Entertainment News International - News and Discusstions

New Life for Strawberry Shortcake

Reported by Jay Cochran - 2007.09.04

The hit evergreen girls’ brand, Strawberry Shortcake, has reached a new milestone with more than $2 billion achieved in worldwide retail sales (cumulative 2003-2007) and continues to evolve as a multi-dimensional entertainment franchise. The announcement was made today by Josef Mandelbaum, President and CEO, American Greetings Properties, creator and owner of the brand, and Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO, DIC Entertainment, the exclusive worldwide licensing agent for Strawberry Shortcake.

With more than 300 licensees worldwide and available at every major U.S. retailer, the Strawberry Shortcake brand celebrates another banner year in 2007 with fresh themes and the introduction of new product lines, multiple DVD releases, a theatrical feature, books and music, as well as an upcoming broadcast network debut, major 4th quarter QSR promotion and continued online growth. DIC and American Greetings Properties will continue to work with partners to build the Strawberry Shortcake franchise with new brand themes (dance, western, music, fairytale and Hollywood glamour), content, categories and distribution channels in development through 2010.

“We are thrilled with the phenomenal success of Strawberry Shortcake over the past four years which has exceeded our expectations and secured its position as one of the top girls’ brands of all time,” says Heyward. “American Greetings has created a timeless brand and we salute them and our network of partners and agents who have contributed to this tremendous achievement.” He adds, “We look forward to the continued growth and success of the brand as we all work to deliver fresh and innovative ideas that will keep our retailer partners excited and fans coming back for more.”

"DIC and all of our licensees, such as Playmates Toys, Penguin Putnam, and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, have done a tremendous job in keeping Strawberry Shortcake fresh, relevant and top of mind with today's girls,” says Josef Mandelbaum, President and CEO, American Greetings Properties. “The $2 billion benchmark is a testament to the hard work our organizations have put into building this brand to the evergreen status it is today, ensuring that Strawberry Shortcake is truly 'growing better all the time.'"

In 2006, Playmates was named the new Master Toy Licensee for Strawberry Shortcake and re-launched an all-new line of Strawberry Shortcake toys. In 2007 and 2008, Playmates will continue to rollout new merchandise that ties in with the tentpole themes, as well as support the brand with national advertising campaigns. Penguin Putnam has 11 new books in release this year, and to date has sold more than 11 million books from the Strawberry Shortcake publishing program, which has published 70 titles (since 2003).

The entertainment platform for Strawberry Shortcake features new DVD titles, theatrical matinees, and for the first time, major broadcast television exposure. With more than 10 million units of Strawberry Shortcake shipped to date, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has released two new DVD titles, “Sweet Dreams Movie” and “Berry Blossom Festival,” along with an upcoming October release of “Let’s Dance,” to coincide with the fall 2007 “dance” tentpole theme. In spring 2007, Fox released a theatrical feature, “Berry Blossom Festival” on screens across the U.S., which marked the second theatrical release for the brand. “The Sweet Dreams Movie,” released in fall 2006, achieved the best performance ever for a children’s matinee-only release. Eight new DVD titles are planned for 2008 – 2009. Koch Records, which has sold nearly 500,000 Strawberry Shortcake CDs, released “World of Friends” CD in May and is gearing up for the September release of the “Let’s Dance” CD.

In September 2007, Strawberry Shortcake will make its major broadcast network debut on a new branded Saturday morning children’s programming block with 26 half-hour episodes. Strawberry Shortcake also airs on the syndicated programming block, DIC Kid’s Network. The Strawberry Shortcake website, www.strawberryshortcake.com, averages 200,000 unique visitors per month while growing 40% month over month.

The Strawberry Shortcake program continues to receive industry recognition, garnering three LIMA nominations this year for “Best Overall License of the Year,” “Best Character Brand License of the Year” and “Best Character Brand for Hard Lines.”

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