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Playmates Toys Appointed Master Toy Licensee For Billion Dollar Strawberry Shortcake Franchise for 2006

Girl Power: Jay Cochran - 2005.08.30

COSTA MESA, Calif., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Joining a phenomenal lineup of more than 350 licensees worldwide, Playmates Toys announced today that it will launch an extensive array of brand new Strawberry Shortcake dolls and toys in 2006 as the brand's master toy licensee. First introduced in 1980 by the brand's owner/creator, American Greetings Corporation, Strawberry Shortcake became one of the biggest licensing programs of its time, generating more than $1 billion in retail sales between 1980 and 1985. American Greetings and exclusive worldwide licensing agent, DIC Entertainment, reintroduced the brand in 2003, immediately achieving scentsational results expected to top $1 billion, cumulatively, by the end of 2005.

"We are excited and proud to have been named master toy licensee for Strawberry Shortcake," said Lou Novak, President, Playmates Toys. "This brand has proven to be more than evergreen -- it is a true phenomenon. Our lineup of toys will excite current fans with a fresh new look for the characters and attract new girls to this timeless franchise."

"We are thrilled to bring Playmates onboard to enhance our continued efforts to expand the Strawberry Shortcake program with new and compelling product offerings," stated Nancy Fowler, President, Worldwide Consumer Products, DIC. "The new toy line looks fresh and reflects the core attributes that have made the franchise such a phenomenal success. We look forward to introducing retailers and fans to the new Strawberry Shortcake toy line in 2006."

"Playmates Toys is a proven professional in girls toys and masterful at understanding a brand's essence," said Mike Brown, Vice President, Licensing, American Greetings. "They immediately zeroed in on Strawberry's key attribute -- scent -- and, along with other innovative nuances, translated it into dolls and playsets that truly bring the brand to life."

Strawberry Shortcake's powerhouse lineup of marketing partners includes Fox Home Entertainment, which has already sold more than six and a half million Strawberry Shortcake DVDs and videos. The studio will release three new specials on home video in 2006, and the first-ever Strawberry Shortcake feature film will hit theaters in the fall of next year, followed by a DVD release in 2007.

In addition, Strawberry Shortcake Baby, an adorable infant program, will launch in the spring of 2006 and will include toys, bedding, home furnishings, domestic/bath, apparel/footwear/sleepwear, and diaper bags with follow-up categories for fall 2006 to include feeding, electronics, safety, and gear.

Promising to be the sweetest year ever for Strawberry Shortcake and her friends, 2006 will kick off with Playmates Toys' national television advertising and promotional campaigns in support of its new toys and dolls. The delectable lineup perfectly blends the flavors and scents that little girls love and includes:

Mini Magnet Dolls and Playsets

Tiny Treats

Tiny cupcake mini-keychains open up to store a 1" scented mini magnetic doll, two scented fruit charms, and a ring. Each scented fruit charm may be worn on the ring along with the mini doll. Blend the flavors of the charms and dolls to create a fun blendable scent. Available in Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake, Crepe Suzette Cupcake, Blueberry Muffin Cupcake, and Frosty Puff Cupcake.

Berry & Bead Shops Playsets

Delicious fruity pies open up to a beautiful berry fun shop. Each shop is themed and comes with an exclusive 1" mini scented magnet doll, fun scented magnetic play pieces, and a fruit bracelet on which little girls can wear their doll and play pieces. Available in Strawberry Shortcake's Juice Shop, Crepe Suzette's Boutique Shop, and Frosty Puff's ice cream shop.

Fashion and Hair Play Dolls and Playsets

Flavor Swirl Dolls (6.5" Dolls)

Strawberry Shortcake and all her berry best friends have a new fun fruitful look and flavorful cute fashions. The new scented Flavor Swirl dolls come dressed in fun fruit iconic fashions and feature colorful hair and a scented fruit barrette. Blend Strawberry Shortcake's hair with the banana fruit barrette to create a blendable strawberry banana scented doll. Available in Strawberry Shortcake -- Strawberry/Banana, Raspberry Torte -- Raspberry/Kiwi, Lemon Meringue -- Lemon/Lime, Crepe Suzette -- Cherry/Berry, Tea Blossom -- Grape/Green Apple, and Frosty Puff -- Blackberry/Plum.

