WILDBRAIN BAKES UP AN ALL-NEW STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE FOR TODAY’S DIGITAL-SAVVY KIDS
GLOBAL ROLLOUT FEATURES ORIGINAL ANIMATED YOUTUBE SERIES, PREMIUM SVOD SPECIALS, THE FIRST-EVER STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ROBLOX GAME, PLUS ALL-NEW TOYS, BOOKS, MUSIC, EXPERIENCES AND MORE
Trailer and art unveiled for new animated series, Berry in the Big City, from WildBrain Studios with Showrunner Michael Vogel, one of the creative forces behind the success of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
New series to make exclusive digital-first debut on the WildBrain Spark AVOD network on YouTube, September 18; New Roblox game, Baking with Strawberry Shortcake, launching October 2
Beloved girls’ brand prepares to leap off screen with fresh toys, music, books, events and more from leading partners, including Moose Toys, Penguin Random House, Sunkist and others
New York – September 9, 2021 – It all started over 40 years ago, with a simple Valentine’s Day greeting card in 1973 – it was the auspicious birth of Strawberry Shortcake, the sweet little girl with the bonnet who loved baking. She came to be adored by generations of girls, who cherished the little dolls with their signature strawberry scent. Baking, scents, friendship and adventures have always been at the heart of Strawberry Shortcake, and so many of today’s moms have fond memories of their childhood Strawberry Shortcake dolls and watching her shows. Now, WildBrain, a global leader in kids’ and family entertainment, is pleased to announce that Strawberry Shortcake is back, with a cool new look and confident, savvy attitude for today’s kids in a new animated series, Berry in the Big City, plus a brand-new global franchise program specially designed to inspire and bring joy to today’s girls through events, toys, games, books, music, learning and experiences they can share with their moms and friends.
Michael Riley, Chief Brands Officer, WildBrain, said: “Strawberry Shortcake has brought so much joy to children over the years, and now we’re thrilled to provide today’s generation with the opportunity to create new experiences and memories with the brand. While staying true to what makes Strawberry Shortcake special – her sweetness, scent and joyful strawberry motif – this new vision aims to inspire today’s girls with relevant and empowering themes of diversity, sustainability and entrepreneurship. We’ve teamed up with some amazing brand partners and have a fantastic schedule of events, social campaigns and activations lined up for the brand beginning this fall. Whether it’s baking with Mom in the kitchen, playing with scented dolls, enjoying new content on YouTube, immersing themselves in Roblox, or reading books and listening to music, today’s little girls are going to love making the new Strawberry Shortcake a big part of their lives.”
A Brand-New Era for Strawberry Shortcake
The relaunch marks the beginning of a new era for Strawberry Shortcake, as WildBrain takes the beloved Strawberry into the future, fully engaging its deep expertise and resources in brand management to activate the property with content production, digital distribution and consumer products licensing. A wildly popular line of toys and consumer products in the early 1980s, Strawberry Shortcake was then licensed annually across US $500 million worth of consumer products. It went on to sell over five million dolls and has generated more than US $4 billion at retail to date. WildBrain is ready to return Strawberry Shortcake to her glory, delivering engaging entertainment, learning and fun, all designed to appeal to today’s girls wherever they’re playing games or watching content.
The fun kicks off September 18 with the premiere of WildBrain’s original new animated series, Berry in the Big City, in an exclusive double-episode event only on the official Strawberry Shortcake channel on WildBrain Spark, the Company’s leading AVOD network on YouTube and YouTube Kids, where it will be available initially in English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese, by territory. Fans of Strawberry Shortcake can enjoy a sneak peek of Berry in the Big City today in the series trailer unveiled on the official channel, where new episodes will drop each Saturday following the premiere, through June 2022.
Produced by WildBrain’s Vancouver animation studio – with renowned showrunner Michael Vogel, one of the creative forces behind the success of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and the theatrical feature My Little Pony: The Movie – Berry in the Big City finds Strawberry Shortcake traveling to Big Apple City, where all the biggest names in baking go to get their break. Along with her cute cat, Custard, she teams up with her new “berry besties” – Orange Blossom, Lime Chiffon, Lemon Meringue and Blueberry Muffin – as well as their lovable pets. Together, the entrepreneurial girls run their fabulous food trucks and enjoy daily adventures filled with laughter and singing as they strive to “bake the world a better place”!
