What ever happened to imaginative, movie-inspired play? You know, like, where a 5-year-old reenacts the scenes from her favorite Disney film while wearing an odd pastiche of dress-up clothes that are mostly mommy’s castoffs? Or plays the soundtrack of said favorite movie while dancing or singing along or, simply, listening? What’s happened to it, apparently, is that it’s gone the way of the record player (just please don’t tell my daughter that). And how I know that is this: “Frozen” merchandise is pretty much sold out everywhere, and parents are totally freaking out about it.
“Enterprising individuals are charging up to $1,000 for ‘Frozen’ items on eBay, which has driven parents completely insane,” Jezebel notes with an understandable tone of schadenfreude. “Frustrated moms are currently freaking out all over Disney's Facebook page, posting angry messages in the middle of the night.” An example, posted Wednesday afternoon: “What is up, Disney? Why are you not properly stocking Frozen merchandise? Every store I go to (Disney, Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, etc.) says the stock is nil and when it does come it flies off the shelves. People are waiting outside when the store opens! … Where's the goods, Disney????”
Then, of course, comes the inevitable backlash, with appreciative parents praising hardworking Disney workers and slamming the rude, consumerist moms and dads. “I find a lot of these posts atrocious,” wrote one such commenter. “Disney is doing what they can to keep these items in stock. If you were to blame anyone, blame the factories that make these toys. If your children are upset, it's your fault that you got their hopes up. Frozen is a Megahit. You should have expected them to sell quickly.”
So what sort of shortage, exactly, are we talking about here? Well you can forget about finding anything at typical retail outlets — even the ones at Disney World — but there seems to be plenty to choose from on Amazon. And eBay, of course, has got you covered, depending on how much you’re willing to spend. Here, some of the most extreme examples of “entrepreneurial” markups:
16-inch Frozen Singing Light-Up Elsa Doll (sings “Let It Go”): $300
Elsa Princess Costume, size 5/6: $199.99
Anna & Elsa Sisters Love Reversible Twin Comforter: $179.99
Elsa & Anna Classic Doll Set, 12-inch version: $109.97
Pink Elsa & Anna Backpack: $85.95
There are plenty of $15 dolls and $10 plush toys, too, by the way. So it’s not entirely clear what the bread-line panic is all about. Perhaps Disney is behind it after all?