With the rights to flagship IPs Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears now straightened out and firmly in its hands, American Greetings Properties (AGP) is looking ahead with ambitious plans to expand the brands while expanding its development slate with boys action fare.
Hasbro is on-board as the master toy licensee for both properties and the goal is to build a greater domestic and international licensing base that will synchronize with Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears’ 30th anniversary celebrations, taking place this year and in 2012, respectively. Strawberry Shortcake, in particular, has an big agenda ahead with a slew of interactive online activities on StrawberryShortcake.com, a special edition collector’s doll set and an all-new animated TV series, Berry Bitty Adventures, launching this month on The Hub. The latter is also being joined on The Hub by AGP original series Twisted Whiskers and Maryoku Yummy.
AGP’s New York office, meanwhile, is ramping up the marketing and licensing for all three series and is currently looking to sign on partners for ancillary toy categories, consumables, live entertainment and electronics/interactive/mobile.
The company is also looking to expand beyond girl-oriented preschool properties to introduce new boys action IPs targeting the eight to 11 set, starting with Beast Battalion, which is currently in development. The company will begin speaking with potential partners about this show in the near future.
‘We’re supporting Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake and entering lots of different genres of entertainment and launching them in different forms of media,’ says Jeffrey Conrad, executive director of licensing and entertainment. ‘You can only play in the preschool space for so long.’
Conrad says AGP is also working with Disney XD on the new action series Packages from Planet X. KidScreen cited the series as a Cool New Show in October 2008 and it’s now entering the pilot stage.