This is the way the world ends.
Not because of nuclear war nor global warming nor pestilence nor plague.
This is the way the world ends.
Not with a bang but with a whimper. The whimper of a thousand children, clamoring for the Olaf they can’t have.
Frozen, is, even by inflated Disney standards, a massive hit. Having made $1.1 billion worldwide, it is the eighth-highest grossing film of all time. So you’d think it would be an Uncle Scrooge-esque celebration at Disney HQ. But all is not well in the land of Disney, for you see something worse even than eternal winter plagues the lands: a shortage of Frozen merch.
The New York Post today has a pretty humorous dispatch from the Times Square Disney store where, day in and day out, children of all colors and creeds file in with their parents only to leave dejected and sad, after being informed that there are no more Princess Anna dolls, but we’re having a three-for-the-price-of-one sale on Princess Merida crap.
“We’re all sold out of Frozen,” a Disney sales associate said for the 200th time that day. “Except for this,” she added, pointing — weakly — to a paltry stand decorated with five pairs of Anna boots, a handful of floral frocks emblazoned with a Frozen logo and four Frozen-themed ballet flats large enough to house Dennis Rodman’s feet.
“I can’t believe in a great big store, this is all they have,” lamented Pauline McDougal, who was visiting from Scotland. Her daughters, 11-year-old Lauren and 8-year-old Megan, had their hearts set, respectively, on the Elsa dress and Elsa doll.
“You’d expect more in New York,” McDougal added.
Yes, people are blaming the City of New York for this shortage, which means it’s only a matter of time before Mayor Bill de Blasio is forced to hold a press conference announcing he’s placing his universal kindergarten plan on hold, to enact more important universal Princess Elsa doll legislation.
The shortage comes as a result of Disney underestimating the demand for Frozen toys, after its last few films, Brave, Tangled and The Princess and the Frog, failed to make much of a dent at the box office. Frozen, for whatever reason, does not have the same problem, and stores are struggling to keep up with the demand.
But wait there’s more! To what lengths are desperate parents going to get the Frozen toys their children covet so highly? Maternity-wear designer Rosie Pope tells the Post that a friend of hers—who works at Disney even—paid $1,200 for an Elsa doll on eBay, after promising her daughter a Frozen-themed birthday party. Shannon Russo-Pollack says she went to 42 stores while at Walt Disney World, looking for an Elsa dress. Russo-Pollack’s husband eventually resorted to Amazon, where he dropped $830 on Frozen merch. Donna Ladd told the Post that she got lucky and found an Olaf toy while on a trip to Italy, but that her son isn’t allowed to leave the house with it for fear that other crazed mothers will steal it. “Anywhere I was, at the Met, at the supermarket, all the mothers were going crazy screaming, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe you got it!'” she told the paper. “They were asking me if they could borrow the doll for a few days … I feel like I had a bag no one else could get.” Some mothers are even pulling the my-kid-is-sick card:
“People have gotten into physical fights in the morning,” says one Disney Store employee, who asked not to be named.
“The kids cry, but the parents are the problem. They try to guilt us, say their daughters are sick. They have no shame. But I can’t make it magically appear!”