Main menu:

Site search

Tags

Your Digital Kids

All Fairies All the Time

Disney is set to revive fairies in a big multimedia way.

Disney is serious about reviving fairies this fall. As a prequel, pre-teen and teen girls are already flocking to Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow where they can create lithe and lovely fairies of their own, and flit about Pixie Hollow. When the movie, Tinker Bell, appears this fall, Disney will throw its media muscle behind fairies. The world they are creating would make Walt smile. It’s sweet, lovely, and oh-so-Disney.

For starters, we’ll be able to buy flying fairies. Licensed by WowWee, makers of the Dragonfly, there will be a line of flying, radio-controlled FlyTech Fairyflies, one named after each season. ($34.95)

Then there’s Jaaks Pacific. They’ll be selling a very cool line of fairy products that use motion control (like the Wii) to let girls control their fairy on their TV screens. A kit contains all the makings of a fairy: magic wand, ballet tutu, wings, and more. Imagine dressing up like a fairy and waving your magic wand to unfurl the magic. What self-respecting girl wouldn’t believe in fairies after that?

But the piece de resistance is the new Disney Fairies™ Pixie Hollow toys powered with Clickables™. These toys extend the play on the Fairies website (www.pixiehollow.com). A clickable item—like the bracelet in the photo above—can “click” with another Disney Fairies piece of jewelry, allowing girls to trade items from jewelry to jewelry, girl to girl. Once at home they can place their jewelry in a special jewelry box and whatever trade took place in real life between two friends shows up on their on-screen avatars in the Pixie Hollow world. As you play the games on Pixie Hollow you gain points towards things for your personal space in that world, and when you click bracelets in the real world you get points that you can redeem online.

This is a giant step toward the integration of online and offline toys. You can completely immerse yourself in your fairy’s life both on and off the screen. The game play is combined with virtual trading cards and social networking (between friends that “click”), which makes it feel extraordinarily seamless. The Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow line powered by Clickables technology is appropriate for girls ages seven and up. The toys are fairly inexpensive, ranging in price from $5.99 to $29.99.

The good news is that fairies represent a return to Disney’s block and tackle basics. It’s a welcome change from Hannah Montana, Rock Camp, and Zach and Cody. The not-so-good news is a foreshadowing of the pervasiveness of media in a way that’s never been experienced before. The virtual world of fairies no longer stops when the computer is shut down.

As you might imagine, that’s just the tip of the fairy iceberg. According to Brandweek, Disney licensed merchandise sales will hit $30 billion this year; $5 billion in fairies alone.

Disney still believes in fairies, big time. Do you?