such as Band-Aid, FatHead, Pez and Lego. These lines have practically every other license characters in existence, but not Zootopia. Easter seems like a prime opportunity for a resurgence of Zootopia merchandise, since Judy is a rabbit, but I haven’t even seen last year’s Zootopia easter egg kit in stores this year.

    I sense that Disney felt Zootopia was too much of a gamble, and didn’t want to risk unnecessary dollars marketing it. Elsewhere on the internet, someone mentioned that it may be a case of not knowing who to market to. Do you market to boys or girls? With a princess movie like Frozen, your target market is well defined. Not so easy to figure out with Zootopia.

    I know some of the lack of merchandise is due to licensing/marketing agreements. Target was probably lucky to have grabbed exclusive rights to some of the merchandise. I find it strange that Wal-Mart did not, and still does not sell any of the Tomy action figures or plush.

    There are some items in the US Disney stores still, including a couple of fairly new items, the “Baby Judy” and “Baby Nick” plush (Young Judy and Ranger Scout Nick – if you don’t already have ‘em, get ‘em, they’re cute!)

    When discussing this sort of topic, it is important to keep things in perspective. While the merchandise for Zootopia does appear extremely limited, it seems comparable to the variety of merchandise available for Secret Life of Pets. I don’t really know how the Zootopia merchandise compares to Frozen merchandise, as I wasn’t paying any attention to Frozen in the first year it came out. In my opinion, comparing Zootopia’s merchandise state to that of Frozen is not valid, as 3 years is a lot of time to establish product lines and licensing. Also, the princess market may have been underserved prior to Frozen entering the world. Similarly, sequels like Minions or Finding Dory are not great comparisons either, as the merchandise and licensing were established well before these entered the world. Comparing current Zootopia to current Moana shelf space is misleading, as Moana is only a few months since theatrical release, and it’s just been released on home video. Take photos/measurements of the Zootopia shelf space now, and compare that to Moana’s shelf space in November, 2017. That will be a more accurate comparison. If anyone has shelf-space data from June 2016 for Zootopia, that would also be a good comparison to the current Moana space. I remember that my local Target stores had Zootopia endcaps for the first month or so after Zootopia’s theatrical release, much the same as Moana had.

    An important thing to remember is that the dollar speaks. If people are buying Zootopia merchandise, there will be more of it. Based on the critical acclaim, the awards, and the seemingly humongous fan base, it seems likely that we have yet to enter the golden age of Zootopia merchandise.

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    1. Great comment! I certainly hope that Zootopia merchandise will trickle back to the market, ahead of a great wave.

      But I take heart in the fact that, despite the absence of official merchandise and/or media, Zootopia keeps getting love, from the established fandom, and from new fans who finally got curious enough to watch the movie after it won the Oscar.

      Here's to The Golden Age of Zootopia, merchandise or otherwise!

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    2. But the question remains, should the merchandising and marketing for a successful film like "Zootopia" really be comparable to that of a flop like "Secret Life of Pets?" You do raise a good point about the "princess market" being underserved at the time that "Frozen" was released, but even thinking only about its initial release (i.e., not the three years since), that movie still had a huge marketing campaign and merchandising push, where "Zootopia" was still relatively small potatoes in that regard even closer to its debut. "Frozen" merch, meanwhile, has continued to expand in scope and availability, while "Zootopia" seems stagnant. "Moana," as you said, is still very new, and yet it already seems to have more available for it than "Zootopia," in spite of its newness.

      You may have something in the question of Disney wondering about what demographic to target for our favorite fur-film, but I find it hard to believe that even a marketing exec would be so dense nowadays as to be THAT perplexed by the concept of marketing to both boys and girls. It should have been an especially good opportunity to market Judy-themed products to young girls, given her status as an honest-to-goodness female role model (as opposed to being "just another pretty pink princess"). Judy is also a character which boys can be excited about, in spite of being female (something that Hasbro is only just recently realizing about MLP with their "Guardians of Harmony" toy line).

