Barbi Sargent and Strawberry Shortcake
This was a common practice that was done, to copy and change looks of known characters created by big name artists.
Barbi Sargent's 1973 Strawberry Girl next to 1978 Strawberry Shortcake
*Notice the dress style and sleeve shape, hats design down to the little dots on the bonnets brim and strawberries with dots on the hat, striped tights, and face. Even the hair is similar just more blocky... Image was flipped Horizontal and altered by in house artists at AG.
This is another example above
Strawberry Shortcake was indeed a major new character, we all know this is a fact.
Especially in hind sight.This article is from USA Today approximately 1978. It shows
Tom Wilson on the left holding Barbi Sargents very first drawing of Strawberry Shortcake Laurel Valentine from 1973 next to a card that the caption says the other Strawberry Shortcake card to the right "evolved" from Barbis card. Let that sink in for a moment.....
There's magic in the mark of the strawberry Who's the richest little girl in all the land? No, it's not Little Orphan Annie, even with Daddy Warbucks paying the bills. Barbie? No way. Just as well, too, 'cause she spends all her time hanging around with that nerd Ken. Brooke Shields?
Trouble in Strawberryland...
Artist seeks financial 'fruits' of Strawberry Shortcake
By STEVE FOGARTY
C-T Staff Writer
OLMSTED FALLS - Barbi Sargent has been designing greeting cards for 18 of her 37 years and estimated she's created 4000-5000 cards.
Most of those were drawn for American Greetings Corp. of Cleveland.
Last Monday,she filed suit in U.S. District Court,charging the giant firm with copyright infringment and misappropriation of a character she claimed American Greetings pirated from her and re-named "Strawberry Shortcake".
In 1977 Ms. Sargent said she created "Strawberry Girl" three years before American Greetings introduced "Strawberry Shortcake" on everything from jewelry and
cereal to eyeglass cases,party favors and wallpaper.
"She's the hottest thing they've ever seen. We're not seeking an injunction or anything like that. We're not trying to shut them down," Said Christopher B. Fagan the artist's Attorney.
"But by law, she's entitled to the profits from the business (generated by sales of the character)," he added.
The little rosy-cheeked girl dressed in red and white accounted for estimated sales of $300 million- $500 million in 1981, according to American Greetings
spokes man John Hernandis.
The lawsuit contends profits from those sales, are an estimated $100 million, but the company disputes that figure, claiming actual profits totaled only $14.4 million from
product licensing fees in fiscal 1982.
THE FREELANCE artist , who along with her husband operates an art studio in Olmsted Falls declined to discuss the case in detail on the request of her attorney.
"I can say it's going to get a whole lot hotter as it gets into court.We're very confident." She said
Although she designed her "Strawberry Girl" while a freelancer. Ms. Sargent worked for American Greetings as a full-time staff artist from 1964 -1967 after graduating from high school.
Although she has not published her "Strawberry Girl" to date, Ms.Sargent received a copyright for her work May 14.
The lawsuit, assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Lambros, requests a jury trial. No date has been set for pre-trial hearings.
*Caption below art reads.....
Olmsted Falls artist Barbi Sargent claims in a lawsuit that American Greetings Corp. copied its current success Strawberry Shortcake, left, from the character of Strawberry Girl, right, which she saysshe created in 1977.
Barbi SARGENT, Plaintiff,
AMERICAN GREETINGS CORP., Defendant.
the full details of this copyright infringement case is at this link below
Click here to read it
Barbi Sargent Wins the Case
Read article below
This is a quote from Rexes deposition;
...When Barbi Sargents Lawyer Chris Fagan asked Rex Conner what his response was after first seeing these 4 cards created by Barbi Sargent, Rex Conner said ;
" I was thrilled this was exactly what I wanted !!! "Rex said ;"...This is it!...This is it ! ...This is Strawberry Shortcake!!! "
Barbi Sargent won the rights to Strawberry Shortcake back because of this case, but
eventually returned the rights back to American Greetings after winning the case. She did not want Strawberry Shortcake to die or disappear since she was so popular. Like any wonderful mother she wanted what is best for her girl. Barbi Sargent never received credit for her creation and the credit has been given to other American Greetings "In House" employees who made changes, and expanded on the idea.Then later on given credit for creating her.
Meet the Creator of Strawberry Shortcake.....
The Wonderful World of Barbi Sargent
In closing I wanted to mention that Strawberry Shortcake actually technically turned 46
this year based on her first Laurel Valentines Day card. She's getting older, but will always remain that sweet little girl that always makes us smile .
* Thank you Barbi Sargent for sharing this. We love you dearly.