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Elsa's Frozen Dress: The Hottest Gown in Town

The film’s huge success has set off a rush for the Elsa dress
Originally priced at $150, now offered for up to 10x more on Ebay
Originally priced at $150, now offered for up to 10x more on EbayCourtesy Disney(2)

Aaryn Costello is searching for the perfect dress, a 30-inch-long light-blue number with a sparkly bodice and a detachable white cape. That would be the Elsa dress from the Walt Disney hit Frozen, the most sought-after fashion item among the kindergarten set. Many stores are sold out, and limited-edition versions originally sold by Disney have been offered for up to $1,600 on EBay. Desperate parents are sewing their own or shelling out up to $225 for replicas on craft sites such as “Every mom in the world is dying for this dress,” says Costello, a Los Angeles marketing consultant with a Frozen-obsessed 4-year-old.

Toys, dolls, and clothes have always been a big part of strategy at Disney, the world’s largest licensing company. Even so, it’s hit an unexpected merchandise jackpot with Elsa, the Snow Queen of Arendelle, and her ice gown. “It took everyone by surprise worldwide,” says Stephen Berman, chief executive officer at Jakks Pacific, a manufacturer that sells to chains such as Wal-Mart Stores and Target. “This is a new Disney princess franchise. It happens maybe once or twice in a business career.” In January, stores sold out of Jakks’s version—price, $20—and some retailers are ponying up to airlift reinforcements from Chinese factories.