Hey, did you know that The Disney Store is celebrating 25 years of non-theme park retail experiences? I can recall when my local one opened in Roosevelt Field towards the end of my high school life, which provided a nice escape in between Diz trips. I interviewed there once when I was an employee of the record store formerly known as Sam Goody. I had a goatee and floppy hair (doing a show at the time). I never had a chance.
About a year ago, The Disney Store’s Times Square location opened. They had one for well over a decade on 5th Ave. which was good to visit to eyeball some collectibles. Working in Midtown Manhattan I pop in every once again, not really knowing why I am. At first, I thought it was because I was disappointed in it and hoping they would adapt in change. As a New Yorker, I’m not really going to go out of my way to buy the New York labeled merchandise or the New York Yankee Vinylmation or the Broadway section I totally expect them to have. I become somewhat disenchanted by seeing a good portion of the shoppers in the Marvel corner of the store… I haven’t even accepted the Marvel Universe into my Wonderful World of Disney yet.
Yesterday, I was in the store and became fascinated by the mural above the cash registers on the first floor. It was Pinocchio in silhouette staring at the Central Park Carousel. It all seemed very ‘Catcher in the Rye’. But, I find myself wandering through the ‘Toy Story’ section, and wondering if the ‘Cars’ merchandise will still be this available when I have a kid, and glaring at the people by ‘The Avengers’ toys, and laughing at how Merida from Pixar’s ‘Brave’ is a doppelganger of one of my best friends and now there’s dolls and wigs to support that.
Above all of that, there are fleeting moments where you can stare at the merch and listen to the background music intertwined with fireworks sound effects and, for a moment, maybe you picture yourself in Downtown Disney or The Emporium… And that’s why I pop in.