Cloudco Entertainment

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Those Characters from Cleveland, LLC
Cloudco Entertainment
FormerlyAmerican Greetings Entertainment (2015–2018)
AG Properties (until 2015)
Those Characters from Cleveland (1981–late 90's)
TypePrivate
IndustryEntertainment, Licensing, Creative Services, Marketing, Social Media, Digital/Games
GenreChildren and family
Founded1981
FounderTom Wilson
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California
ProductsBoy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese
Buddy Thunderstruck
Care Bears
Holly Hobbie
Tinpo
OwnerWeiss family
Members11-50 employees
SubsidiariesCloudCo, LLC
Websitehttp://www.cloudcoentertainment.com/

Those Characters from Cleveland, LLC, officially trading as Cloudco Entertainment and formerly AG Properties and American Greetings Entertainment, is an American company which formerly traded as American Greetings' former character brand division. Properties owned by the company include Care Bears, Holly Hobbie, Madballs, Buddy Thunderstruck, Tinpo, The Get Along Gang and Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese.

History[edit]

As Those Characters from Cleveland (1980's)[edit]

Holly Hobbie premiered in 1967 as a line of greeting cards by American Greetings.[1] Knickerbocker Toy Co. manufactured stuffed Holly Hobbie dolls from 1968 to 1983.[2] The character's public appeal led to the formation of Those Characters From Cleveland, Inc. In 1972, the company introduced Ziggy, created by Tom Wilson, which soon had a newspaper cartoon strip generating significant additional income. Universal Press later purchased the creative rights. By 1977, Holly Hobbie became one of the top female licensed character in the world.[3]

Those Characters From Cleveland was started up by Tom Wilson on behalf of American Greetings[4] in 1981 to handle its licensing business.[5] The first property out of Those Characters was Strawberry Shortcake, which generated in 1981 $500 million in retail sales, followed by the Care Bears with $2 billion in sales over its first two year.[3] The Care Bears were announced in 1982 with M.A.D., Marketing and Design Service of the toy group of General Mills, and launched in Spring 1983 with toys with a syndicated TV special.[6]

With Topps' 1985 Garbage Pail Kids trading card series release, Ralph Shaffer, senior vice-president and creative head at From Cleveland, created the Madballs, balls with disfigured faces. AmToy, another American Greetings subsidiary, released them as toys in 1986 and reached the #4 on toy best-seller list by September of that year.[7]

With Mattel, Those Characters From Cleveland had launched the Popples in 1986. in 1986. In 1987, Those Characters came out with four plush variants that do more than just be huggable but playable to be introduced in 1988 through three toy companies.[8]

As AG Properties (2000's-2015)[edit]

AG Properties in 2001 named DIC Entertainment as the licensing agent for Strawberry Shortcake.

With DIC merging with Cookie Jar thus transfers the rights, the company sued. In the settlement, AG agreed to sell Shortcake, the Care Bears and the Sushi Pack crime-fighting characters to Cookie Jar for $195 million with payment due September 30, 2008. Cookie Jar could not come up with the financing, but continued to claim to have Shortcake licensing rights. AG found a new buyer of Shortcake and the Bears in MoonScoop, while settling with Cookie Jar with AG to buy out its rights to Shortcake. MoonScoop was to pay part of the purchases price to allow AG to pay Cookie Jar for its rights. Missing that deadline, AG back out of the deal as MoonScoop attempt to complete the deal by the full payment deadline of June 7, 2009. MoonScoop sued with American Greetings winning the case in November 2012.[9]

AG Properties by September 19, 2012 became global licensing agent for Pukeko Pictures’ The WotWots as they sublicensed the property to EXIM Licensing Group in the Latin America region, Segal Licensing in Canada, Stella Projects in the Australian and New Zealand region.[10]

Sean Gorman was promoted to president of AG Properties in June 2013 with the mandate to add boy franchises. Gorman was hired in 2007 as vice president, entertainment production and development.[11]

