Mattel plans reality skein tie-in doll

HOLLYWOOD — Barbie isn’t hanging out at the soda shop anymore.

Mattel has partnered with “American Idol” producer Fremantle Media to create “American Idol Barbie Doll.”

Mattel approached Fremantle execs with the concept a few months ago. Fremantle claimed to receive similar offers frequently, but with this, “We basically jumped on it,” said Oliver Gers, senior VP of Fremantle Media Licensing North America. “We are a worldwide property and they are a worldwide brand. It fits perfectly.”

The doll is being modeled as an “American Idol” contestant, complete with stage accessories and three sidekick friends she meets at the open-call auditions.

Both companies hope the deal will help increase the market for both properties.

” ‘American Idol’ is a family property,” Gers said. “It’s possibly the only show that parents can watch with their kids.” By replicating the “Idol” experience at home, Gers said, the newest Barbie allows kids — a growing segment of the reality skein’s aud — to enjoy the show as well.

“American Idol Barbie Doll” will hit the shelves in the U.S. next winter, just as “Pop Idol Barbie Doll” debuts worldwide.

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