American Greetings Focuses on Care Bears
Changes in the company's licensing division highlight new focus on classic brand.
American Greetings Properties, the IP and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, has changed its name to American Greetings Entertainment to better reflect its focus on strategic expansion for the Care Bears brand and development of new multi-platform character and entertainment IP.
American Greetings Entertainment continues to grow its powerhouse Care Bears brand with a new Netflix original animated series, “Care Bears & Cousins,” which will launch Nov. 6, and a bevy of new licensing partners in various categories hitting retail as soon as this holiday season.
American Greetings Entertainment has also partnered with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios for another Netflix original series called “Buddy Thunderstruck,” with 12 stop-motion animation episodes set for release in 2017.
“Since the beginning, our approach has been to create engaging, character-driven entertainment brands and expand outward with consumer products that reach modern families,” says Sean Gorman, president, American Greetings Entertainment. “In addition to our ongoing focus on driving The Care Bears franchise with great new storytelling, we are developing a slew of innovative entertainment franchises, like 'Buddy Thunderstruck,' across all media channels followed by an extensive array of relevant consumer products individualized to each distinct property.”
A roster of new licensees have recently joined the 200-plus global consumer products partners for the Care Bears. Among them are Evy of California (fashion apparel items for infants, toddlers and girls), Jay Franco and Sons Inc (bedding, bath, beach and slumber items for toddlers, kids and tweens), Accessory Innovations (backpacks, handbags, lunch bags, water bottles, plush backpacks, tote bags, luggage, wallets, cold weather and fashion accessories for children and juniors), Scholastic (books for preschoolers and kids), Bendon Publishing (arts and crafts set and kits), Cra-Z-Art (activity kits, pillow crafts, jewelry kits), AHQ Pet Sac (backpack plush), Love & Madness (fashion jewelry and cell phone cases, tattoos and hair accessories for kids, tweens and juniors), Spaghetti Headz (hair twists with charms for girls), Vandor (drinkware, collectibles, shopper and tin totes), Smart Pet Love (comfort plush with simulated heartbeat and heating pack for pets who have anxiety), Wall-Ah! (room décor in a Box, home décor vinyl wall decals with 3D die-cut paper mobiles for infants, toddlers, kids and tweens), MediBadge (stickers, activity sheets and tattoos for doctor and dental offices) and Precious Moments (co-branded items including figurines, musicals, water globes, ornaments, tree toppers, photo frames and wall décor).
The company is also building Care Bears' digital reach with plans for a number of new apps for 2015 and 2016 from partners including Ubisoft, Plumzi, Ruckus Media Group, Playdate Digital, TwigTale, Gamepill, Budge Studios, NeonMob, Bare Tree Media and Night and Day Studios.
American Greetings will also release a free "Countdown to Christmas" app this November and has published five digital “Welcome to Care-a-Lot” books for Kindle which are now available on Amazon. In addition, the brand is expanding to new platforms and will be available on Apple Watch and Apple tvOS in the coming months.