Entertainment Licensing News

Strawberry Shortcake Launches New Franchise Program

Strawberry Shortcake-Berry in the Big City

WildBrain is bringing back Strawberry Shortcake for today’s kids with a new animated series, Berry in the Big City. 

This fall, the brand also launches a global franchise program across the categories of events, toys, games, books, music, learning, and more.

“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,” said WildBrain chief brands officer Michael Riley. “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.”

Berry in the Big City premieres September 18 with a double-episode event on the Strawberry Shortcake channel for WildBrain Spark, the AVOD network owned by WildBrain. It will also be available on YouTube and YouTube Kids in English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese by territory. New episodes will roll out every Saturday through June 2022.

Then on October 2, WildBrain releases the new Roblox game Baking with Strawberry Shortcake, marking the brand’s debut on the 3D digital gaming platform.

Moose Toys, recently named master toy partner for the property, will develop a line of toys and playsets arriving in 2022.

“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,” said Moose Toys vice president of global licensing, Menal McGrath. “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.”

Meanwhile, WildBrain CPLG expanded its existing 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, slated for release in North America next year.

Other Strawberry Shortcake partners launching licensed product at retail starting 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), and Challenge Butter (butter), among others.

“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,” Riley said. “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.”

The Strawberry Shortcake character debuted on a Valentine’s Day greeting card in 1973, evolving into an international brand over the last 40 years. A toy and consumer line in the early 1980s sold over five million dolls and generated $4 billion at retail to-date. The property’s content roster includes the series Strawberry Shortcake and Berry Bitty Adventures and animated movies Sky’s The Limit and The Sweet Dreams Movie.

The new series, Berry in the Big City, is produced by WildBrain’s Vancouver studio, with Michael Vogel serving as executive producer and showrunner. It consists of 4o episodes, each four minutes long, aimed at children 3 to 6, and features 10 original songs to be released next year as animated lyric videos on WildBrain Spark’s official Strawberry Shortcake channel.

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 family specials for a major streaming platform.

“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,” said Vogel. “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.”