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Another Ripe Year Expected From Bandai America Incorporated's Strawberry Shortcake Dolls & Toyline
Girl Power: Jay Cochran - 2004.02.12


Strawberry Shortcake Returns in 2004 as the Premiere Toy Brand that "Lets Little Girls be Little Girls" with Exciting New Themes, Fashions and Characters

NEW YORK, February 11, 2004 – After achieving sales in excess of $200 million during the first year of her re-introduction, the classic girls' property Strawberry Shortcake returns in 2004, poised to repeat her phenomenal success. Master toy licensee Bandai America Incorporated predicts another ripe year in which its scented dolls and toyline will ascend to a top ranking in the mini doll category – and to the top of every little girl's wish list. Magic wands and dessert-inspired ponies are only a sampling of the year in store for everyone's favorite little girl.

"Bandai America has quickly driven the Strawberry Shortcake brand to success in the toy aisle. With her consistent ranking in 2003 as one of the top mini dolls and her popularity during the holiday buying season, Strawberry Shortcake has proved a force in girls' toys" said Michael Riley, vice president of marketing for Bandai America. "We expect even greater success in 2004 as we introduce a wide assortment of products to give little girls more of everything that they love about Strawberry Shortcake."

With toys for the young fan to the adult collector, Bandai America's 2004 lineup includes new themes, characters, play environments and technology. Key products include the Berry Best Friends assortment, the number one selling item in Bandai America's lineup. The much-anticipated Strawberryland Fillies all have ice cream-inspired names like Milk Shake and Cookie Dough. Strawberry and her friends can ride on the Fillies, which come with fun hair and fashion accessories. Even a new character, Blueberry Muffin, is along for the ride! Expected to be a huge Holiday 2004 hit, this fall's Singin' Surprise interactive plush doll features unique color recognition technology. When a special wand is waved across the included activity book, girls will hear special phrases and songs just for them.

Bandai America will launch a comprehensive marketing campaign to support year two of the brand with national television and print advertising, as well as exclusive promotions such as redeemable Berry Points where girls redeem sweet rewards, a mini-magazine in Parents Magazine, a mall tour and outreach to the loyal collector community. In addition, Bandai America will partner with licensors American Greetings and DIC Entertainment for participation in the second annual collectors convention, an in-pack promotion with General Mills cereals and exclusive activities for the 100,000+ members of the online Friendship Club at www.Strawberry Shortcake.com.

Bandai America's Fall 2004 lineup includes:

Scented Dolls & Fashions

Berry Best Friends: Twenty different versions of these signature 5.5-inch scented dolls will be available in 2004, including the introduction of a brand new character: Blueberry Muffin. Each comes with a "Filly Tales" mini book, and girls can collect the mini books to create an entire story.

Talkin' Giggle Friends: New 5.5-inch scented dolls that feature fun fashions and special themed accessories, such as Cheer Days Strawberry Shortcake. Each doll speaks three phrases and gives a cute giggle.

Berry Wear & Accessories: Each themed collection, such as a riding gear set, includes two sets of fashions, shoes, a hat and hangers, so girls can store the fashions of their Berry Best Friends doll in the Strawberry Fashion Closet (sold separately).

Strawberryland Fillies: Each filly hails from Ice Cream Island and has an ice cream-inspired name such as Milk Shake and Cookie Dough. Comes with a variety of accessories for endless hours of filly hair play.
Playsets

Berry Sweet Playsets: Playsets double as carrying cases for girls to store and play with their Berry Sweet Wearables 1.5-inch collectible miniatures.

Berry Cute Go-Hats: Miniature playsets come encased in a free-wheeling ride that is shaped like the hat the characters wear. Go-Hats also include an exclusive 2.5-inch scented doll and fun accessories.

Berry Cute Places: Miniature play environments, such as the Cup Cake Café come with a 2.5-inch doll and fun themed accessories.

Strawberry Fashion Closet: Fun carrying cases for girls on the go allow them to store one 5.5-inch doll and all of her fashions and accessories.

Berry Happy Home: The cute strawberry-shaped playset that doubles as a carrying case opens to reveal Strawberry Shortcake's amazing home! New furniture, stickers and one exclusive fashion set are included this year.

Berry Happy Home Furnishings: Girls can decorate their Berry Happy Home dollhouse with these fantasy furniture sets that have light or sound features and come with an exclusive 5.5-inch doll.

Filly Stable: The stable opens up to reveal a fun, ice cream-inspired grooming salon and comes with one exclusive filly, fashions and other hair accessories.
Interactive Plush

Berry Talkin' Apple Dumplin': Available beginning Spring 2004, Strawberry Shortcake's adorable little sister, Apple Dumplin', speaks more than 60 different words and phrases. She learns to put together and speak new phrases, delighting and rewarding girls the more they interact with her. Girls can also whisper into her ear and hear her say a special message just for them.

Singin' Surprise Strawberry Shortcake: Wave the magic wand in Strawberry Shortcake's right hand over a color in the included storybook and girls will hear special phrases and songs just for them. Squeeze her left hand and the doll speaks up to 15 different phrases. Her colorful storybook also comes with strawberry stickers that can be used to build a special song to delight girls for hours.
About Strawberry Shortcake

Almost 20 years after the initial retail phenomenon, the classic girls' property has been re-introduced in the States with direct-to-video/DVD movies and a comprehensive licensing and merchandising program at retail. The Strawberry Shortcake stories follow the good-hearted and lovable adventures of Strawberry Shortcake and her friends who live together in the magical world of Strawberryland. With darling and mischievous characters like her sister Apple Dumplin', her friends Huckleberry Pie, Ginger Snap, Orange Blossom, Angel Cake, and her pets Honey Pie Pony, Custard and Pupcake, Strawberry Shortcake finds herself exploring magical lands while learning valuable lessons. For more information, visit http://www.StrawberryShortcake.com.

About Bandai America Incorporated
Bandai America Incorporated is a subsidiary of Bandai Co. Ltd., the third largest toy company in the world, with more than 30 group companies in 9 countries. Global interests include toys and children's entertainment, video game software, multimedia, music, full-length feature films, vending machines, trading cards, candies and licensed apparel.

Bandai America Incorporated is celebrating its 26th year as the master toy licensee for some of the most popular properties and brands in children's toys and entertainment, including the Power Rangers, Teen Titans, Gundam, Astro Boy, Superior Defender, Strawberry Shortcake and Hello Kitty product lines. Bandai America is headquartered in Cypress, California, and company information is available at http://www.Bandai.com.


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