Michael Vogel, Executive Producer and Showrunner on Berry in the Big City, said: “Working with WildBrain Studios to reimagine Strawberry Shortcake for Berry in the Big City has been a dream come true. This is a sweet and funny series, with modern, inclusive storytelling that I think today’s kids are going to love. We’ve captured all the adorable sweetness of Strawberry Shortcake while giving her a cool new look and a savvy ‘can do’ attitude, perfect to inspire kids to embrace their dreams and do great things.”
Season one of Berry in the Big City delivers 40 all-new four-minute adventures in 2D animation for kids aged 3 to 6. A second 40-episode season of Berry in the Big City has already been greenlit, and WildBrain Studios is also in development on a slate of new, CG-animated 44-minute Strawberry Shortcake family specials for a major streaming platform.
Berry in the Big City also features 10 original songs that will be released next year as animated lyric videos for kids to sing along with and enjoy on WildBrain Spark’s official Strawberry Shortcake channel. WildBrain Spark is one of the most popular networks of kids’ and family content on YouTube and YouTube Kids, generating billions of views per month and offering brand-safe, premium content enjoyed each quarter by at least one in three kids worldwide1.
From Ragdoll to Roblox, Strawberry Shortcake Graduates to 3D Digital Gaming
In addition to starring in a brand-new series, the bonneted little girl once famed as a popular ragdoll is graduating for the first time to the digital universe of Roblox. Beginning October 2, kids can enjoy WildBrain’s brand-new Roblox game, Baking with Strawberry Shortcake, which marks the brand’s debut on one of the world’s most popular 3D digital gaming platforms for kids. Baking with Strawberry Shortcake invites fans to dive into an interactive 3D adventure, where they can play with each other and engage with Strawberry Shortcake and her friends in a digital world not available anywhere else – customizing food trucks, creating amazing baked goods and competing in baking contests.
Available across all major gaming devices, Roblox is one of the most popular gaming platforms for kids and teens. Every day, more than 42 million people come to Roblox – over half of them under the age of 13 – to create adventures, play games, role play and learn with their friends in a family-friendly, immersive, 3D environment.
The Return of Famous Strawberry-Scented Dolls
The new Strawberry Shortcake series and Roblox game come as WildBrain rolls out an exciting new global franchise and licensing program for the brand. Built to heighten the experiential world of Strawberry Shortcake, while celebrating the nostalgia today’s moms feel for the brand, the franchise program will feature new toys, apparel, books and more, plus celebrity spotlights, social media activations, brand partnerships, baking demonstrations and friendly competitions – all encouraging today’s parents to re-visit and share their love of Strawberry Shortcake with their little ones. The new program builds on the foundation of classic Strawberry Shortcake consumer products that continues to grow as it appeals to a sense of nostalgia in today’s parents.
Central to the new consumer products program, WildBrain has appointed Moose Toys as Master Toy Partner for Strawberry Shortcake. Known for such innovative and highly successful toy lines as Shopkins, Bluey, Little Live Pets and Heroes of Goo Jit Zu, Moose has been hard at work with WildBrain’s Franchise Brands team and leading licensing agency, WildBrain CPLG, developing an amazing line of new Strawberry Shortcake toys and playsets to be unveiled in early 2022. Today’s moms who loved Strawberry Shortcake when they were little will be delighted to learn that Strawberry Shortcake’s signature scent is set to return in a line of collectible dolls their daughters are sure to love.
Menal McGrath, Vice President, Global Licensing, Moose Toys, said: “We’re thrilled to collaborate with WildBrain. Their position as a ‘new generation’ kids’ entertainment leader makes them the ideal partner to introduce today’s kids to such a beloved and iconic property. This aspirational, fun and fresh reimagining of Strawberry Shortcake gives us an incredibly exciting platform to deliver never-before-seen, ‘wow’ products that will redefine how consumers see and experience the brand.”
Additionally, WildBrain CPLG has expanded its existing Strawberry Shortcake partnership with Penguin Young Readers Licenses, an imprint of Penguin Random House, for a range of new Berry in the Big City story books, board books and sticker books, set to launch in 2022 in North America.
Other household-name brands launching new Strawberry Shortcake partnerships at retail beginning in early 2022 include Naturipe (strawberries and blueberries), Sunkist Growers (oranges, lemons and limes), Envy Apples (apples), Langers (juice), Zolli Candy (dentist-approved lollipops), Dippin’ Dots (ice cream), Snip-Its (kids hair salons), Challenge Butter (butter) and more.
