Disney poised to launch tween brand Star Darlings
Parents of tween girls, hold on to your wallets! Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media previewed a new and original brand at the D23 Expo in Anaheim that is sure to be popular with the younger set. Disney Star Darlings are a series of characters that will be introduced first through paper books and digital books and then later with an app and merchandise.
Disney Star Darlings are a diverse group of girls who dream of being able to grant the wishes of others to reclaim the wish energy that powers their beloved planet, Starland. To do so, they must “take classes where they learn how to grant wishes made on birthday candles, shooting stars, dandelions, wishbones and coins tossed into fountains,” according to the description on iTunes.
“The Star Darlings’ top-secret mission will take them to Wishworld (known in some places as Earth). There they will have to find the Wisher and figure out how to grant the wish before time runs out and they are stuck on Wishworld forever.”
Tweens will meet the characters Sage, Scarlet, Leona, Libby and Vega to start, although there are 12 girls chosen for the challenge. Sage is confident and optimistic, but she sometimes says things without thinking and then falls all over herself apologizing. Scarlet is an independent starling, one who is not a touchy-feely kind of girl. Leona is a glittering pop star who sometimes forgets that it isn’t always about her all the time. Libby grew up in an astronomically wealthy family and has always gotten what she wanted. Still, she finds joy in helping others. Finally, Vega is a perfectionist and is at the top of her class at Starling Academy.
Star Darlings were created by Ahmet Zappa (son of renowned guitar musician Frank Zappa and one of the creative forces behind the Disney film “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” as well as “Fraggle Rock”) and his wife, Shana Muldoon Zappa, along with Barry Waldo, former VP of worldwide entertainment at Mattel, who worked on the best-selling girls property, Monster High, kidscreen.com reports. They began developing the brand aimed at girls ages 9 to 12 about four years ago.
My own almost-11-year-old daughter was excited about the new franchise when she saw a display at the D23 Expo earlier this month. Though there was a lot to compete for her attention at the expo, she actually slowed down to spend time studying the display at the preview pavilion when she came across it. I would imagine that, for other girls who enjoy reading these kinds of works like my daughter does, the book series will prove to be quite popular as it taps into common themes for girls her age. Another bonus: One of the Disney representatives told us the products will be sold at clothing retailer Justice, her favorite store.
The first two books, based on the characters Sage and Libby, will go on sale in North America on Sept. 15. The e-books will be available on iTunes on Sept. 2. You also can pre-order Kindle versions of the books at Amazon now and have them auto-delivered September 15. Want to see if the books are a good fit for the tween in your life? A substantial preview of each novel is available at http://books.disney.com/?s=star+darlings A release date has not yet been announced for the app, dolls and other merchandise.
And you’ll find a lot of additional information at the Disney-supported Facebook page at www.facebook.com/disneystardarlings