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Frozen-out in the toy aisle: Why merch for Disney’s hit film is in short supply

The teenage Elsa the Snow Queen in a scene from Frozen.


How hot is Frozen? Kids can't get enough of the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, and their parents can't get their hands on Disney's Frozen merchandise. It's hard for parents to resist Elsa, the princess in this Disney fantasy: She's smart, doesn't need a prince to save her and still knows how to rock a frock.

Toys R Us's Frozen inventory is gone – only two products are available online – and store shelves are cleared out not long after little Elsa, Olaf or Kristoff figures are stocked.

"Frozen is the No. 1 girl's trend property right now," Victoria Spada, Toys R Us Canada spokesperson, says of the Disney movie about sister princesses Elsa and Anna.

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"There's been a snowball effect with how viral the movie and characters have become," Spada says. "It doesn't matter what it is, anything with the [Frozen] licence on it goes"

A story in this week's New York Post reports one mother paying $1,200 (U.S.) for an Elsa doll on eBay. Another mother told the newspaper she trekked to 42 Disney stores and still couldn't find an Elsa dress – and that's when her husband spent $480 on Amazon to pre-order two of them.

So what went wrong? Everything from dollar stores to high-end shops are usually overstuffed with Disney merch. "It's grown in hype," says Spada. "Everyone loved it when it was released in the fall, then the Blu-rays and DVDs came out earlier this year, the song is played over and over, and that's created more demand."

Not that your kid understands any of that. Parents can wait until mid-May when Spada says at least 5,000 new Frozen dolls will arrive at Toys R Us, or take the kids to Disneyland in California, where both Elsa and Anna are already holding court.

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