      In any case, I certainly hope that you're right in that we're only on the cusp of seeing a resurgence of interest and support in promoting "Zootopia" in the stores and toy aisles. Maybe this will be more of a "Lion King" kind of situation, and it'll just take some time for it to really hit its stride. Personally, I'm hoping we might get some sort of higher quality, more on-model plushes, and perhaps some decent t-shirt offerings in adult sizes. I'm not going to hold my breath for a remote control ZPD cruiser, but that would be pretty awesome... :P

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    3. Excellent comment! Also, when I first opened your merchandise guide pdf, it took a while to load, so for a while all I had was the cover, and a TON of blank pages. I laughed at that.

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    4. You are missing a couple of things that were also official merch from that list. They have made more mugs and even a Mason Jar that I use daily! But this list is huge and impressive but the true question is. Why have I only seen like, maybe 20% of that merch in stores? What in Zootopia are they doing?

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    5. "But the question remains, should the merchandising and marketing for a successful film like 'Zootopia' really be comparable to that of a flop like 'Secret Life of Pets?'"

      Did you just call a movie that made more money than Zootopia in each of the US, the UK and Australia (i.e. the major English-speaking markets) a flop? It underperformed Zootopia in pretty much every single Asian country, but even there it still earned plenty of money.

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    6. LMAbacus... Worldwide gross for Zootopia is around $125 million higher than Secret Life of Pets. In any case, I've not heard nor seen nearly the level of critical praise for the latter as for the former (quite the opposite, in fact), though it's certainly far from the worst reviewed film out there. As such, you're correct in that "flop" is probably not the best term to use; however, it's undeniably less popular among critics and audiences on average when compared to Zootopia.

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    7. Regarding Secret Life of Pets vs. Zootopia, Please see this chart for reference. In the US, Secret Life of Pets outperformed Zootopia. I would hardly call that a flop.

      I don't know how far in advance of release that Disney marketing commitments are made, but The Good Dinosaur may have affected expectations for Zootopia. For being a Disney/Pixar film, released during the holiday season, it vastly underperformed. If Zootopia's marketing deals were not already fully in place, that performance as well as Zootopia's production history may have caused enough uncertainty to reduce marketing/merchandise efforts.

      From what I've observed, the variety of Moana merchandise is comparable to that of Zootopia. One difference is that the quantity available on shelves (at this point) seems greater than Zootopia at a similar point in product cycle. My opinion is that this may be related to Moana merchandise not selling as fast as Zootopia merchandise did. In other words, it looks like there's more out there 'cause it's not selling as fast.

      Partyware is another frustrating merchandise exception. I visited Party City many times since Zootopia was released, looking for the cups, plates, etc. They’ve got an extensive selection of license merchandise, including all sorts of Disney. The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory, Secret Life of Pets were everywhere, with full partyware selections available. Zootopia was nowhere to be found.

      Another trend I've noticed, and I don't quite know how to interpret, is that the Zootopia books have disappeared more quickly than other licenses. At all the local Wal-Marts, Targets (and even the grocery stores) that I've visited, there's plenty of copies of the step-into-reading books with The Good Dinosaur, Frozen, Inside Out, and of course, Moana. Occasionally I'll see a few copies of Zootopia (usually Super Animals), but often Zootopia is not represented. I can't tell if that's due to popularity, or poor restocking. I've observed the same for the coloring/sticker/activity books as well.

      Be grateful that we've gotten as much as we have. Imagine if you were a devoted fan of Kubo and the Two Strings (which in my opinion was also a fantastic film). I do not recall seeing any Kubo merchandise other than the DVD/BluRay.

      An upcoming barometer for future Zootopia merchandise is the release of Wreck-It-Ralph 2. The merchandise efforts associated therewith may be an indication of what to expect in the future for Zootopia coinciding with a sequel. Unfortunately, we’ll have to be patient and wait for that to happen, at least 3-5 years.

