RICHARDSON, Texas -- Barney is coming to DVD. Lyrick Studios here will release the first DVD title starring the purple dinosaur July 27 at a suggested retailer price of $24.99. Order date is June 27.
"Let's Play School!" includes five different software products: the "Let's Play School!" video, a "Let's Play School!" sing-along, "Barney's ABC Animals" read-along, "A Great Day for Learning" audio, and "Let's Play School!" interactive games. In addition, the DVD also includes a Spanish language track, subtitles for the hearing-impaired, a parent's section highlighting the educational elements of the DVD, and links to related Web sites.
"We set out to create the definitive children's DVD," said Tim Clott, chief executive officer of Lyrick Studios, "one that takes full advantage of what the technology can deliver." The DVD offers a total of two hours of programming, he noted.
Lyrick waited for a market to develop for children's DVD titles before coming to market, said Clott. The company used the time to design added features that were appropriate to the character. "We decided to make a really big effort with our entry into DVD and create a product that would make people's jaws drop. I gave my folks a considerable budget to create a prototype or a template for what we would do in the future. We thought that by creating a children's product we would show the capabilities of DVD," said Clott.
"On the cassette side, we move a very large number of units through supermarkets. With proper positioning in the supermarkets, I think the DVD could be quite successful, particularly when you look at the machine growth that is taking place," he said.
A difference between Barney titles and other new releases in the video market is that Barney's stay evergreen longer, it has been said. As more people buy DVD hardware, they will also purchase more catalog titles, Clott noted. "So we are not as concerned with what we sell out the door immediately because we know that as the player population grows, it will still be a new title for each person who buys a player. If we sell 20,000 to 25,000 units in the first six months, we'd be really happy," he said.