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Barbie Sheds Wings for Fins

10 Jan, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Lionsgate, in association with Mattel Entertainment, March 14 will release Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia ($19.98 DVD), the first sequel in the mini-major's burgeoning “Barbie Fairytopia” portfolio.

The film stars Barbie as Elina, a young fairy who must sacrifice her newly won wings for a mermaid tail during a quest to save an underwater prince.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate slates the venerable doll franchise for seasonal releases.

Mermaidia is the second in the “Fairytopia” series — typically scheduled for spring release. The original “Barbie Princess” series, which includes Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper, Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus, Barbie in The Nutcracker and Barbie as Rapunzel were released during autumn seasons.

A third series, “The Barbie Diaries,” targets slightly older girls and originally was scheduled to bow this month. It has been pushed back to spring to accommodate delays in the title's new animation style.

A theatrical stage show, Barbie Live in Fairytopia, is expected to begin a national tour this spring. A new line of Mermaidia dolls, toys and consumer products already hit retail stores over the holidays.

Barbie Fairytopia [the first in the series] was a resounding success for us, and the entire franchise will receive even greater exposure now with the launch of the title's live stage show and the anticipation of this new adventure,” said Anne Parducci, EVP, family entertainment and marketing for Lionsgate.

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