Microsoft ActiMates Launches Search for Top Tongue-Twisting Kid

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 29, 1998 — What do “groovy gravy baby,” “old owls eat oily oysters,” and “Buster Baxter bakes blueberry brownies” have in common? No, they are not recipes in some repetitious new cookbook. Rather, beginning this week, these are among the linguistically loony phrases that children across the nation will repeat over and over – and over – as they vie to become the nation’s top tongue-twisting kid.

To mark the retail availability of Microsoft® ; and three new software titles, kids ages 6 to 8 will be able to take part in the Awesome ActiMates Tongue Twist-Off. In cities across the nation, including Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis and New York, parents will be invited to have their children call local radio stations and say tongue twisters on the air.

The best tongue-twisting child in each city wins a trip to New York for a final round of verbal gymnastics at the national Awesome ActiMates Tongue Twist-Off. The event will be held Nov. 2 at the Toys “R” Us store in Herald Square.

At the national contest, exciting prizes will be awarded, including ActiMates Interactive Arthur and ActiMates Interactive D.W. plush dolls and software, gift certificates to Toys “R” Us and, for the national tongue-twisting champion, a new computer loaded with Microsoft’s new Arthur software.

“Among its many features, ActiMates Arthur and ActiMates D.W. each have an incredible vocabulary that really encourages children to experiment and have fun with language,” said Christine Winkel, ActiMates product manager for Microsoft Corp. “It’s going to be lots of fun for kids but it’s also very educational.”

Following the tremendous success last year of ActiMates Interactive Barney, Marc Brown’s Arthur and D.W. are the newest characters in Microsoft’s revolutionary line of smart toys. Designed for children ages 4 to 8, ActiMates Arthur and ActiMates D.W. feature technological advancements and fun functions to help children learn. These include a 4,000 word vocabulary, specially encoded videotapes and original CD-ROM software.

Available now through leading toy, mass merchant, consumer electronic and computer

stores, the ActiMates plush characters have a suggested retail price of $109.95 (U.S.) each. TV Packs and PC packs for the ActiMates characters have an estimated retail price of $54.95. The estimated retail price for additional PC software titles is $34.95.

Microsoft developed ActiMates Interactive Arthur and Microsoft Interactive D.W.

under license from Marc Brown.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and ActiMates are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names and characters Arthur and D.W. are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Marc Brown.

“PBS” is a trademark of the Public Broadcasting System.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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