Little Tikes Kicks Off a Year of Firsts at 2003 Toy Fair

Company Premiers First Licensed Character, Bath Toy and Wood Furniture Lines

Feb 12, 2003, 00:00 ET from The Little Tikes Company

    NEW YORK, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In order to keep up with the limitless
 creativity of children, The Little Tikes Company today announced product
 offerings that are nearly as vast as a child's imagination.  From furniture to
 fire trucks and bath toys to backyard climbers, the Hudson, Ohio-based company
 is building upon its strong reputation for creating safe, durable toys
 designed for the way kids really play by introducing about 100 new products in
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     "We're excited to be dramatically increasing our presence in the infant,
 preschool and truck categories, in addition to continuing to develop the
 product lines we've built our reputation on over the years," said Rory Leyden,
 Little Tikes president and CEO.  "And while we offer more variety than ever,
 one thing has stayed the same: our mission to inspire creativity and
 imagination in children, while answering the needs of parents."
     The new introductions mark first-time endeavors for Little Tikes into bath
 toys, juvenile wood furniture and character licensing, as well as signal a
 departure from "traditional" toy design with more realistic and natural
 designs and color schemes in some products.  The line-up, which more than
 doubles last year's new offerings, will be unveiled at the American
 International Toy Fair in New York, Feb. 16-19.
     -- Emphasis on Infants: Little Tikes' 33 new infant toys, the largest
        collective launch in the company's 33-year history, were created to
        jumpstart imagination and creativity in the youngest children.  The
        adorable Goofy Giggles(TM) character invites curious kids to crawl
        after it as it scoots across the floor -- giggling and making fun
        noises along the way.  The Tunes n' Tales(TM) toys bring favorite
        nursery rhymes to life through words, pictures and lights.  Little
        Tikes first foray into bath toys delivers 20 new ways to fill the tub
        with imagination and fun.
     -- Tons of Trucks: Kids can rev up with three new movin' and cruisin'
        vehicle lines featuring 18 cars and trucks.  Handle Haulers represent
        the ideal first truck, including the first truck designed specifically
        for girls.  The soft, chunky handle and six sturdy wheels are perfect
        for children making the transition from crawling to walking.  Spark
        Racerz, a collection of compact cars, will light up any child's
        imagination with life-like designs and sparking lights.  The Rugged
        Riggz line encourages role play by offering a realistic take on some
        of today's most popular trucks.  Each vehicle has a pivoting cab for
        supreme steering and is both rugged enough for outdoor adventures and
        safe enough for indoor excursions due to soft, furniture-friendly
        wheels.  Several of the Rugged Riggz offer two vehicles in one -- such
        as the race car and motorcycle haulers.
     -- First Wooden Furniture: Already the leader in plastic furniture for
        children, Little Tikes is building on its established reputation for
        safety and durability by launching its first line of wooden
        furniture -- Natural Interiors.  The six new Mission designed items
        are classic and neutral, so the furniture looks great "as is" or
        decorated with paint to match a child's personality.  The light wood
        furniture -- including a table, chair, desk, easel, toy box and
        storage center -- is perfectly scaled for kids, yet adult in design so
        that it looks at home in any interior or room of the house.
     -- Character Licensing with Caillou: Little Tikes has embarked on a
        partnership with the delightful children's program "Caillou" -- which
        narrates the adventures of a curious 4-year-old and his family and
        friends.  As master toy licensee, Little Tikes will debut a complete
        line of plush toys, action figures and play sets featuring the star of
        the PBS show.  "Our toys are created for all of the Caillous out
        there, so this alliance was a natural," said Leyden.
     -- New Outdoor Adventures: Little Tikes listened to parents' requests for
        outdoor play products that complement, rather than contrast with,
        carefully-designed yards.  The introduction of Backyard Naturals --
        featuring dusty blues, rusty reds, muted browns and garden-like
        greens -- give the company's popular outdoor items a rustic and
        attractive look.  These new colors help climbers and playhouses blend
        in beautifully with landscaped yards and manicured lawns.
     The new Little Tikes products will debut throughout the year and will be
 available in toy stores and retailers nationwide.  For more information on the
 full line-up of Little Tikes toys, visit .
     About Little Tikes: The Little Tikes Company, founded in 1970, is a
 Hudson, Ohio-based multi-national manufacturer and marketer of high-quality,
 innovative children's products.  The world's largest rotational molder and a
 Newell Rubbermaid company, Little Tikes employs more than 2,000 associates
 around the world.  For more information, visit .

SOURCE The Little Tikes Company