Jumbo moves into trading card sector

Jumbo Games is moving into the trading card market for the first time, having been appointed as the exclusive partner to sell and distribute the Bella Sara range of girls’ cards in the UK and Ireland.
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The firm will also be working in partnership with Hobbygames which will be the sole supplier to the independent trade.

Bella Sara is a European brand created to promote a healthy self-image to girls aged five and above through whimsical illustrations of horses and positive, inspirational sayings. Bella Sara is already a hit in Scandinavia with over six million cards sold since September 2005.

Each Bella Sara card features an uplifting message for girls. For example, one trading card featuring a white horse named Dynamo, says, “Believe in yourself. Have confidence in what you do.” Another card, featuring a white horse named Rose, reads, “Listen to your dreams. What they tell you is important.”

Creator Gitte Odder Braendgaard said: “My son was a big fan of Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering trading cards, but there was nothing for my daughters. Bella Sara trading cards are for girls and they help the children identify with positive thoughts and feelings.”

Braendgaard was approached by Peter Adkison, the man who brought trading-card games including Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering to the US. Adkison has now introduced Bella Sara to the US and Canada.

“We are honoured to be trusted to bring this socially conscious, imaginative game to the US and Canada,” said Adkison, CEO of Hidden City Games and also former CEO of Wizards of the Coast. “In a market that is saturated with products that send young girls mixed messages about beauty and self-assessment, it is personally rewarding to be selling a product that uniquely addresses self-esteem and endeavours to have a long-term positive impact on girls,” said Adkison, who has worldwide rights to the Bella Sara brand (outside of Scandinavia).

Jo Birkin, MD of Jumbo Games commented “It is great to be part of such an exciting venture and we immediately recognised the opportunity for such a positive and constructive product within our portfolio.

“We also knew that we would need to work with a specialist in this area and we could not ask for a better partner than Hobbygames who have over 15 years experience in trading cards and collectibles,,” said Birkin.

The cards also include unique codes that enable girls to activate, care for and play with virtual horses online at www.bellasara.com. There is no cost to use the interactive website.

Each pack includes one rules card and five random horse and/or special energy cards, which feature horse tack such as saddles and bridles, and are used to assist in caring for virtual horses and to unlock additional games and features on the website.

Bella Sara will be available in the UK from August 2007 and will be supported by a high profile marketing programme at launch, including a national TV advertising campaign.

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