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Popples Designed by Celebrities for Charity


NEW YORK, Nov. 13 -- What do Christina Ricci, Nicole Miller, Ananda Lewis and Melissa Joan Hart have in common? They are among a line-up of celebrities donating their time and creative talents to the Popples(TM) Pop Culture Charity Design Auction running November 15th through November 26th on eBay.com, the world's online marketplace. Nine "one of-a-kind" handmade Popples(TM) plush -- cuddly creatures from the 1980's that are making a comeback in toy stores this year -- were designed by today's most popular entertainers and fashion designers, and manufactured by Toymax Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Toymax International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TMAX).

The celebrity- designed Popples will be sold at auction with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the STARBRIGHT Foundation, a non-profit organization chaired by Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf that serves seriously ill children. The auction features the chance for fans and collectors to bid on the unique Popples plush along with the original autographed designs created by each celebrity.

Celebrity participants include a mix of fashion designers, movie and television actresses, talk show hosts and musicians who fondly remember Popples from the 1980's. Each celebrity was provided with a blank Popples black and white line drawing, a box of colored pencils and an invitation to add extra flair by including a personal signature item. The nine celebrity designers have taken the time to color, customize, and in some cases, even "name" their own unique Popples. Each cuddly Popples pal has a celebrity signature printed on its left foot.

Celebrity participants and their Popples designs include:

  • Melissa Joan Hart's "Patriot Popple" shows its true patriotic spirit. This red, white and blue Popple is decorated in stars and stripes.
  • Jessica Biel's "Star-Lite Popple" sports an array of purple and green stars with a tummy full of sunshine.
  • Christina Ricci's "Subway Popple" celebrates the Big Apple! This snazzy Popple is all dressed up like a New York City subway map.
  • Rachael Leigh Cook's "Hopper-Dopple Popple" shines with a bright yellow star on its tummy and colorful body.
  • Nicole Miller's "Tiger Lili" Popple is decked out in tiger stripes and topped off with a felt and rhinestone applique flower on its tummy.
  • Shoshanna Lonstein's Popple is ready for a picnic with a red gingham tummy and cherry patterned ears.
  • Ananda Lewis' "Americana Popplerana" dons red, white and blue as a symbol of American pride.
  • Tiffany's "Star" Popple is covered with stars, and features all the colors of the rainbow.
  • Elisa Donovan's colorful design of green and blue touts an angel on its yellow tummy.

"STARBRIGHT truly appreciates the support of Toymax and all the celebrity designers, and we are delighted that they have come together to help make a difference in the lives of seriously ill children everywhere," said Nancy Hayes, Chief Executive Officer of the STARBRIGHT Foundation. "Each celebrity brings her own sense of style and imagination to this auction, and we are excited that toy fans across the country will be able to bid on the chance to own these very unique collectors items beginning on November 15th."

"The Popples Pop Culture Charity Design Auction is a terrific way for consumers to help make a real difference in the lives of seriously ill children during this year's holiday season. We are delighted with the celebrity response we have received to this project as it helps make a contribution to the STARBRIGHT Foundation possible," said Carmine Russo, Toymax Chief Operating Officer. "This auction has three essential elements - the participation of top celebrities, consumer anticipation and excitement for the return of Popples, and a renewed interest in everything eighties. These combined factors indicate that this auction has great potential to raise funds necessary to make a difference in the lives of those children who need it most.

To bid on the one-of-a-kind celebrity Popples collector's items, consumers can go to http://www.ebay.com/charity/ and look for the "Popples For Starbright" link.

About Popples:

This year, Toymax, under license from American Greetings (NYSE: AM), re- introduced Popples plush -- first extremely popular in the mid-eighties -- with an updated and fresh appeal. The Popples characters are adorable plush creatures who each have the ability to roll up into their pouches like balls, revealing only their heads. Each Popples character hides away in a cuddly ball shape and can "pop" out of its pouch to reveal a body, arms, legs and tail. First unveiled earlier this year at the American International Toy Fair, the newly designed Popples(TM) line from Toymax features bright colors and fun patterns as well as lights, sounds and interactivity.

About The STARBRIGHT Foundation:

The STARBRIGHT Foundation is a non-profit organization chaired by Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf that develops engaging media based programs to empower seriously ill children to meet the psychological and social challenges that accompany prolonged illness. STARBRIGHT was founded on the premise that children who understand, manage and actively cope with their illness will live richer and more fulfilling lives. Collaborating with experts in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, STARBRIGHT creates programs that are educational and entertaining, and that demonstrate positive health outcomes. For more information on STARBRIGHT, visit the web site at http://www.starbright.org or call 1 800-315-2580.

Toymax Inc. (http://www.Toymax.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Toymax International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TMAX), is an award winning children's consumer products company that creates, designs and markets innovative and technologically advanced toys and leisure products. Toymax® products promote fun and creative play and are available under several successful selling brands, including R.A.D.(TM) Robot, Mighty Mo's(TM) vehicles, Laser Challenge(TM) gear, Creepy Crawlers® Bug Maker(TM) and the TMX RC(TM) Dragonfly(TM) radio-controlled vehicle. The company is headquartered in Plainview, N.Y. and its products are available at retailers worldwide.

American Greetings is the world's largest publicly held creator, manufacturer and distributor of greeting cards and social expression products. Its staff of artists, designers and writers comprises one of the largest creative departments in the world and helps consumers "say it best" by supplying more than 15,000 greeting card designs to retail outlets in nearly every English-speaking country. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, American Greetings drives annual sales of more than $2.5 billion. For more information on the company, visit http://www.americangreetings.com on the World Wide Web. (TM) designates trademark of (C) 2001 Those Characters From Cleveland, Inc. Used under license by Toymax Inc., Plainview NY 11803.

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