BELLA SARA™ TRADING CARDS AND ONLINE WORLD FOR GIRLS PRESENTS NATIVE LIGHTS NATIVE AMERICAN–THEMED CARD SET AND ONLINE WORLD ADDITIONS
SEATTLE (February 19, 2008) — BOOTH 6067 AT AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL TOY FAIR 2008 - Drawing from Native American themes and stories, Hidden City Games, Inc. is proud to unveil the new Bella Sara™ Native Lights trading card set, along with corresponding virtual horses and online activities at BellaSara.com. Bella Sara Native Lights is the latest addition to the internationally acclaimed, horse-themed trading cards and online world for girls ages 5 to 12.
"Bella Sara Native Lights represents an opportunity to introduce kids to Native American culture through images and stories, and to provide information about our current communities in the form of Web-based features," stated Tom Grayson Colonnese, chair of the American Indian Studies department at the University of Washington and member of the Santee Sioux Nation. Colonnese consulted on the creation of Native Lights. "Bella Sara Native Lights represents Native American stories, images and traditions in a responsible and sensitive manner," he added.
As with all Bella Sara card sets, each horse in Native Lights can be activated online at BellaSara.com and has a message designed to support healthy self-reflection among girls. The Native Lights card set includes new horses named after Native American tribes such as Apache, Comanche, Mohawk and Shawnee, as well as thematically updated versions of the iconic Bella Sara horses Bella, Fiona, Jewel and Thunder.
New horses introduced in Native Lights include Osage, Chumash, Cheyenne and Navajo, and their animal companions, including butterfly, dolphin, eagle and snake friends. The new card set also brings new positive messages such as:
"I first encountered Native American characters in stories that I read as a little girl, and I have continued to be deeply inspired by Native American cultures and beliefs throughout my life," said Gitte Odder Braendgaard, the Danish social worker who created Bella Sara to encourage young girls to accept and express their feelings at an important developmental stage. "As in Native American tradition, I used storytelling in my social work experience as a fun way to reach children. Bella Sara Native Lights is a continuation of this. Children will love the beautiful, powerful images, and I hope they will also be inspired by the themes influenced by Native American culture, such as the importance of our connections to each other and to the natural world."
- "Be free to change your mind." — Osage
- "Relax and ride the waves of laughter that spread joy in the world." — Chumash
- "See the beauty in both the shadow and the light." — Cheyenne
- "You can choose to change what you think, do, or want." — Navajo
New with Native Lights, each horse card and corresponding virtual horse also features an animal companion — a guide and friend linked to the spirit of nature and to the horse — that will join the horse in the users' online stables and cottages.
The online world of Bella Sara offers stables for the horses, games, puzzles, coloring books, interactive storybooks and customizable cottages. With this new set the Web site will grow to include Native American stories that inspired the set's animal companions, information on the nations after which the horses were named, and Native Lights online jigsaw puzzles, coloring pages, wallpapers and games.
Bella Sara Native Lights includes 72 new cards total: 45 regular horse cards (each with a unique animal companion), 10 rare energy cards and 17 extra-rare "shiny" horse cards. Each energy card activates a new Native American digital object — including such items as a dreamcatcher, a headdress and moccasins — that can be used to decorate users' online cottages. Each Bella Sara Card Pack carries a suggested retail price of $2.99 and contains 7 random horse and/or energy cards that can be collected and traded or used to play Bella Sara card games.
Bella Sara Native Lights launches in March 2008 and is the highly anticipated follow-up to the Bella Sara Ancient Lights card set released in the fall of 2007, featuring Greek and Roman mythological themes. Bella Sara Northern Lights, released in the summer of 2007, highlighted Norse and Celtic themes.
Since its nationwide debut last year, Bella Sara has received awards from numerous child development and parenting authorities, including the "Seal of Approval" from the National Parenting Center, the "Seal of Excellence" from Creative Child magazine, the "2007 Excellent Product" and "2007 Outstanding Product" designations from iParenting Media and the "Best Products — Spring 2007" award from Dr. Toy.
Bella Sara cards are available in 15 countries, and the Web site has amassed over 1.6 million registered users from 240 countries. Bella Sara trading cards are available throughout North America at Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster, Borders, Kmart, Target, Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart stores, as well as at regional chains, booksellers, and toy, hobby and equestrian shops.
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About Hidden City Games
Hidden City Games, Inc., a venture-backed game publisher headquartered in Seattle, develops and markets tabletop and online games to interactively engage players and collectors of all ages. The company is best known as the exclusive licensor of Bella Sara, the inspirational, horse-themed trading cards and magical online world launched nationwide in the United States in March of 2007. Bella Sara, the most successful trading card product ever developed for girls, links to a safe, fun-filled virtual world for kids at www.bellasara.com. Founder and CEO Peter D. Adkison formerly founded Wizards of the Coast, Inc., which created the world's first trading card game, Magic: The Gathering, and introduced the Pokemon trading card phenomenon to North America.