If you love Swampy the alligator in Disney’s uber-popular Where’s My Water? app, you’ll be thrilled to know that you’ll soon be able to buy plush Swampy toys, Swampy towels, Swampy backpacks, Swampy T-shirts and Swampy figurines. The merchandise goes on sale this month at Toys R Us and some Disney stores. It’ll also feature Swampy’s buddies Allie and Cranky.
In October, the line will be expanded to include consumer electronics, stationery, home accessories and — this should be super cute — Halloween costumes.
Swampy is the first character that Disney created specifically for a mobile app — he’s a quirky alligator who likes to take a bath, and players try to help fill up his bathtub. The app debuted in September 2011. “The mobile screen is becoming the primary screen for the next generation,” says Brian Nelson, a Disney spokesman. This is the opposite of how Disney usually creates apps or launches merchandise — typically the company features a character that’s already got a following from a Disney movie or TV show, he says.
Regardless of where the character originates, Disney always wants to extend the story line and characters beyond their original platform, Nelson says: “That’s exactly what this does. It allows people to interact with the character in a new way.” You’ll also soon meet Swampy on other platforms — for instance, Swampy will star in an animated online series later this year, Nelson says. Who knows? Maybe one day he’ll also be signing autographs at Disney World!