Lions Gate to Release Barbie Fairytopia

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In a continued partnership, Mattel has awarded the North American home entertainment rights to the first release in its all-new line of Barbie direct-to-video features – Barbie Fairytopia – to Lions Gate’s Family Home Entertainment (FHE), a division of Lions Gate Entertainment. Barbie Fairytopia will be released on both VHS and DVD formats in March 2005, just in time for the Easter Holiday. The announcement was made today by Glenn Ross, President of Family Home Entertainment and Steve Ross, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Entertainment and Business Development of Mattel Entertainment.

FHE was selected to distribute the first Barbie Fairytopia title following its tremendous success serving as the distributor of Mattel’s Barbie Princess Series videos, which, since 2001, have come out annually in the fall. The first three releases in the Princess Series – Barbie in the Nutcracker, Barbie As Rapunzel and Barbie of Swan Lake – have all performed extremely well at retail. The fourth Barbie release in the Princess Series – Barbie as The Princess & the Pauper – hit stores in September and has already topped charts as the #1 kids video to purchase this holiday season, according to Nielsen Video Scan.

Barbie Fairytopia marks the first-ever direct-to-video feature starring the world’s favorite doll that will be released in the spring as a new franchise in Barbie Entertainment. Distinguishing itself from the Princess Series, Barbie Fairytopia incorporates a whole new world for Barbie that is filled with new characters, more colors, and magical fantasy adventure. Barbie Fairytopia is a stunning computer-animated movie that takes girls to a completely new world of rich colors and fantastic images under the flowers.

“We are excited about continuing to expand our overall relationship with Mattel,” said Lions Gate’s Glenn Ross. “Mattel has been able to consistently delight and surprise consumers with bold new ideas as well as deliver positive messages that empower young girls to be all they dream of being. This philosophy aligns perfectly with what we feel FHE is all about. We are very pleased to be able to add what we know will be a highly-anticipated spring event with the new Fairytopia movies. It is important to note, that ‘Barbie Fairytopia’ is a whole new immersive world that is very different from the Princess releases, providing girls with two unique, exciting experiences throughout the year with their favorite doll. ”

Similar to the Barbie Princess movies, Mattel will support Barbie Fairytopia with a full, all-new line of Barbie Fairytopia dolls and other toys based on the movie. The marketing and promotional campaign supporting the releases will be similar to Barbie As The Princess and The Pauper including a powerful advertising campaign, cross sells, and much more. More details on the marketing programs will be released at a later date.

“We continue to engage girls deeper in the world of Barbie and extend the brand through entertainment and our partners at Lions Gate support our strategy and share in our vision,” said Steve Ross, Mattel Senior Vice President of Entertainment and Business Development. “The Lions Gate team has been with us from the beginning and have proven to be outstanding partners. They will help us realize our plans for Fairytopia entertainment, which will be backed with the biggest spring media and public relations campaign ever for a Barbie toy and video launch, and we feel confident that together, we will continue to build on the incredible success of the number one girls brand worldwide,” Ross added.

Barbie Fairytopia will be released on March 8, 2005 for the suggested retail price of $19.98 on DVD and VHS. The DVD is presented in family-friendly widescreen with Dolby 5.1 and 2.0 Audio with Spanish 2.0 Audio and is filled with wonderfully fun special features including a “Boogie with Barbie” dancing game, “Pixie Hide and Seek” game, “Fairy Friends,” and interactive menus.