July 28, 2009

Fisher-Price(R) Puts the Tickle Power in Kids' Hands with New Elmo's Tickle Hands

Get Set For Summer Dance Craze With Elmo's New Tickle Hand Groove Dance Launched by "Ticklegram" on Facebook

NEW YORK, Jul 28, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Fisher-Price(R) Friends {a division of Fisher-Price, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) and Sesame Street announce a fun way for Elmo fans to "get tickled" through the popular social networking site Facebook, just as the much anticipated Elmo's Tickle Hands is about to hit store shelves on August 4. Starting today, fans can send a "Ticklegram" to all of their friends through Facebook's Birthday Calendar and "New" Bumper Sticker sites.

When fans receive a "Ticklegram" featuring Elmo's signature laugh, they will be directed to the Elmo's Tickle Hand web page - www.ticklehands.com - where they can see Elmo's new Tickle Hand Groove dance (featured with Elmo's Tickle Hands). There, they'll also be encouraged to submit videos of their own favorite dancers trying it out, too.

The Facebook "Ticklegram" campaign signals the kick off for the launch of Elmo's Tickle Hands as Fisher-Price puts the Tickle Power right into kids' hands. These big, furry red Elmo hands (featuring Elmo's funny face) fit over kids' hands for interactive, giggling fun. Kids just press Elmo's nose to start the play. When they touch a surface to tickle, the hands vibrate and kids will hear fun phrases from Elmo and, of course, his signature giggle.

But that's not all - when kids press Elmo's nose again, they are introduced to an all new song and a corresponding dance - the Tickle Hand Groove. Kept under wraps during last February's Toy Fair, the new dance encourages kids to "tickle and wiggle" to Elmo's new song. The Hands come with a fun DVD that teaches kids how to do the new dance, step by step with Elmo. In the DVD, Elmo sings the new song with a little help from his friend Cookie Monster, as four adorable children follow along. Kids can replicate the action with the new Elmo's Tickle Hands.

Already the talk of Toy Fair, initial reaction from industry insiders put Elmo's Tickle Hands among the top toys as analysts made note of the highly affordable pricing of $29.99 for the uniquely engaging innovation on traditional Elmo product.

"This is our most interactive Elmo product ever because it puts children right into the action. They've always had fun laughing, singing and dancing WITH Elmo and now they can actually BE Elmo," says Fisher-Price vice president of marketing Gina Sirard. "When children put on Elmo's Tickle Hands, they can be as silly and funny as their favorite Sesame Street friend. We're excited to see how children put their own twist on the Tickle Hand Groove."

Chris Byrne, TimetoPlayMag.com content director, aka The Toy Guy(R), says Elmo's Tickle Hands are sure to be one of the leading preschool toys this holiday season. "The pure fun and simplicity of the concept makes it a standout in today's crowded toy box," he says. "Fisher-Price brings a new play pattern to play with Elmo, providing his fans with a new outlet for imagination, expression and fun."

In a snippet of the song, Elmo sings:
Get up and giggle
Move your feet
Tickle and wiggle
Come on, Elmo knows you can dance
Stomp your feet and
Clap your hands
Tickle Hand Groove - move to the beat
Tickle Hand Groove - move your hands and your feet

The Tickle Hand Groove is fun and easy to do and kids can follow along to simple directions:

The first move is raise your hands up
Now bring them back down
And then raise them up again
Wave them left...wave them right
Wave them left...wave them right
Start all over--up and down
Then move your right hand forward
Then your left hand forward
Now move to the beat!

Elmo's Tickle Hands, for children 18 months and up, retail for approximately $29.99 and will be on sale at retail nationwide on August 4th.

Editors Note: Images and /or b-roll footage available upon request.

Fisher-Price, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) and located in East Aurora, New York, is the leading brand of infant and preschool toys in the world. The Company has a 75-year legacy of high-quality toys that enhance early childhood development. Its often-emulated Play Laboratory was the first child research center of its kind in the toy industry, allowing researchers to observe the way children play and how play benefits their development. Some of the Company's best-known "classic" brands include Little People(R), Power Wheels(R) and View-Master(R). Fisher-Price is also a leading developer of baby gear products (nursery monitors, infant swings, high chairs) as well as a wide array of character-based toys inspired by high quality children's programming such as Sesame Street(R), Dora the Explorer(TM) and Winnie the Pooh. The Company's web site, at www.fisher-price.com, provides valuable information and resources to parents.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6015996&lang=en

SOURCE: Fisher-Price, Inc.

Freeman Public Relations
Ellie Bagli/ ebagli@freemanpr.com
Jen Holzapfel/ jholzapfel@freemanpr.com

Copyright Business Wire 2009