The bottle said drink me…
Featuring a story line that revolves around all manner of pint-sized magical creatures, Mattel’s Barbie Fairytopia, a new direct-to-DVD franchise kicking off this spring, has given the toyco creative license to grow – and shrink – its doll line. For the first time, Barbie will be given a micro treatment in support of the first DTV’s launch on April 8. The characters in the movies live in a world of fairies, giant flowers and butterflies, which opened the door to playing around with the doll’s scale. Although the Fairytopia line includes some regular 11.5-inch fashion SKUs, it also features two sets of five-inch fairy dolls and a three-pack of elves. The range will be supported by four playsets – the larger Peony House (US$20), which comes with two characters, as well as smaller models for US$9.99 and US$5. Karen Hershenson, Mattel’s director of marketing for the property, says that the company deliberately priced the bulk of the range under US$10 to jibe with what parents and relatives typically spend on Easter gifts for kids.
Disney builds up its kids comic empire
Disney Publishing Worldwide has picked up the assets of Florida-based comic book publisher CrossGen Entertainment, whose properties include Abadazad, Meridian and Sojourn. With this acquisition, Disney now controls 50% of the global children’s comic market. DPW imprint Hyperion Books for Children will start off developing four Abadazad books for release in 2005, telling the story of a girl’s search for her lost brother in a fantastical world. Other CrossGen assets include a comics-based educational and literacy program, and proprietary on-line comic publishing technology that will support a plan to roll out web comics in several countries, including China.