In 2006, senior designer Jeff Harter pitched Packages from Planet X and Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese to AG Properties. Packages from Planet X eventually was licensed and produced for Disney XD by DHX Media in Vancouver and Disney and premiered on July 13, 2013.[12] Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese would spend many years in development before CBBC and Gulli co-commissioned the series in October 2018, which is co-produced with Watch Next Media in France and Kavaleer Productions in Ireland, and premiered in 2019.[13] In January 2012, American Greetings Properties and Exim Licensing Group international licensing agent signed a Holly Hobbie publishing deal with V & R Editoras for most of Latin America and the Caribbean.[1]

AG Properties had licensed Lion Forge Comics the Care Bears, Madball and Packages from Planet X for titles under their Roar Comics all-ages imprint for release in late 2014.[14]

On February 3, 2015, Iconix Brand Group signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Strawberry Shortcake brand and related intangible assets from AG Properties for US$105 million.In February 2015.[15][16] DHX Media (now WildBrain) would eventually acquire the franchise in 2017 as part of their buyout of Iconix's entertainment assets, which also included an 80% majority stake in Peanuts owner Peanuts Worldwide.[17]

As American Greetings Entertainment (2015-18)[edit]

On October 6, 2015, American Greetings changed the unit's name to American Greetings Entertainment as an indication of a shift in focus to the Care Bears property, alongside additional multi-character and entertainment properties.[18] On October 11th, the newly-renamed company announced Buddy Thunderstruck, a stop-motion animated series co-produced with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios that would premiere on Netflix in 2017.[19]

In May 2016, irish production company Sixteen South named American Greetings Entertainment the worldwide distributor of Claude, an animated TV Adaptation of Alex T. Smith's bestselling picture book series.[20] On October 17, 2016, the company announced a partnership with Gaumont Animation to relaunch Herself the Elf with a new television series that the two companies would co-develop, co-produce and co-distribute.[21]

On October 13, 2017, UK pre-school broadcaster CBeebies greenlit a Tinpo television series, which would be co-produced by Dentsu, OLM Digital and Sprite Animation Studios, for a late 2018 release on the network.[22]

In April 2018, Hulu commissioned a Holly Hobbie live action TV series by Aircraft Pictures.[23] In May 2018, an advert showcased at the Licensing Expo showcased new redesigns of the Care Bears for a new television series that would premiere in Late-2018.[24]

As Cloudco Entertainment (2018-present)[edit]

On April 6, 2018, the Weiss family announced it was to sell the majority shareholding in American Greetings to US investment company, Clayton Dubilier & Rice.[25] The ownership of American Greetings Entertainment was fully retained by the Weiss family, and so on August 28, 2018, the company was spun off from American Greetings as Cloudco Entertainment, becoming a stand-alone company. The previous management was retained, including president Sean Gorman.[26]

On September 6th, the planned new Care Bears animated series previously previewed at the licensing expo would be called Care Bears: Unlock the Magic and would premiere on the Boomerang SVOD service in January 2019.[27][28] On September 20, 2018, Cloudco announced they had opened up an UK office.[29]

On June 24, 2019, Warner Music Group's Arts Music division launched the licensed Cloudco Entertainment label with the release of the current Holly Hobbie TV show theme song as a part of a multi-season deal.[30]

In January 2021, Cloudco announced they would team up with Topps to create a new toyrange that crosses over Cloudco's Madballs and Topps' Garbage Pail Kids franchises.[31] On March 16, 2021, Cloudco and Marblemedia announced they would team-up to co-produce a new live-action comedy series called Overlord and the Underwoods. On the same day, it was confirmed that the show had been picked up by Nickelodeon internationally, ITV in the United Kingdom, CBC in Canada and BYUtv in the United States.[32]

Properties[edit]

Current[edit]

Ownership Unknown[edit]

Sold[edit]

Television shows[edit]

As Those Characters from Cleveland[edit]

As AG Properties/American Greetings Entertainment[edit]

As Cloudco Entertainment[edit]

Television specials/movies[edit]

Theatrical movies[edit]

