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By tpault
August 6, 2004

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Bumping up their merchandise lineup to include expensive electronics, Disney will be offering their own computer & monitor as well as a camcorder and digital cam. They already sell televisions and phones.

I suppose there's no real limit on the markets Disney could try to break into. How about a Disney refrigerator & stove? A microwave with ears? Or a musical toilet that plays It's a Small World upon flushing?

Since electronic equipment seems so very removed from what we would expect a media & entertainment company to sell, we must ask ourselves just where Disney is willing to stop putting their name on things. After all, electronics is to Disney as stage plays are to Radio Shack. For Disney to be in the cell phone and computer business, it seems to exploit the brand name for no other reason than it can. It's almost as though Disney could open up a chain of department stores the likes of Target or Kmart. The company does sell just about everything from stationary to computers, toiletries to sundries, bedding to wardrobes. In fact, they sell an even much wider variety of goods than even Walmart. They can sell you a condo, a house, a magazine, a movie, a camcorder, cereal, juice, an Internet account, dolls, jewelry, a cruise, lamps, and if you have some spare change burning a hole in your pocket, a chain of stores.

Because the name commands a premium, the company can get away with selling lower end items at high-end prices. For instance, though you'll pay a grand for Disney's computer system, you don't even get a Pentium processor inside. And the printer that comes with it appears to be the Lexmark Z515, which retails for around $30 bucks. A throwaway printer that costs less than the ink cartridges it takes.

Now strike me dead if it doesn't appear that they decided to cheapen up their costs by using inferior components, but then using the name to boost the price to that of superior ones. Are we as consumers do dumb that we're willing to buy things that don't work as good, in exchange for a set of mouse ears molded into it? And why do The Disney Stores look so much like a souvenir shop, when it could apparently look like a Radio Shack, a Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and a real estate agent all in one?

Computer can be seen here.

Source story (registration required.)

Paul T.


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