Upper Deck Entertainment Teams Up With Nickelodeon to Produce New Trading Card Game Based on the Wildly Popular Animated Series 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' 'Avatar Trading Card Game' to Launch Upper Deck Entertainment's New

'QuickStrike(TM)' Gaming Platform This Month



    CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Nickelodeon's latest hit
 animated series, "Avatar: The Last Airbender," makes its trading card game
 debut this month as Upper Deck Entertainment (UDE) -- in association with
 Nickelodeon -- today announce plans to create and distribute a new trading
 card game (TCG) based on the cartoon series.  The trading card game will be
 the first collectible card game to use UDE's new QuickStrike game engine,
 which features lightning-fast one-on-one card combat moves, and will be
 compatible with future releases on the QuickStrike system.  The new Avatar
 Trading Card Game will be available at participating stores across North
 America in February.
     "We are thrilled to introduce Avatar fans to the exciting world of trading
 card games," said Cory Jones, Director of Upper Deck Entertainment Brand and
 New Product Development.  "Through easy-to-learn game mechanics,
 lightning-fast game play, and brand new card technologies, fans will have the
 chance to get the ultimate Avatar Trading Card Game experience."
     "Avatar has emerged as one of the most popular new shows for kids today
 with a deeply loyal and growing fan base that has been clamoring for Avatar
 merchandise ever since the show debuted," said Joan Grasso, Senior
 Director-Toys, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products.  "Avatar translates
 perfectly into trading cards because of its rich story and diverse collection
 of characters.  The trading card game from Upper Deck will create a whole new
 level of excitement with a product that's both fun to play and collect," she
 said.
     Combining the amazing world of Waterbenders, Earthbenders, Firebenders,
 and Airbenders, the Avatar Trading Card Game centers on the adventures of Aang
 -- a reluctant hero who must lead the fight against the evil Fire Nation to
 restore balance in his war-torn world.  Avatar fans can execute all the
 signature bending moves of Aang and the entire cast with UDE's new foil
 Zenemental cards, and slide-open Chamber Cards, which allows players to reveal
 hidden moves, and simulate all the action seen on the hit television series.
     The launch of the Avatar Trading Card Game will include Master of Elements
 Starter Sets, which features two 30-card decks, two Chamber Cards, one
 rulebook, and two game mats, packaged in the new UDECK plastic storage case.
 UDE will also release Master of Elements Booster Packs, which includes nine
 cards and one Chamber Card per pack.
     The series -- created by Michael DiMartino ("King of the Hill") and Bryan
 Konietzko ("Invader Zim") -- premiered last February, and is currently the
 #1 regularly scheduled television program in its timeslot among all kids ages
 2-11.  The second season of Avatar will debut on Nickelodeon on March 17.  The
 first of five DVDs of the first season of Avatar will be available beginning
 January 31.  There are 50 licensees on board for Avatar.  In addition to the
 trading cards, other categories include action figures, construction sets,
 videogames and books, with product launching in the Fall.
 
     Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products manages the third largest licensing
 business in the world with $5 billion in retail sales in 2005, from such
 properties as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.  The department
 handles the merchandising for Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures,
 Comedy Central, MTVN International, and Spike TV.
     Nickelodeon, now in its 26th year, is the number-one entertainment brand
 for kids.  It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in
 everything it does.  The company includes television programming and
 production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products,
 online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films.  Nickelodeon's U.S.
 television network is seen in more than 89 million households and has been the
 number-one-rated basic cable network for ten consecutive years.  Nickelodeon
 and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom
 International Inc.
     For more information on the Avatar Trading Card Game, or Upper Deck
 Entertainment products, Internet users can log onto
 www.upperdeckentertainment.com.
 
     About Upper Deck
     The Upper Deck Co. is a premier global sports and entertainment-publishing
 company that delivers a portfolio of relevant, innovative and multi-
 dimensional product experiences to collectors, sports and entertainment
 enthusiasts.
 
 

SOURCE Upper Deck Entertainment; Nickelodeon

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