CHICAGO, Jan. 14 -- Newly formed JoyRide Studios, a Racing Champions company, announced today that it will produce collectible figures and vehicles based on popular video game titles. Introductions of the limited-edition articulated figures and highly detailed vehicles will be based on new video game releases and will include special "codes, strategies and cheats" from the experts at GamePro magazine, one of the world's largest multi-platform gaming magazines and one of the most popular publications for gamers. GamePro magazine is also providing development and marketing support for these product lines.
The new Joyride Studios' branded products will be released beginning in July 2002 under licensing agreements from well known video game publishers and will include favorite characters from video game software available on current gaming platforms including the top-selling next-generation hardware and PCs. The Company plans to sell these products through its existing customer base as well as through expanded distribution at electronic and video game retailers.
According to Peter Henseler, President of JoyRide Studios and of Racing Champions, the depth and breadth of GamePro magazine's reach gives this tie-in special significance.
"GamePro is one of the most-read boys' magazines today, and is very popular with videogamers," he said. "In fact, it reaches about 3.3 million people who are into video gaming, a market in which retail sales are expected to reach $8 billion this year in North America and over $14 billion worldwide. Our collectible figures and vehicles bring gamers' favorite video characters to life in a way that speaks to the lifestyles of videogame fans -- especially since we're also including 'inside information' about video gaming that comes straight from GamePro, one of the most highly respected voices in the video game industry."
"As the industry leading video game publication for over 12 years, GamePro reaches avid gamers who are powerful consumers responsible for $1.9 billion in video gaming software purchases this year alone!" said Francis Mao, Senior Vice President of Editorial & Creative Services. "We are looking forward to working with JoyRide Studios to develop these video game based collectible figures and vehicles."
Under terms of the agreement, GamePro will provide editorial coverage about new product releases, including where-to-buy information, sneak previews, and interviews with the games' developers. In addition, a new Web channel devoted exclusively to the figures and featuring chat forums, articles, interviews, and buying information will be added to the gamepro.com Web site, a premier online source for gaming information on the Web.
JoyRide Studios is focused on developing collectible and toy products for the tween, teen, and post-teen market segments. Its parent, Racing Champions ( www.rcertl.com ) is a leading producer and marketer of innovative collectibles and toys sold in multiple channels of distribution and available at more than 20,000 retail outlets. The company sells Racing ChampionsŪ NASCAR and NHRA die-cast racing replicas, souvenirs and apparel; American Muscle(TM) collectible die-cast vehicle replicas; officially licensed die-cast and preschool products based on automobiles, trucks, agricultural, heavy equipment, and powered recreational and sport vehicles under the ErtlŪ brand; AMTŪ model kits; Press PassŪ trading cards; and, under the direction of its JoyRide Studios(TM) group, video game figures and vehicles. High-profile licensing partners include NASCAR, NHRA, John Deere, Case IH, Polaris, Honda, Caterpillar, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Texaco, and Warner Brothers.
IDG Games Media Group is the world's premier interactive entertainment publisher for multiplatform gaming enthusiasts and produces GamePro magazine, GamePro.com, and the IDG Games Media Group Industry White Paper. GamePro's audience of 3.3 million opinion-leading readers has established GamePro as the 3rd largest male teen magazine in the country, according to Teenage Research Unlimited 2001. The magazine is the market leader with a circulation of 500,000. GamePro delivers cutting-edge multiplatform gaming previews, reviews, strategies, cheats, and codes. The magazine's seasoned editorial staff provides its male teen audience with an authoritative source for video and personal computer gaming information.