Lions Gate's New Barbie Princess Due in Fall21 Feb, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Lions Gate Home Entertainment's Family Entertainment unit this fall expects to complete a Barbie double play.
The supplier plans to release the animated direct-to-video title Barbie and The Magic of Pegasus, which, together with March 8's release of Barbie Fairytopia, represents the popular Mattel brand's first multiple-video launch in one year.
No price has yet been determined for Pegasus.
Lions Gate's “Barbie” CGI videos — traditionally bowed in the fall primary toy-selling season — have sold more than 12 million units, with such titles as Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper, Barbie in the Nutcracker, Barbie of Swan Lake and Barbie as Rapunzel.
“It's really a very consistent, strong business for us,” said Anne Parducci, EVP of Family Entertainment and marketing. “We know the movies and toys together work to build a stronger program overall. It's another way of engaging [little girls] in the brand.”
Parducci leaves little doubt that Mattel earmarked two video releases in one year as a means of highlighting successive toy, doll and accessory lines associated with the characters in the films.
“It helps bring story value to a play pattern with the dolls,” she said. “It is a consistent strategy. What changes are the themes of the movies, keeping it fresh and exciting for little girls.”
Marketing campaigns, though still being developed, will focus on Barbie's horse, Pegasus, and the fact that little girls love horses — especially one that flies.
“It should be an amazing year for Barbie,” Parducci said.