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Disney used to make Snow White themed bleach and more exotic princess merchandise

Aside from Mickey, the most iconic Disney characters are probably Disney Princess.

From Cinderella and her missing slipper Ariel the mermaidDisney princess is an important Disney character, although not officially systematized as “Disney Princess” until the 2000s. The criteria for who could become a Disney Princess was unclear (e.g., although Anna and Elsa were both royals, they were both royals. technically not Disney Princesses because they are the face of their own brand). But one thing is for sure, Disney princesses are always extremely popular.

In Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara, author Emily Zemler explores the Disney Princess phenomenon, diving into films that showcase the characters, actors behind them, and their cultural heritage. Polygon is happy to share an exclusive excerpt of the princess who started it all.

You might think that Disney’s ever-evolving merchandise lines are a 21st-century phenomenon, but the reality is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs prelude to Disney’s aggressive product marketing. In an unprecedented move for the time being, Snow White tie-in starts rolling out before movie released. All in all, there are about 2,000 Snow White-themed products – that’s a lot, even by today’s standards. Read below for a glimpse of the weird Snow White merchandise that the Disney adults of yesteryear were looking for.


a page of Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara;  it's mostly text, but also has a telegram describing Disney's attempt at merchandising with Snow White and a Snow White lantern.

Image: Disney

a page from Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara.  mostly text, but there's an old black-and-white ad for Snow White's bleach and ammonia and a cooking magazine ad for Snow White-themed ham

Image: Disney

a page from Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara.  mostly text, but at the top are pictures of small, themed puppets Snow White, the dwarves, the Evil Queen, the Prince, and the Hunter.  on the left is a snow-white porcelain doll

Image: Disney

A Disney character in every house

In 1932, Walt and Roy O. Disney hired Herman S. Kamen, an advertising executive known as Kay Kamen, as a salesman for Mickey Mouse. Over the next three years, Kamen oversaw the creation of thousands of Mickey Mouse products, from wristwatches to breakfast cereals to figurines. He worked with manufacturers as well as department stores to ensure that Disney characters became familiar in the lives of the American public, creating demand for branded items and creating make the expectation that those products will be continuously available. It’s a strategy that has become popular throughout Hollywood. Tom Tumbusch, publisher of Tomart’s Disneyana Update. “Not just for Disney; Others have followed suit”.

One year before release Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Kamen began preparing an extensive marketing campaign aimed at bringing the film’s story and characters into their audience’s homes. Traditionally, cinematic merchandise is revealed after the film’s release, and only if the story is well known and resonates with the public; Snow White marks the first time film merchandise is available before people see the movie. By October 1937, a few months before debut Snow White, toys and themed items have hit store shelves. Seiberling Latex Products Co., which previously created the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck figurines, made the hand-painted rubber figurines of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which became so popular that they sold out many times over. even before the movie’s release. Seiberling quickly realized that they had to ramp up production in preparation for the film’s release. In total, more than 2,000 products were created for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

“Walt saw an opportunity for pre-film sales to introduce his version of the character in front of people so they were ready for the movie,” said Libby Spatz, Senior Librarian for Consumer Products used by Disney and Archivist explained. “This has changed the structure of the entertainment business. Suddenly, there’s a lot of conversation going on about the movies, about what’s to come, about the characters. People get used to having merchandise available as soon as they realize that the movie is something they’re interested in.

The amount of Snow White themed merchandise is astounding, even by today’s standards. Consumers can buy everything from Snow White watering cans to carpet sweepers, household bleach and ammonia to Armor’s signature Star Jubilee Ham and Star Bacon. Kroger grocery stores sold an exclusive collection of collectible glasses, while Swift’s Allsweet Margarine ran a campaign where fans could mail in packet pieces along with ten cents to receive seed packets. Snow White. There are wristwatches, cutouts, coloring sets, baby blocks, doll soaps, board games, paper dolls, and even a light showing the princess standing on top of her. wish. It’s proof that consumers, when faced with a choice between a casual product and an experiential product, will always make the magic choice.

In the past, several companies, including the Knickerbocker Toy Company and Richard G.Krueger, have sold Disney character dolls ranging from Mickey Mouse to Little Red Riding Hood. The arrival of Snow White, a charmingly beautiful princess, meant that there were many Snow White dolls, most of which were released in 1938. Ideal Toy Company produced three versions. Snow White’s various dolls, one of which was made with the head brand’s Shirley temple, and the Richard G. Krueger Company that sold plush plush dolls and dresses. Madame Alexander, a doll maker known for her high-fashion dolls, has released a series of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs marionettes in 1938, featuring Snow White and all of the Seven Dwarfs, as well as the Evil Queen, the Witch, the Prince Charming, and the Hunter. In 1939, the yacht Snow White, whose head was designed by illustrator Tony Sarg, was advertised as being sold for $3.65. Certain types of paper dolls, with tailor-made dresses, were also popular with consumers at the time.

The game is also a must-have for fans of the movie. Several Snow White board games have been produced, including Parker Brothers’ Walt Disney’s Own Game – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, a Candyland-style board game where players rush to wake up Snow White. There is also playing cards, quizzes and card games. Movie productions bring a lot of opportunities to lovers Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to enjoy their favorite movie characters at home, set Disney on the path to presenting merchandise for each new movie release with growing enthusiasm.

Disney Princess: Beyond the Tiara is out now.

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