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February 9, 2024
Entertainment studio, Cloudco Entertainment, creates multi-platform entertainment franchises across all media channels and extensive consumer merchandising programs. One of Cloudco’s properties, Care Bears, is well-steeped in licensing. Since its debut in 1982, The Care Bears have been a part of the consumer product world, where Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Share Bear, Grumpy Bear and Good Luck Bear have been fea-tured on lunch boxes, toys, bedding and stationery, among other categories.
However, most Care Bears fans tend to express their fandom through fashion. Fans of all ages have gravitated to apparel, jewelry, shoes and cosmetics featuring the characters and their respective colorways.
Robert Prinzo, head, global licensing and Cristina Villegas, vice president, licensing, North America, Cloudco Entertainment, talk with License Global about how fans can share their Care Bears adoration in style.
Robert Prinzo, Cristina Villegas, Cloudco Entertainment
In August 2023, Cloudco was acquired by IVEST Consumer Partners, a private equity fund specializing in consumer products, licensing and retail companies. For Cloudco, the acquisition opened up lots of opportunities for the company.
“The acquisition allows us to explore new markets, broaden our global presence and harness IVEST’s expertise to enhance the strength of our intellectual properties,” says Prinzo. “This acquisition represents a significant advancement in our goal to share the magic of our brands with audiences worldwide.”
One such example is the debut of the direct-to-consumer online store with Snow Commerce. In this hub, Care Bears fans can easily access their favorite Care Bears products, including limited-edition products, drops and new features. This is quickly becoming a favorite with fans and customers who can curate their own Care Bears apparel.
“We’re thrilled to hear all the positive feedback,” says Prinzo. “It’s been fantastic to give us the chance to offer a shopping experience that’s more personal and direct. The convenience and easy access to the online store has been widely appreciated, and we’re constantly working to make the shopping experience even better.”
Fashion includes beauty and wellness. Care Bears have collaborated in the makeup sector with Wet n Wild and Violet Voss at Sephora, Dalla and SHEGLAM. The latter featured literal plush packaging on its line of blushes and eyeshadow cases, further adding to the Care Bear experience.
“Adding plush features to the makeup collection was a fun way to infuse a sense of comfort and whimsy into our beauty collaborations,” says Villegas. “We wanted fans to experience the warmth and cuddly essence of Care Bears in their daily lives.”
SHEGLAM’s Care Bears collaboration.
While there are fashion forecasts, fashion trends can happen quickly. In 2023, friendship bracelets returned, thanks to Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, where Swifties swapped homemade jewelry with fellow fans. Cloudco is working with Rainbow Loom for a jewelry-making kit later this year.
“With jewelry-making being a big hit in 2023, we’re excited about our collaboration with Rainbow Loom,” says Villegas. “Rainbow Loom Kits, complete with the loom, colorful rubber bands and adorable Care Bears charms, have proven fantastic for making bracelets. Beyond sparking creativity, these kits also help kids develop fine motor skills and encourage social interaction as they create and trade loom bands. It’s a wonderful way to get kids involved in hands-on activities and take a break from excessive screen time – a trend we’re thrilled to continue in the coming year.”
Cloudco will have more apparel and accessories for younger fans as they celebrate 20 years of a partnership with Care Bears and tween clothing store, Justice, with a collaboration featuring the bears on apparel and accessories, including sunglasses, hats, fleece sets, denim and the debut of a swimwear line. In 2023, Cloudco partnered with a toddler clothing line, Sweet Peas, for organic sleepwear that quickly sold out.
“The collaboration with Sweet Peas showcased our dedication to bringing the magic of Care Bears to children,” says Villegas. “We were delighted to work with Sweet Peas to create a charming and playful collection for kids, reinforcing our commitment to spreading joy and positivity through our beloved characters. Additionally, we recently launched a range with Justice at Walmart, which has been another exciting step in making our products accessible to young fans everywhere.”
Care Bears is helping Sanrio mark the 50th anniversary of Hello Kitty in 2024, which will extend into bags, accessories and more throughout the year.
“We’re thrilled about the Hello Kitty and Friends x Care Bears collaboration and excited to share that exclusive ranges from Loungefly and Sonix collections have launched with an overwhelmingly positive response,” says Prinzo. “You can look forward to finding the fashion collection and plush items at Target, exclusive Loungefly bags, accessories, home goods and apparel at Hot Topic and a range of novelty accessories, stationery and plush at Claire’s in early spring 2024. It will be an exciting opportunity for fans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hello Kitty and Care Bears with a fantastic array of products.”
Hello Kitty and Friends x Care Bears.
Care Bears are for the young and the young at heart. Loungefly and Irregular Choice are long-standing collaborations with Cloudco and Care Bears, providing eye-catching shoes and accessories for fans who have grown out of toys but not of the brand.
“Indeed, Loungefly and Irregular Choice have introduced Care Bears into their shoes and accessories, and it has resonated with a diverse range of demographics,” says Villegas. “Fans of all ages appreciate the unique and stylish designs. We are actively exploring plans to extend the accessories line.”
Care Bears are also a part of day-to-day wear. Fashion brands like Forever21, Romwe, Truffle Shuffle and SHEIN have collaborated with Cloudco for Care Bears apparel in 2023. Will these collaborations continue this year?
“We are excited to continue our collaboration with SHEIN in 2024,” says Villegas. “Fans can look forward to new collections of Care Bears apparel that combine trendy fashion with the timeless appeal of our beloved characters.”
Care Bears are also haute couture. Recently, designer Jimmy Paul debuted a Care Bears line at a pop-up at Galeries Lafayette, a luxury department store in Paris. The Bears fared well in the luxury market.
“The Jimmy Paul x Care Bears line at Galeries Lafayette received an enthusiastic response,” says Prinzo. “It successfully blended high fashion with the iconic Care Bears charm. While we can’t reveal specific details at this time, we are actively exploring opportunities to expand our presence in the luxury market and create more exclusive and couture experiences for our fans. The pop-up at Galeries Lafayette featured engaging workshops that allowed fans to create Care Bears-themed art and crafts, interact with our characters and enjoy a memorable experience. The kkplus pop-up in Hong Kong also provided fans with similar interactive experiences.”
Prinzo hints at more Care Bears apparel and accessories collaborations and pop-ups for this year.
“We have several exciting collaborations within the apparel and accessories space in the pipeline,” says Prinzo. “These partnerships aim to expand our product offerings and provide our dedicated fan base with a diverse array of stylish and unique Care Bears products to enjoy. Furthermore, we are actively gearing up for new drops in collaboration with Dolls Kill and Cotton On, building on the success of our previous collaborations with these partners.”
Care Bears’s Forever 21 apparel and accessories collection.
Read more about:Cloudco EntertainmentCare BearsFebruary 2024License Global OriginalGlobalHello KittyForever 21
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