      I am busy updating my guide (I’ll try to reduce the overall size for quicker downloads), and I’d like to make it as comprehensive as possible. Drop me an e-mail if you’ve got info about products that I missed.

      As far as product availability is concerned, I’ve seen only about a quarter of what’s in that guide on a store shelf. There are many items available in certain countries only, due to licensing restrictions.

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  15. Many times the things I would like to buy are not even produced. Does anyone else have this problem? I'd like a remote control ZPD cruiser, as mentioned in another comment. I wanted a Wall-e trashcan; that seemed like a no-brained to me, and I know it wasn't Disney, I'm just thinking about merch decisions in this comment. I want a Pascal "piggy bank" that will shoot out its tongue and grab coins. I want a greeting card for Mothers Day and Father's Day with Judy's parents pictured with ALL of their children! (Don't we all know teachers and coaches who have parented a hundred kids who would love a card like that?) Apparently I think very differently than studio merch executives, because all that produce are plush toys, bed sheets and various stationery over and over again. With its town sections based on climate Zootopia is primed to have merchandise available that relate to every season-- winterwear with the polar bears, swimwear and summer stuff with the rain forest... But if it wasn't made during the first push of sales it isn't likely to be because execs expect the enthusiasm to wane after awhile. Depressing...

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  16. Sounds like we all have lacking merch frustrations...I like T-shirts, and up until recently the best I've managed to acquire was a "hustle" shirt that resembles Nick mostly because the fox is wearing aviators and his classic outfit (better shirts that I've spied recently are, even more frustratingly, out of stock...). Really hoping maybe this continued pressure from the fandom (which nobody can deny is impressively huge at this point after an under-advertised film) will eventually make the producers of such products crack, because come on, can no one see that this much interest is billions of dollars in opportunity still?

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  17. Hate to be that guy, but it's much easier to sell human toys then anthro ones because they are more easily relatable (we are humans) despite Zootopia's powerful message. I mean be honest, when's the last time you saw an anthro fox action figure/doll before Zootopia? Official merchandise aside, you see ninjas, soldiers, robots, princesses and animal plushies (not anthro) toys everywhere but never something blatantly anthropomorphic. I mean we have the TMNT, but they have been around for years and their hero/ ninja characters, which are "more fun" than playing as a cop. (When's the last time you saw cop toys outside of Rescue Heroes?) The genre/design of the characters itself as well as their lack of "flash" (no weapons or armor or something) leaves much to be desired to the average American child. The message of prejudice is important to learn, but not something they will readily understand or care about (I didn't pay much mind to "race" when I was really young.). The market for ZT is niche as best and at the end of the day, toys are ultimately marketed towards children. If the appeal is limited, there won't be much business to be had with the property. That's how the market works sadly.

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    1. Sylvanian Families....boom your move XD

      But seriously I see your point. lol

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    2. Huh, you learn something new every day. I didn't know that was a thing. Seems to be have been more of a foriegn market item though, Europe and Japan ain't us. We are talking about America here. Those items also seemed to be like those old knick-knacks that remind you of Mother Goose fables or stuff like Peter Cottontail style wise. Those stories taught important lessons through anthro animals just like Zootopia did. Funny how we seem to have gone full circle here; Symbolism is a powerful thing and things are easier to digest for young ones when ithe message isn't blatantly about humans but rather a representation of them because fantasy is a genre they are more likely to listen to. Unfortunately, such concepts have been mostly lost to time in America (at least as far as toys are concerned) and teaching through symbolism isn't exactly an engaging experience for children who want to play. That's probably why I never heard of the toyline up until this point XD.

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    3. Robin Hood... the previous Last Action Fox

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  18. Its strange, here in Argentina there are tons of merchandizing...
    http://listado.mercadolibre.com.ar/zootopia_PrCategId_AD#D[A:zootopia]

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  19. I have loads of merch. See my twitter @SeiRruf lol I've got pictures posted. But you're right. In comparison to movies like Frozen, there's hardly any at all! I am also missing quite a bit.. But I can't afford it right now. Still, it absolutely covers an entire bookshelf worth.