Direct-to-video specials/movies[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dickson, Jeremy (January 3, 2012). "AGP expands Holly Hobbie brand". Kidscreen. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  2. ^ Hatala, Greg (September 23, 2013). "Made in Jersey: BFFs manufactured by Knickerbocker". nj.com. New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "History of American Greetings Corporation". International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.59. St. James Press. 2004. Retrieved July 25, 2019 – via FundingUniverse.
  4. ^ Segall, Grant (September 19, 2011). "Tom Wilson of Ziggy comic fame dies at 80: news obituary". The Plain Dealer. Advance Ohio. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Stiansen, Sarah (July 7, 1985). "LICENSING INDUSTRY AWAKENS". Sun Sentinel. United Press International. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Pecora, Norma Odom (2002). "Chapter 3: The Industries:Television and Toy". The Business of Children's Entertainment (PDF). Guilford Publications. p. 52. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Madballs Make Ralph Shaffer More Than a Face in the Crowd". People. September 1, 1986. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e "New group of stuffed toys does stuff". UPI Archives. Upi.com. 1987-12-29. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  9. ^ Grant, Allison (November 26, 2012). "American Greetings wins case against MoonScoop over Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  10. ^ McLean, Tom (September 19, 2012). "Deals for 'WotWots,' 'Green Squad,' 'Pirates,' 'Fuzzy Tales'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Graser, Marc (June 14, 2013). "Sean Gorman to Grow American Greetings' Portfolio of Boys Properties". Variety. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Dawidziak, Mark (August 1, 2013). "'Packages from Planet X' created by American Greetings' designer Jeff Harter". Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  13. ^ "Cloudco, Watch Next, Kavaleer mix for new series".
  14. ^ "Lion Forge Plans Care Bears Comics". License Global. July 22, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Atkinson, Claire (February 3, 2015). "Strawberry Shortcake is new 'it' girl for Iconix". New York Post. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  16. ^ "Snoopy Owner Iconix to Buy Strawberry Shortcake for $105M". ABC News. Associated Press. February 3, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "DHX Media Acquires 'Peanuts' in $345 Million Purchase of Iconix". Variety. 10 May 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "American Greetings Properties rebrand marks entertainment focus". Kidscreen. 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  19. ^ "Stop-Motion Series 'Buddy Thunderstruck' Coming to Netflix". 11 October 2015.
  20. ^ Dickson, Jeremy (May 5, 2016). "Claude trots to Disney Junior EMEA". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  21. ^ "American Greetings, Gaumont re-launch Herself the Elf".
  22. ^ "CBeebies greenlights American Greetings' Tinpo".
  23. ^ Pinto, Jordan (April 9, 2018). "Hulu commissions Holly Hobbie kids series". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  24. ^ @ToonBarnTweets (22 May 2018). "Care Bears: Unlock the Magic Licensing Expo 2018 ad. No idea if this is a TV show, TV special, shorts ... advertising campaign? Whatever it is, it launches later this year on Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Pop" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  25. ^ "Investors - American Greetings".
  26. ^ a b c d Loveday, Samantha (August 28, 2018). "American Greetings Spins Off Its Licensing Arm". PG Buzz. Max Media Ventures. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  27. ^ "'Care Bears' Looking To 'Unlock The Magic' At Boomerang". Deadline Hollywood. September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  28. ^ Nickolai, Nate (September 6, 2018). "New 'Care Bears' Series to Stream on Boomerang". Variety. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  29. ^ "Cloudco bolsters exec roster, opens UK office".
  30. ^ Foster, Elizabeth (June 24, 2019). "Holly Hobbie sings a new tune". Kidscreen. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  31. ^ "Deals of the Week: Canal+, Cloudco, Mondo TV".
  32. ^ "CBC, ITV pick MarbleMedia family series".
  33. ^ "Jeff Harter". Linkedin. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  34. ^ a b "Those Characters From Cleveland: Female Franchises | Online Quiz". Mental Floss. 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  35. ^ "Studio Espinosa Illustration". studioespinosa.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-24. Retrieved June 29, 2015.

External links[edit]