Interesting press release:

-Just in time for the holidays comes a fun stocking stuffer that also boosts self-esteem. Bella Sara unveils the new Ancient Lights card set, the latest addition to its internationally acclaimed, horse-themed trading cards and online world for girls.

The new Ancient Lights card set features self-esteem-boosting messages paired with fantastic illustrations of horses inspired by Greek and Roman mythology. As with all Bella Sara cards, each horse in the Ancient Lights card set can be activated online at, a child-friendly website that features horse dress-up, jumping, and riding games, plus puzzles, coloring books, interactive storybooks and much more.

“Stuff a little empowerment in your daughter’s stocking this holiday season. Use mythology to capture her imagination and teach important life lessons in a fun way,” said Peter D. Adkison, CEO of Hidden City Games. “In a world with so many products that make physical appearance central to playtime, Bella Sara makes it fun for girls to develop their inner beauty.”

Adkison also published Pokemon trading cards and Magic: The Gathering trading cards, two of the most successful trading card franchises in the history of the category.

Inspired by her daughter’s love for horses, Danish social worker Gitte Odder Braendgaard developed Bella Sara to encourage young girls to accept and express their feelings and avoid investing too much of their identities in their physical appearance at an important developmental stage. Since their U.S. debut last year, Bella Sara trading cards and online world for girls have received numerous awards from 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.

Playing off of the life lessons inherent in mythology, the new Ancient Lights card set features fantastic horses inspired by Greek and Roman legends such as Nike, the Greek goddess of victory; Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom; Venus, the Roman goddess of love; and Juno, queen of the Roman goddesses. Each card features a different, fantasy-based illustration of a horse and an empowering affirmation that promotes healthy self-reflection through positive reinforcement.

* Nike: “Have the courage to trust yourself.”
* Athena: “Be yourself, be free, and allow others the same freedom.”
* Venus: “Spread your joy around for all to share.”
* Juno: “Use your life to create, be joyful, and celebrate!”

The new Bella Sara Ancient Lights card set consists of 72 cards total, including 45 regular horse cards, 17 extra-rare, “shiny” foil horse cards and 10 rare energy cards. The energy cards, representing relics of a bygone age such as Aphrodite’s Gown and Apollo’s Lyre, will be used to enhance the online experience. Each foil flow-wrapped Ancient Lights card pack costs $2.99 and contains seven random horse and/or energy cards that can be collected and traded or used to play Bella Sara card games.

“After the success of Bella Sara Northern Lights cards at our stores, we expect great things for the new Ancient Lights series this holiday season,” said Scott W. McCauley, vice president of marketing for Vintage Sportscards, Inc., category manager for Blockbuster, Kmart and Toys “R” Us. “Bella Sara cards are going to be a hot stocking stuffer for girls this year.”

Ancient Lights is the highly anticipated follow-up to the Bella Sara Northern Lights card set, which featured Norse and Celtic mythology and was released earlier this year. The new series will be available in mid-October in major retailers across North America, including Blockbuster, Kmart, Target, Toys “R” Us and Wal-Mart, as well as in regional chains, bookstores, and toy, hobby and equestrian shops.

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