EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Aug. 4, 2005 -- There's a new girl in town who is sure to become a V.F.F. (virtual friend forever) to girls everywhere. Available at retail stores nationwide this week, Pixel Chix™ pals, the newest interactive toys from Mattel, Inc., combine activities that mirror a girl's life with technology.
A Pixel Chix™ pal is housed, quite literally, in a three-dimensional, four-inch plastic home and shares her personality, spunk and interactivity through an innovative application of liquid crystal display (LCD) technology. Girls have a window onto the two-dimensional pixilated Pixel Chix™ figure and control how she interacts seamlessly with the 3-D furnishings, staircase and door.
A Pixel Chix™ pal comes to life in her virtual home when girls engage her in activities like those from their own everyday lives, such as trying on fashions and socializing with friends. During the day, the time-aware Pixel Chix™ pal will ask aloud, "What should we do?" Girls press an activity button -- food, fashion, play or go out -- to choose a play category and then select from the options presented to them using the "yes" or "no" buttons.
Dress her in a stylish outfit, and a Pixel Chix™ pal responds "fabulous." Choose her favorite food, and she sits at the 3-D kitchen table to eat it. Send her to bed, and she climbs up the 3-D stairs to her bedroom, brushes her teeth, turns out the lights and begins lightly snoring.
Three different Pixel Chix™ houses are available: a stylish loft, a cozy country cottage and a lavish mansion. Up to 10 Pixel Chix™ houses can be connected together, allowing their "residents" to socialize -- they may chat with each other on the phone, engage in a special group dance or walk out their virtual front doors to visit each other's Pixel Chix™ houses for a party or movie night.
"Our research indicates that half of all youth electronics purchases are made by girls, and Pixel Chix™ is the first youth electronics item that parallels a little girl's everyday life," said Stephanie Cota, vice president, girls marketing, Mattel Brands. "We say she's 'a 2-D girl living in a 3-D world!™,' because she loves to do the same things a little girl does -- she talks, eats, sleeps, exercises, hangs out and plays games. And because girls have told us they want items they can play along with their friends, we've built in fun surprise features that occur only when girls connect their Pixel Chix™ houses together."
THE FULL PIXEL CHIX PICTURE
A Pixel Chix™ pal is full of humorous helpings of attitude. Keep her waiting, and a restless Pixel Chix™ pal reminds you with tapping feet and a well-timed "ahem." Send her to bed during the daytime, and she's likely to say, "No way!" before sulking upstairs to her bedroom. Suggest that she play outside in her nightgown, and a Pixel Chix™ pal exclaims, "You want me to go outside in this?"
The more girls play with their Pixel Chix™ pal, the more their virtual world will expand as they accumulate more foods, fashions and games, such as playing the guitar or singing karaoke, adopting a dog or a cat, ordering out pizza or fixing hamburgers, and dressing in tutus or bathing suits. On the other hand, if girls forget to tend to their Pixel Chix™ pal, she will descend through levels of neglect, losing her accumulated treasures as her house becomes covered with cobwebs and, eventually, the Pixel Chix™ pal "packs up and leaves."
The Pixel Chix™ pal and her accessories appear in her house through a transmissive LCD screen displayed in negative mode. Two high-bright, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) illuminate the pixels on the display and the 3-D objects in the house. A Pixel Chix™ pal communicates with her V.F.F. through embedded speakers and is powered by three AAA batteries (included).
Pixel Chix™ pals are available at retailers nationwide for an approximate retail price of $29.99 each.
Mattel, Inc., (NYSE:MAT, www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products, including Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl® and Tyco® R/C, as well as Fisher-Price brands (www.fisher-price.com), including Little People®, Rescue Heroes®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 42 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world. The Mattel vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow.
MATTEL, PIXEL CHIX and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by Mattel, Inc. © 2005 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.