At 25, Care Bears Continue to Grow Internationally

American Greetings Properties, the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corp., continues to extend its 25-year old Care Bears property across various international licensing channels.

MindWorks Entertainment has signed as exclusive Japanese licensing agent, marking the first time the Care Bears have been officially licensed in that market.

This fall will also be an exciting time for the brand’s Australian presence, as American Greetings Properties’ new Australian licensing agent, Wild Pumpkin, in conjunction with local firm Hardy Marketing Solutions, takes the Care Bears on a 25th Anniversary jaunt.

“American Greetings Properties has always valued international expansion of its properties as a top priority and takes pride in the evolution of its brands across the globe. Taking the Care Bears as an example, we’ve successfully licensed and marketed this brand in more than 70 international territories, with retail sales topping $2 billion worldwide over the past 25 years,” says Donna Bruschi, director of international licensing, American Greetings Properties. “Now with the Care Bears’ official entrance into Japan and fortified presence in Australia, this brand can truly be called a worldwide sensation."

American Greetings Properties, together with MindWorks Entertainment, plans on debuting the Care Bears at specialty retailers with high-end collectibles, fashion apparel and accessories, stationery, and customized mobile content, with a target audience of boys and girls ages 3 to 6. Upon entrance into Japan at the end of 2007, official Care Bears licensed goods will be sold in key retailers such as Village Vanguard, Sony Plaza, Kiddyland, and other venues that sell licensed character merchandise.

The Care Bears were launched onto the Australian and U.S. scene in 1983 as a social expressions line and in 2003 for the reintroduction of the brand. In turn, Australia has experienced huge growth and expansion beyond social expressions and toys, into apparel, house wares, games, footwear, sporting goods, accessories, and more. Hardy Marketing Solutions has worked on the brand for several years and helped bridge the transition between local agents by continuing to build retail programs, promotional events, and brand presence. Wild Pumpkin now serves as the Australian Licensing Agent and in concordance with Hardy Marketing, works directly with American Greetings Properties to expand the Care Bears across a variety of licensing and entertainment channels, with this fall being the biggest season yet.

The Care Bears’ CGI feature film “Oopsy Does It” will make its Australian debut in November, with a significant promotional push by kids’ charity, the Starlight Foundation.

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