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Playmates Master Toy Licensee For Strawberry Shortcake Franchise

Joining a lineup of more than 350 licensees worldwide, Playmates Toys announced that it will launch an extensive array of brand new STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE dolls and toys in 2006 as the brands master toy licensee. First introduced in 1980 by the brands owner/creator, American Greetings Corp., 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 Ent., reintroduced the brand in 2003, immediately achieving 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 brands essence, said Mike Brown, vp, licensing, American Greetings. They immediately zeroed in on Strawberrys key attribute scent and, along with other innovative nuances, translated it into dolls and playsets that truly bring the brand to life.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKEs lineup of marketing partners includes Fox Home Ent., 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.

In spring 2006, Playmates Toys will kick off a national television advertising and promotional campaigns in support of its new toys and dolls. The lineup includes: Mini Magnet Dolls and Playsets; Fashion and Hair Play Dolls and Playsets; Soft Body Dolls; and Role Play.

With more than 35 years of experience, Playmates Toys Inc., is a leading marketing and distribution companies in the global toy industry. Playmates has a proven history in the creation of profitable, long-term brand franchises. From its offices in Hong Kong, China and the U.S., Playmates designs, develops, markets and distributes its products in more than 60 countries worldwide. Playmates Toys Inc., is a division of Playmates Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company whose stock is traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

American Greetings Corp. is one of the world's largest manufacturers of social expression products. Along with greeting cards, its product lines include giftwrap, 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.

DIC Ent., a leading childrens entertainment company, is a full-service studio dedicated to creating, developing, producing, distributing, marketing and merchandising family-based intellectual properties. DIC is headquartered in Burbank, California with international offices in New York, Paris, London and Cologne.

A recognized global industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent. 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 Corp., a News Corp. company.

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Rick DeMott
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