Scootin' Along Strawberry Shortcake (6.5" Doll & Scooter)

Strawberry Shortcake loves to ride through Strawberryland visiting all her friends in her berry own scooter. The scooter provides free wheeling action with a side car for Custard to ride in. Also includes a Scented Strawberry Shortcake 6.5" Doll and a berry fun fruit basket.

Fruity Fun Salon Playset (6.5" Doll Scale)

Fruity Fun salon is where Strawberry Shortcake and all her friends go to get their blending of fun flavors and fruit scents. The salon comes with a hair twister for blending of the hair, scented fruity barrettes, barrette dispensor, pretend berry shaped sink, strawberry mirror, barber's chair and lots of fun salon accessories.

Play Date Pals (15" Large Dolls)

A new "real girl" look for Strawberry Shortcake and her friends, these 15" scented dolls are dressed in adorable fun fashions. Each doll comes with her own pet and play pieces for the pets and dolls. Available in Strawberry Shortcake & Custard, Crepe Suzette & Éclair, and Lemon Meringue & Sourball.

Soft Body Dolls

Charming Friends (5" Key Chain dolls)

Adorable mini plush characters that come dressed in cute berry fashion and come with a special scented fruit charm. Available in Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Torte, Lemon Meringue and Crepe Suzette.

Berry Beautiful (12" Soft dolls)

Beautiful soft body scented dolls with brushable hair. Strawberry Shortcake and all her friends come with berry beautiful fashions and cute scented hair clips so girls can blend scents. Available in Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Torte, Lemon Meringue and Crepe Suzette.

Role Play

Little girls will love to play pretend with these cute role play sets. Have fun mixing scents with the cute perfume set and pretend you're having a picnic with the berry picnic set.

Playmates' Strawberry Shortcake dolls and toys will be available at retailers nationwide in the spring of 2006.

About Playmates Toys

With more than thirty-five years of experience, Playmates Toys, Inc., is among the most well respected and innovative marketing and distribution companies in the global toy industry. Playmates has a proven history in the creation of profitable, long-term brand franchises.

Among the company's best-known proprietary brands are the unique water- filled "Water Babies®" dolls that have sold more than 15 million units, "Speedeez(TM)" micro vehicles and play sets and the "Amazing" brand of interactive dolls and plush toys. Core licensed character and entertainment brands include Disney® Princesses and classic characters, Universal Studios'/Peter Jackson's King Kong, Nickelodeon's "everGirl," Breakthrough Entertainment's production of the Cartoon Network's television series "Atomic Betty" and Mirage Studios' "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." From its offices in Hong Kong, China and the United States, Playmates designs, develops, markets and distributes its products in over sixty countries worldwide. Playmates Toys, Inc., is a division of Playmates Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-based company whose stock is traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

About American Greetings Corporation

American Greetings Corporation (NYSE: AM - News) is one of the world's largest manufacturers of social expression products. Along with greeting cards, its product lines include gift wrap, party goods, candles, stationery, calendars, educational products, ornaments and electronic greetings. American Greetings is also the creator and owner of many celebrated character properties, including Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, American Greetings generates annual net sales of approximately $2 billion.

About DIC Entertainment

DIC Entertainment, a leading children's entertainment company, is a full-service studio dedicated to creating, developing, producing, distributing, marketing and merchandising family-based intellectual properties. DIC has distinguished itself by building one of the largest libraries of U.S. animation with more than 3,200 half-hours of renowned programming, including Trollz(TM), Inspector Gadget(TM), Strawberry Shortcake(TM), Sabrina(TM), Madeline(TM), Liberty's Kids(TM), Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?(TM), Sonic The Hedgehog(TM), Super Mario Bros(TM) and Super Duper Sumos(TM). In September 2003, DIC launched the DIC Kid's Network, a unique syndicated programming block designed to meet core FCC requirements and the only network for kids that reaches effectively 100% of U.S. households on over 450 stations, airing in every Designated Market Area across the country. As a pre-eminent supplier of kid's programming worldwide, DIC has developed strategic partnerships with key domestic and international broadcast partners throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia. DIC is headquartered in Burbank, California with international offices in New York, Paris, London and Cologne.

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

A recognized global industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming on VHS and DVD as well as video acquisitions and original productions. Each year the Company introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets -- from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce -- throughout the world. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC is a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company.

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