Strawberry Shortcake plans taking shape

American Greetings and Cookie Jar rounding up slate of new product and entertainment launches.
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Classic brand Strawberry Shortcake is shaping up to have a very busy 2009, with brand owner American Greetings and its partner Cookie Jar Entertainment readying a raft of new product and entertainment launches.

Strawberry Shortcake has generated more than $2.7 billion in worldwide retail sales since the brand's relaunch in 2002. It has attracted nearly 500 licensees worldwide - a number which is still growing.

This autumn, master toy licensee Hasbro will debut its new line of strawberry-scented toys. The new collection will include playsets, vehicles and dolls and will feature the brand's new-look.

As well as the toy line, Fox Entertainment is planning a CGI movie and DVD, The Strawberry Shortcake Movie: The Sky's the Limit. The company has already shipped more than ten million units of Strawberry Shortcake DVDs over the past five years, and other entertainment also continues to perform well.

Penguin Putnam has sold more than 11 million books since 2002 and Koch Records has sold nearly 500,000 Strawberry Shortcake DVDs.

Cookie Jar, meanwhile, is signing up a host of licensees and working with current partners in all major categories to create products based on the brand's new look.

The firm has appointed a new master apparel partner with merchandise including t-shirts, fashion apparel, daywear and active wear, due for launch in the autumn. Additional US partners will be signed in a wide variety of categories including publishing, bedding, consumables, HBA and footwear.

Globally, Strawberry Shortcake's popularity is growing, particularly in France, Brazil and Mexico, with these territories opening doors to new additional markets in Europe and Asia.

The brand is currently the number two girls' property in France, while in Brazil it was voted the best licensed character of 2008 by Brazilian retail industry magazine Lojas.

"We are thrilled by Strawberry Shortcake's expanded global success and look forward to continuing our relationship with Cookie Jar to further broaden the wide reaching appeal of the brand," said Josef Mandelbaum, president and CEO of American Greetings.

Michael Hirsh, CEO of Cookie Jar, added: "Strawberry Shortcake's impressive growth over the past few years is a testament to the success of our partnership."

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