Disney Palace Pets

Palace Pets was launched as an app in the US this summer

Disney is to launch its Princess Palace Pets toy range in the UK next year following a strong debut in the US.

Palace Pets - which features characters such as Cinderella’s puppy Pumpkin and Sleeping Beauty’s kitten Beauty - launched in the US this summer as a smartphone and tablet app that allows users to interact with the pets. Disney said the app had attracted more than a million downloads in its first 30 days and that the accompanying toy range had also sold well.

The app is set to roll out in the UK later this year, with a toy range to come next spring, followed by further products for autumn/winter 2014.

Produced by Character Options, the toy range will include figures, plush toys and playsets including Furry Tail Friend figures, Primp and Pamper Pony playsets and talking and singing pets.

Character said it would support the range with a “huge” TV and PR campaign.

Disney also announced that one of its most recently launched properties - Sofia the First - has become the top-rated series on TV channel Disney Junior, attracting more than 4.6 million viewers aged four and over [BARB July to September 2013]. Sofia the First, the animated adventures of a seven-year-old girl who becomes a princess, made its UK debut in March this year.

The range of Sofia products - which already includes toys, dressing-up outfits and DVDs - is being expanded next spring with a Magical Tea Time Game that will be available exclusively from Esdevium. The Hampshire-based distributor also carries games based on Disney brands Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Doc McStuffins.

Esdevium said it planned to provide year-round marketing support for Sofia, including TV advertising and PR.