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Garfield Headed to China

Born on the comic pages on June 19, 1978, Garfield, is the world’s most famous coffee drinking, lasagna eating fat cat. With new licensing and promotional partners, and a new representative, Garfield is spreading his paws into new territory and sporting a new look.

Under the direction of new licensing agent, Hong Kong based Medialink Limited and their partner, Garfield licensor Paws, Inc., a “Garfield Licensing Summit” was held at Xi Yuan Hotel in Beijing. Over 100 guests and 30 media outlets attended the daylong event that focused on developing new partnerships and business strategies for the coming years.

Specifically created for the Asian market, Garfield’s new look is based on popular trends and colors distinctive to the market. The softer and simpler line work renders Garfield, Odie and other characters in his comic strip more playful and youthful, a departure from the classic look.

Medialink Far East was awarded “Agent of the Year,” for creating a magical partnership that is helping to grow and maintain market position in Asia.

“We’ve turned over a new page for Garfield in China. There is great interest in this classic character who is known to entertain people of all ages. I believe Garfield will be a shining star in character licensing,” said Nolette Chiu, vice president, Medialink.

In addition to licensing efforts, CCTV Channel 14 picked up “The Garfield Show” in February this year and Wuhan Jiang Toon Toys Co., Ltd. launched a new website www.happygarfield.com based on the CGI animated show, now in its third season.

“Our program in China is stronger than ever under the leadership of Noletta Chiu and the Medialink Far East team. In just one year our Garfield business has grown 20%,” said Karen Blank, VP International for Paws, Inc.

The Garfield brand enjoys a healthy product-licensing program where nearly 400 manufactures crank out thousands of products depicting Garfield and the gang. The licensing and creative business for Garfield is handled by Paws, Inc., founded in 1981 by Jim Davis, creator of Garfield. The Company, located in rural Indiana in the U.S. is a privately held company and also the sole owner of copyrights and trademarks for Garfield and the Garfield characters.

-Ericka Johnson

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