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Tickle Me Elmo Wakes Up on the 9th


NEW YORK--Jan. 9, 2002--Today is the day that children all over the country are waking up to a whole new Tickle Me® Elmo, as the furry red monster doll surprises them with a fun new way to play.

In an unprecedented use of technology, early last year, Fisher-Price pre-programmed all of the products to activate the new play pattern on this day in 2002.

As children already know, Tickle Me Elmo Surprise features five tickle spots -- under each of his arms, the bottoms of his feet and his tummy -- and only one that sends him off into gales of laughter. It changes every time they play and today, when kids find Elmo's most ticklish spot, they will hear something new. Instead of hearing Elmo's signature laughter, they will hear Elmo say, "You've tickled Elmo's arms, Elmo's tummy and his toes. Now here's the big surprise, tickle Elmo's nose."

And when kids squeeze Elmo's nose, he does something entirely new. He sings! Elmo will delight his fans today with a special tickle song. "You tickle me, you tickle me. You make Elmo laugh, he's happy as can be. Cause you tickle Elmo."

But that's not all. There's an even bigger surprise in the Tickle Me Elmo Surprise Sweepstakes. At some point, today or in the near future, five lucky winners will learn that they have each won a spectacular prize package.

One grand prize winner will take home a package including a $200,000 check that can be used towards the purchase of a new house; plus a special Elmo-decorated Volkswagen® New Beetle; a Power Wheels by Fisher-Price® Elmo-red Volkswagen® New Beetle ride-on toy; an Elmo-decorated personal computer; and $60,000 (valued at maturity) in U.S. Savings Bonds that can be used towards education!

Four first prize winners receive a special Elmo-decorated Volkswagen® New Beetle; a Power Wheels by Fisher-Price® Elmo-red Volkswagen® New Beetle ride-on toy; an Elmo-decorated personal computer; and $40,000 (valued at maturity) in U.S. Savings Bonds that can be used towards education.

Everyone who takes home a Tickle Me Elmo Surprise has a chance to win but consumers are also able to participate by mail without a toy. Those who enter by mail receive a rub-off game piece that will advise them if they are a winner. Those who purchase a Tickle Me Elmo Surprise will find out if they are a winner if they hear a special message from Elmo. If the Grand Prize is in a doll, the winner's Elmo will sing "Congratulations!" and the first prize winners' dolls will sing, "You found it!"

According to the Sweepstakes rules, if winners do not come forward, a Second Chance Drawing will be conducted from among all eligible entries received by July 8, 2002.

"With all of Elmo's special surprises, everyone's a winner today," says Neil Friedman, president of Fisher-Price Brands.

The new play pattern will become permanent following the initial activation, so that in addition to the five tickle spots that change every time kids play, following January 9th, every time kids squeeze Elmo's nose, they can hear the Tickle Song.

Fisher-Price, Inc. located in East Aurora, New York, is the leading brand of infant and preschool toys in the world. Now celebrating 70 years of excellence in children's products, the Fisher-Price brand includes some of the most popular and widely recognized character brands - - from Barney(TM), Bear in the Big Blue House(TM), and Blues' Clues(TM) to Disney, Dora the Explorer(TM), Sesame Street® and Winnie the Pooh. Some of the Company's most popular "classic" toy lines include Little People®, Power Wheels® and View-Master®. The Company also develops and markets an extensive line of juvenile products such as nursery monitors, that help families get the best possible start in life. Fisher-Price is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. The Company's web site can be found at www.fisher-price.com.

Consumers can find complete rules and details on the Tickle Me Elmo Surprise Sweepstakes on specially marked Tickle Me Elmo Surprise packages or at www.fisher-price.com.

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