Will Apple Buy Disney?

Published on: 16th August 2023

With several media outlets discussing the possibility of  a sale of Disney to Apple, Richard Gottlieb examines whether this is likely to happen.

Richard Gottlieb is the founder and CEO of Global Toy Experts, a consultancy to US and international toy companies. He is also the publisher of Global Toy News, a web-based magazine founded in 2009 that covers toy industry news and provides resources to the toy industry. Richard co-hosts The Playground Podcast and publishes The Toy Intelligencer report. Here, he shares one of his latest columns with Toy World readers:

Will Apple buy Disney? I don’t know about you, but my first reaction was, “No.” But then I checked out a variety of magazines and news outlets and found that a lot of them are talking about it.

If these were more normal times, I would write the notion off as fantasy. These are not, as we can all attest, normal times.

The speculation pivots around Bob Iger’s intention to sell parts of Disney. He has publicly stated that ABC and FX may not be core parts of Disney’s business.

And you can see why Bob Iger wants to get creative. If you follow Walt Disney stock, you will see that on August 22nd, 2022, the stock was priced at $112.43 a share. The share price is currently down to $87.49. On top of that, it has lost 11.7m streaming customers. Streaming was supposed to be a big part of Disney’s future.

And let’s not forget Disney movies, whose characters are the lifeblood of the toy industry’s licensed toys. They have been a bust. Elemental, Haunted Mansion, and Strange World have had a very poor box office.

So, Will Apple buy Disney? Its a long shot. What is not a long shot, is Bob Iger doing something dramatic to turn the company around. He has to.

Read Richard’s full article on Global Toy News here.


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