Popular cartoon character Strawberry Shortcake is back — and she’s all digital.
Family entertainment company WildBrain Spark is bringing back the little baker in an animated series called Berry in the Big City, premiering on YouTube on September 18.
The series, which features an older, 2-D animated Strawberry Shortcake living in New York with her pets and multicultural friends, will premiere in a double-episode event. A new episode will air every week through June 2022.
In addition to her YouTube debut, Strawberry Shortcake will appear on Roblox. Starting on October 2, kids can play Baking with Strawberry Shortcake on the platform, an interactive 3D game that involves customizing food trucks and competing in baking contests.
Strawberry Shortcake, which first emerged in Valentine’s Day greeting cards in 1973, has endured through toys, such as ragdolls, as well as animated series. Her 2021 return, however, appeals to today’s children in the only way it can get their attention: digitally.
YouTube is a natural choice as a kid viewing powerhouse. According to a July Pew Research study, 80% of parents with children age 11 or younger said their child watches YouTube videos. Roblox was interesting to WildBrain because it gives kids a social as well as a creative outlet virtually, said Charles Gabriel, head of advertising at WildBrain Spark.
“That allows us to introduce different elements of the show within the game,” he said.
WildBrain is also exploring partnerships with brands to appear across Strawberry Shortcake’s new digital properties, including cameos in the series. The company has franchised and licensed the brand, with the intent of rolling out toys, apparel, books, and other products, to Moose Toys as the master toy partner and Penguin Random House as publishing partner.
With the latest iteration of the character, Gabriel said parents can now share a bond with their children.
“It's a good time to play on nostalgia and bring the brand forward,” he said.