About Strawberry Shortcake
WildBrain’s Strawberry Shortcake is one of the world’s most-adored brands. Since her creation in 1973, with the release of a simple Valentine’s Day greeting card, Strawberry Shortcake has grown and evolved with new content, toys and experiences for each new generation of kids. Parents who loved her when they were young, can now share a fresh new Strawberry Shortcake with their children through the all-new original WildBrain series Berry in the Big City, as well as through new toys, books, games, apparel, events – and of course, dolls, which still boast their iconic scent. Previous Strawberry Shortcake content in WildBrain’s library, including the series Strawberry Shortcake and Berry Bitty Adventures, and the animated movies Sky’s the Limit and The Sweet Dreams Movie, continues to delight young audiences on streaming and broadcast platforms worldwide. With an international presence that has generated over US 4$ billion in retail sales since its first launch, Strawberry Shortcake is a true character-brand phenomenon that is cherished by kids and families worldwide.
Visit Strawberry Shortcake at: www.strawberryshortcake.com
About Berry in the Big City
Strawberry Shortcake has big dreams! She believes with all her heart that a perfectly baked treat can brighten someberry’s day! And in the brand-new animated WildBrain series, Berry in the Big City, she is determined to “bake the world a better place” one cupcake at a time! That was never gonna happen back in her hometown of Berryville. Which is why Strawberry Shortcake packed her bags, grabbed her cat, Custard, and headed to the ONE place all the biggest names in baking go to get their big break: BIG APPLE CITY! If you can bake it there you can bake it ANYWHERE! In the ‘Big Apple’ bakers are the celebrities! The social influencers! Strawberry Shortcake is certain she’s got what it takes to be the next big thing…she just has to prove it! Fortunately, with the help of her new ‘berry besties’ – Orange Blossom, Lime Chiffon, Lemon Meringue and Blueberry Muffin – along with their lovable pets, a lucky mixing spoon and her fabulous new food truck, Strawberry Shortcake has all the ingredients she needs to “bake the magic happen”. It’s not gonna be easy, but Strawberry Shortcake is no ordinary berry and she can’t WAIT to show the world what she can do!
1. One in three kids – based on unique viewers on WildBrain Spark as a % of the global kids’ audience on YouTube on a quarterly basis.
For more information, please contact:
Media: Shaun Smith – Director, Corporate & Trade Communications, WildBrain
Investor Relations: Nancy Chan-Palmateer – Director, Investor Relations, WildBrain
At WildBrain we inspire imaginations to run wild, engaging kids and families everywhere with great content across all media. With approximately 13,000 half-hours of filmed entertainment in our library – one of the world’s most extensive – we are home to such brands as Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test and Degrassi. At our 75,000-square-foot state-of-the-art animation studio in Vancouver, BC, we produce such fan-favourite series as The Snoopy Show, Snoopy in Space, Chip & Potato, Carmen Sandiego, Go, Dog. Go! and more. Our shows are enjoyed worldwide in more than 150 countries on over 500 streaming platforms and telecasters, and our AVOD business – WildBrain Spark – offers one of the largest networks of kids’ channels on YouTube, garnering billions of views per month from over 150 million subscribers. We also license consumer products and location-based entertainment in every major territory for our own properties as well as for our clients and content partners. Our television group owns and operates four family entertainment channels that are among the most viewed in Canada. WildBrain is headquartered in Canada with offices worldwide and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: WILD). Please visit us at wildbrain.com.
Moose Toys exists to make children Superhappy. It’s at the heart of everything we do. The team has innovation in its DNA and is famous for the design, development and manufacture of award-winning toys that continue to disrupt the market! Moose Toys leads in categories including collectibles, craft, dolls, games and youth electronics and is consistently recognized as the most creative company in the industry. We are a family-run business, but that doesn’t mean we are small-time. We shook up the toy industry in 2014 with the global phenomenon Shopkins, and through these pint-sized characters, we reinvigorated the way children play. Not satisfied to stop at toys, we have also stretched ourselves into creating content, entertainment and making worldwide licensing deals. Moose calls Australia home, but our 500-strong team is scattered globally, spreading the Superhappy.
About Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson. As of April 1, 2020, Bertelsmann is full owner of the company. With more than 300 imprints and brands on six continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- German- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and more than 600 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 80 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” under applicable securities laws with respect to the Company including, without limitation, statements regarding Strawberry Shortcake brand plans and the business strategies and operational activities of WildBrain Ltd. (the “Company”). Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on information currently available to the Company. Actual results or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, among other things, include the availability of investment opportunities and at acceptable valuations, epidemics, pandemics or other public health crises, including the current outbreak of COVID-19, the magnitude and length of economic disruption as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, and risk factors discussed in materials filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time including matters discussed under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Information Form and annual Management Discussion and Analysis. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.