Disney executives reveal secret ‘Toy Box’ gaming initiative

Pixar characters

In a recent New York Times piece detailing Disney’s upcoming digital plans, Disney Interactive co-president John Pleasants offered up surprisingly candid details about a never-before-revealed gaming project the company is working on dubbed “Toy Box.”

[Pleasants] is also pouring money into a project Disney refers to as Toy Box, a console game with extensive mobile and online applications in which various Pixar and Disney characters will interact with one another for the first time. “I’m excited about what we’ve already done and where we’re going,” [Pleasants] said, adding that Disney has had three No. 1 apps in the last six months.

Disney CEO Robert Iger is suitably optimistic about the Toy Box project, and has promised that the Disney Interactive division would finally turn a profit in 2013.

That’s an impressive vote of confidence from Iger, but it does little to explain how this Toy Box game will function. We know that it’s a console game, and that it includes interactions between Pixar and Disney characters. We also know that it has some sort of “mobile and online applications” functionality. With all that in mind we have three ideas of what Toy Box might eventually look like.

First, imagine a socially-focused, free to play, massively multiplayer online game in which players can interact with all of the aforementioned characters. This game will include both mobile and web-based applications that allow you to check your in-game progress (we expect this game to have some kind of quest mechanic) and possibly upgrade your character either through microtransaction purchases or simple mini-games. Given the appeal of Disney’s character roster, this could very well be the first console-based, family friendly, online multiplayer realm.

Our next idea seems less likely, but more intriguing. What if Disney were to take a page from its relationship with Square Enix to create a Disney/Pixar-themed roleplaying game a la Kingdom Hearts? That model could easily feature online functionality and mobile and web applications while still maintaining its status as a story-driven singleplayer roleplaying experience. Disney Interactive has proven its willingness to court big-name developers for its games — Deus Ex designer Warren Spector is the driving force behind the Epic Mickey franchise — and we’re sure there are tons of talented people who would love the opportunity to create a vast adventure with access to the Disney and Pixar intellectual property vaults.

Finally, our favorite idea is also the least likely. What if Disney Interactive’s creative team collectively went insane and decided to create a massive, Tekken Tag Tournament 2-esque fighting game featuring beloved Pixar and Disney icons? Buzz Lightyear could punch out Goofy, then tag in Woody to perform a cutesy variation of the Road Warrior’s Doomsday Device on Pluto. Or perhaps Mickey could point out the absurdity of Donald Duck’s lack of pants by kicking him straight in the crotch — that’s casual violence with clever meta-commentary! As we said before this is intensely unlikely, but the idea sounds hilariously awesome, and like Tekken Tag Tournament 2, those mobile and web applications Pleasants mentioned could easily be used to enhance such a classic fighting game model.

In fairness, we have no real evidence pointing toward any of the above scenarios, and we’ll probably be waiting a while before Disney Interactive sees fit to properly unveil Toy Box to the general public. That said, how many of you were sold the moment you read that the game will feature both Disney and Pixar characters? We understand that, for vast swaths of the population, this is an immense selling point.

Movies & TV

An Obi-Wan TV series? 10 things we’d love to see on Disney’s streaming service

While we know the upcoming Disney Plus streaming service will have tons of great content, we put together a wish list of projects from across Disney's properties we'd like to see on the service in the near future.
Movies & TV

Disney Plus will have less than 20% of the content available on Netflix

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Gaming

Tired of the same PS4 annual releases? Try one of these indie games instead

While big budget games rely on practical innovation, indie games dive head first into new, unexplored territories. If the quirky and unusual appeal to you, take a look at our list of the best indie games on PS4.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

Here's our guide to becoming a master of Fatalities in Mortal Kombat 11

Fatalities are the bread and butt of any Mortal Kombat game, and they're particularly brutal in Mortal Kombat 11. Here's how to do Fatalities in the game, and how you can unlock new ones.
Computing

Acer gives Predator, Nitro gaming notebooks CPU and GPU upgrades

Acer's latest gaming notebooks will be getting a processor and graphics boost. The company announced that Intel's ninth-generation mobile CPU and Nvidia's GTX 1660 Ti will land on the Predator Helios 300, Nitro 7, and Nitro 5 laptops.
Gaming

Anthem update 1.1.0 adds new stronghold, subtracts need to visit Fort Tarsis

Anthem update version 1.1.0 patch notes reveal overhauled mechanics that allow players to stay in the fight longer and even change weapons without going to Fort Tarsis or the Launch Bay.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Tesla taxis, NYC auto show, and Sony’s 8K TV

On the latest episode of DT Live, we discuss Tesla's autonomous taxi plans, a Face ID lawsuit against Apple,, choosing imperfect produce, the release of Mortal Kombat 11, sustainable fashion, and more.
Gaming

These great games will make you pull out your PSP again

Grab your PlayStation Portable and take a look at some of our favorite games for the aging PSP, including entries in the God of War, Ratchet & Clank, and Grand Theft Auto franchises.
Gaming

You can now stream PS4 games on your PC using Remote Play (and here’s how)

Remote Play is one of the PlaySation 4's most intriguing features. This guide will show you how to properly set up Remote Play, so you can start streaming your PS4 games on your PlayStation Vita, PC, Mac, or Xperia device.
Computing

AMD's upcoming Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Working hard or hardly working? Do it right with these versatile PC desks

Looking for a new piece of furniture that will fit in your office, dorm, or gaming cave? Here are some of our favorite computer desks on the market, whether you're a serious gamer looking for an upgrade, or just moved into a new space.
Gaming

From the most 'Toasty!' to the least, here are the Mortal Kombat games ranked

The Mortal Kombat franchise has provided shocking delights and spilled copious pints of blood since 1992. With Mortal Kombat 11 out now for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC, we decided to rank the mainline fighting series from best to worst.
Gaming

Collected ’em all? Here are 10 collection-based RPGs Pokémon fans should try

The Pokémon games offer more than 700 monsters to catch and train, sure, but what do you do once you've caught 'em all? These 10 Pokémon-style games will help you find your next fix when need a new set of critters to catch and train.