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Strawberry Shortcake and Custard her cat are based on the American Greetings' card series created by illustrator Muriel Fahrion and made their debut in 1977. She went on to successfully design 32 more characters in the series. Later Cindy Moyer Patton and Janet Jones took over for Fahrion. Originally the Strawberry Shortcake doll line had scented hair to match their theme and General Mills became the first to license the character.
It's heyday came in the 1980s with a series of television specials, dolls by Kenner, even an Atari 2600 video game called Strawberry Shortcake Musical Match-Ups. Then again in 1991, THQ (Toy Headquarters), a video game publisher, revived the line briefly. It wasn't until 2002 when Strawberry's "look" was overhauled by aging her and her friends into preteens and changing their look. We enjoyed their popularity once again with new DVD releases, movies, video games, and a brand new line of dolls in 2006. These new dolls are now part of a line called "A World of Friends".
The animated children's TV specials were a hand drawn 2D creation by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson and Toei Doga, later by Perpetual Motion Pictures, produced by Robert L. Rosen & Romeo Muller and debuted in 1980. Starting in 1983, Canadian animation giant Nelvana produced one TV special a year for three more years.
The original voice for Strawberry Shortcake in the 1980s was Russi Taylor, a very famous voice actress, who has voiced Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck and Webbigail Vanderquack in the DuckTales animated series. Her most famous job has been voicing Minnie Mouse since 1986. Bob Ridgely voiced the Peculiar Purple Pieman while Romeo Muller, the writer/producer for the show, voiced Mr Sun the narrator. Music for the specials was composed by John Sebastian of Care Bears fame.
Trivia: American Greetings is also known as Those Characters from Cleveland.
The first product was a rag doll designed and created by Fahrion and her sister Susan Trentel. Feel free to look around a bit.