How Disney Built America Recap for Now Available in Stores

How Disney Built America Recap for Creating a New World

How Disney Built America Recap for Now Available in Stores

-In 1936, Disney was more popular than ever, and Mickey Mouse was an icon who was on everything from watches to knicknacks and everything in between.

-Before Mickey became popular in merchandising, he was making a killing in movies, slowly becoming one of the most well-known characters in history. However, Walt Disney made a deal that would end up costing him more money than he was making, upsetting his brother Roy.

-Roy tries to find ways to make ends meets and ends up getting a call that would change everything. A New York manufacturer wanted to make a stuffed Mickey Mouse doll, which would bring in the cash the company needed. He asks Walt, who dismissively agrees, and makes the deal into a reality.

-During this time in the 1920s, the toy business was growing….and helped bring in revenue for the Disney brothers. Roy kept signing licensing agreements, but Walt was not happy with the dolls, believing they looked nothing like his character. This would end up cause a rift between the brothers.

-Kay Kamen, who worked in marketing, particularly an children’s clothing ad that featured a cartoon dog, came on board to help sell and promote the product properly. He promised the brothers a lot of money….and even gives them all of his savings–in cash–up front. Roy is on board, but Walt isn’t so sure because of the poorly made merchandise he has already seen. Kay then promises Walt that nothing will be sold without his approval and a deal is born.

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-Kay then visits vendors making substandard products and shuts them down until they are willing sell quality, Walt approved products. This does not make the vendors or Roy happy because now money is being lost, but Kay is confident this tactic will work in their favor once they get their quality products.

-Kay tries to find a way to make both brothers happy. He decides to take it to the next level and put Mickey Mouse on lunchboxes, toys, hats and everything in between, making Mickey the first movie character to be on merchandise. He was soon on greeting cards and watches, the latter of which became one of the most popular products.

-Before long, Disney collaborated with Marjorie Post to make cereal appealing to kids….by using Mickey Mouse on a Corn Flakes box. Both companies soon saw a boom in business and started a collaboration which would lead to a billion-dollar industry.

-Kay made sure every piece of merchandise was top quality and within four years, the merchandising side of Disney is worth more than the actual cartoon.

-During this time, Walt is working on Snow White, his first feature film. He thinks this would be a way to make more merchandise to go with the movie, but the movie is bleeding money. It is up to Kay to save the day…again. He talks to a friend whose daughter accidentally got a Snow White doll sample and decides to make the dolls and more merchandise to promote the movie….leading to even more success.

-Products were now released prior to the movie to build anticipation. This helps both sides of the business make money and help put Disney on the map and led to more companies following suit.

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-More and more Disney characters would be put on merchandise and would become as popular as Disney.

-In 1949, Kay and the Disney brothers celebrate their success in Paris. They make plans to see each other stateside, but sadly, Kay and his wife Katie would die in a plane crash.

-The brothers are devastated by his death and wonder what to do next, for they knew Kay was irreplaceable. Roy tried to find someone to help find a way to keep the business afloat, while Walt worked on making the Disneyland park a reality.

-In order to fund the park, Walt made a weekly TV series. The show was filmed on location, which is something that has never been done before.

-Davy Crockett was the first show to go into production, but he would soon go over budget, costing more per episode than the average show cost. The company was in debt again, causing the brothers to fight once again.

-The show ended up being a success, but the company is still in debt. However, fans of the show want the hats the characters wore, leading to another merchandising deal….including one with Macy’s.

-Walt now realizes the power he has with his company since it has so many different aspects through TV, movies, merchandise and the park….all because now Davy Crockett is quickly becoming an American icon.

-Disney merchandise is now worth millions and can be found nationwide.

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