We know about the whole obsession with kawaii (translation: cute) in Japan, but how much Mickey can any culture stand? Already they've gotten silver, gold, and even Swarovski-diseased 1GB "Mplayers," and now Disney and Iriver Japan are introducing "Season 2" of the eared one in even more colors, patterns, and designs, according to Dvice. Between this and High School Musical, we may need a set of blinders as well as earplugs.
Most any other day, this gold-plated MP3 player would likely be subjected to a good measure of disgust and ridicule. But compared with the horrendous Valentine's version that assaulted our senses recently, it actually looks decent.
This limited-edition collaboration of iRiver and Disney is oddly described as an "'assassin's mace' of a device," according to Engadget. Whatever that means, it's double the price of the regular 1GB MPlayer at about $123. ("Assassin's mace"?)
Once again, the concept of "one step too far" seems to have eluded yet another gadget maker. And this time, appropriately enough, it involves one of the all-time leaders of marketing excess, the Magic Kingdom.
We agreed with fellow Craver Jasmine France in appreciating the clever and simple design of the "MPlayer," Disney's latest MP3 homage to Steamboat Willy (and much more appealing than previous players, we might add). Now the bad news: There's a hot pink version festooned with ears covered in Swarovski crystals, according to Tokyomango, apparently a misguided "Valentine edition&… Read more
Disney has long had the reputation of being the ultimate control freak when it comes to its brand, which is no mean feat considering the endless stream of its products worldwide. In TVs alone this year, for instance, the Magic Kingdom has released themed models for everything from Pirates of the Caribbean to High School Musical.
But if branding is so important, then why not go straight to the source? That's what the company has done in Japan with the release of a 20-inch HDTV that features The Mouse himself, complete with a pair of his trademark four-fingered gloves … Read more
Hong Kong-based Brando is often known for its bizarre products, including speakers, but we give them credit for this "USB Mickey Mouse" model. Well, maybe not too much credit: As Gizmodo notes, there's no indication that Brando has been licensed to use the iconic ears by trademark-obsessed Disney. So if you want a pair of these, you may want to … Read more
If we were running Japan's Run-At, we'd be cranking out Disney-branded products everyday--not to compete on the current market, but to be sold as collectibles later on. It's well known, of course, that fanatics will shell out big bucks for all things Mickey, so why not cater to that set?
The new limited-edition "Mickey Mouse iPod Nano," for example, would probably be a good investment if you didn't actually use the thing but squirreled it away in its special leather case and original packaging. (Can't you just see yourself on PBS' Antiques Roadshow … Read more
Mickey Mouse isn't just for kids, as any trip to eBay will show. (We once sold an old Mickey shirt to Buffalo Exchange for $50, only to see it on display for $125 a day later.)
That "Disneyana" obsession would explain the design of the newly released "MixStick" Mickey MP3 player, which looks distinctly more adult than previous Disney music devices made by Japan's Run-At. Akihabara News says it does come in three other colors, but the silver version pictured here could easily pass for a grown-up player, with or without the ears.
Although … Read more
Disney never got the Web. We could go into all kinds of reasons why, but that's not important now. The reason: In its latest technological initiatives, it's been leveraging what it does best--which is basically marketing any physical object that bears its iconic logo.
The most effective way for the Magic Kingdom to capitalize on technology is through such hardware as MP3 players and cell phones, where it can distribute mouse ears to the masses. To that end, even peripherals like the new "Mickey Sport Collection" USB keys are fair game. Made by A-Data Technology, these … Read more