    Also, they did continue making merch after the movie release. I've got Christmas ornaments and wrapping paper to prove it! And a comic book, with new stories in it (not the cine-comic book!). I've also got a whole stack of birthday cards which are very fancy zootopia branded.

    Anyway, my wallet can't handle it right now, but I really do hope they continue making new merch. Boy, do I! I will be there for it. lol

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    1. Those seem to be exclusive things to certain stores though that could of been made already and were just waiting for the right times to be on shelves. I am happy that you seem to find a lot of merchandise but the fact I live in one of the capital cities of Britain and still can't find diddly squat is rather concerning.

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  20. I think that Disney does not want to be held responsible for kids to become furries !
    :'D

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    1. Or offer Rule 34 fan art encouragement for fun and/or profit.

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  21. The (probable) reason for the lack of Zootopia can be summed up in one word: Furries.

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  23. I thought this was weird too but I found out later that the movie was a phenomenon in Asian countries like Japan and China. And, looking it up, I found that those countries have a lot of Zootopia merchandise, way more than the US has. Therefore, I think the reason we see so little merch here in the US is because, while the movie was popular here, it wasn't exactly treated like the next Frozen or anything. At best, it was the next Inside Out, which also has little merchandise. Yet it was a phenomenon in other countries and, in those countries, it has a lot more merch.

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  24. Okay to talk about the Furry argument...Have people forgotten Disney's Mascot? =/

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    1. To be fair, back when Mickey Mouse toys started getting made, there wasn't Rule 34, Furry Porn Art, and yiffing. That being said, if Zootopia was selling a lot of toys, they probably wouldn't care

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    2. I'm sure they wouldn't. It's only a shame today's world has changed drastically from what it had been back when putting out anything "Funny Animal" related didn't get a second thought.

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    3. Yes it is dumb, though it seems more like the anti-furry brigade is singling this movie out in particular for some random reason. Yes, furry groups rented out theaters to watch this movie and Disney apparently did actually market it towards them a bit but people were convicting of this of being furry propaganda even before all that happened yet, for some odd reason, they ignore movies like Kung Fu Panda or Rock Dog, which are just as furry friendly as this movie is. It's even gotten to the point where they've done things like convict Finnick of being a diaper fur just for being a short guy that pretends to be a baby, even though that's an old joke that's been done since the 30's! Seriously, there were Little Rascals and Bugs Bunny shorts with that exact same premise! Hell, Little Man, a movie that came out 10 years ago, had that exact same premise but you didn't see people complain that that movie was diaper fetishist propaganda or anything so why is Finnick a "baby fur"?! They even imply he hates dressing up as a baby! Isn't that the exact opposite of a baby fur?!

      That all being said, I really think the reason there's little Zootopia merchandise, again, has little to do with furries and more to do with, for some reason, despite the money and popularity this movie received, the toys just aren't selling, at least in the U.S., and, when it comes to their animated films, Disney's less concerned with how well the movies do at the box office and more concerned with how much merchandise it can sell. Why do you think Cars already has 2 sequels, a spin-off with 2 movies, a bunch of shorts, a 3rd movie on the way, and a bunch of toys still selling to this day while The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-e, and Up only have one film to their name?! Because Cars sold a lot of toys and those movies didn't! Same thing, unfortunately, has happened here. Zootopia hasn't sold a lot of toys so Disney doesn't feel the need to make that much more stuff. It's also why they don't feel the need to make a sequel or TV show just yet.

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  25. I'm from Mexico, I did found a pair of things (figures) of Zootopia, some in H.E.B. and one big figure of Judy in a DVD store in the movie merchandise part. But nothing more, I really don't know why there aren't a lot of Zootopia stuff...Wait a minute...maybe religion is part of this, maybe the Cristian (and other religious stuff) do take bad this stuff and because the most of Mexico is religious is not very convenient for this merchandise.

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