Bella Sara is a children's card trading game that combines a world of magical horses with game play. Published by Seattle-based game company Hidden City Entertainment, Bella Sara began as a trading card game that has since expanded into an international product line. With three set releases each year, all trading cards have images of illustrated horses, characters and magical friends with positive, inspirational messages on them. Each card pack includes secret codes that can be redeemed on the website to care for and nurture magical horses online. Select Bella Sara products include these secret codes to expand the magical world even further.
Bella Sara was started in Denmark by Gitte Odder Brændgaard, who intended to create an alternative to other popular trading card games, such as Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering, that would be more suited to girls and lack the element of competition present in the other games. After the game proved successful in Scandinavia, the cards were released on a trial run to United States consumers in Seattle and San Diego at the end of 2006. Sales during that trial run were high enough to convince retailers to take the cards national in March 2007. Since then the cards have continued to grow in popularity with children.
Cards can be purchased in booster packs, value boxes, and tins, each of which contains a random assortment of cards. Card packs can be purchased online or at a number of retailers world wide. Here is a code to use on the Bella Sara website: BSC#CLASSICS. This code gives you Bella, Fiona, Jewel, and Nike. All cards are published for a limited time in sets. There are currently eighteen sets of cards, as well as other collectible merchandise. These include:
As of 2010, Bella Sara cards are available in the United States, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Australia, Mexico and South Africa.
Since its international debut, Bella Sara has received numerous awards from child development and parenting authorities, including the “National Parenting Center Seal of Approval” for 2009, the National Parenting Publications "Honors Award" for 2009, the "Toy of the Year" and the “Seal of Excellence” from Creative Child Magazine for 2008 and 2009, the “Excellent Product” and “Outstanding Product” designations from iParenting Media, and the “Best Products” award from Dr. Toy.
Other Bella Sara licensed products include: Bees and Jam sleepwear and intimate apparel, Jakks Pacific toy varieties, CodeMasters DS & PC game, Paradise Kids Pose-able Horses, Simply Fun Treasure Trot, HarperCollins Stories and Activity Books, MasterPieces Activities, Trends International Posters, Ultra Pro portfolios, and other international product lines.