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Hasbro Re-Invents The Construction Toy Category
Miscellaneous: Jay Cochran - 2003.06.05
New BTR Toys Packed With Leading Brands, Action, and Value

PAWTUCKET, RI, June 5, 2003 – Hasbro, Inc. [NYSE:HAS] announced today that it will enter the block construction category, reinvigorating it with a new brand and concept called BTR (“BUILT TO RULE!”). Based on powerful Hasbro brands like G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS AND TONKA, the BTR line represents a new way to play, combining the best of brick-based construction play with the action play that has made Hasbro the leader in boys action toys. Hasbro calls them “action building sets.”

With the BTR line, kids can build a cool G.I. JOE vehicle, pop in the authentic G. I. JOE action figure that comes with every set, then head off to find arch-enemy COBRA. Or, they can build their favorite TRANSFORMERS ARMADA characters for the first time, and convert them from vehicle mode to robot and back again. The BTR TONKA SEARCH AND RESCUE line lets kids construct realistic vehicles with cool rescue gear, then use that gear to complete rescue missions with the help of full-sized action figure.

"BTR is a fresh and exciting approach to the category and we expect it to bring some real excitement to the aisle," said Jim Feldt, President of Merchandising and Marketing for Toys "R" Us, U.S.

"Hasbro has a true hit on their hands. Kids love action figures and vehicles, and they love to build. BTR combines these play patterns along with popular, proven brands into an innovative and exciting product line," said Jim Silver, publisher of Toy Wishes.

"BTR is a great example of how Hasbro is building upon its core brands with exciting and innovative product," said Brian Goldner, President of Hasbro's U.S. toys group. "The construction category is driven by 'newness.' BTR offers something new for kids who love construction and, for kids who are fans of G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS and TONKA, BTR offers another way to experience their favorite action brands."

BTR offers bigger toys with more features than currently available sets at similar price points, providing great value, plus compatibility with major construction brands and one-to-one consistency with the base brands’ (G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS) current themes and fantasies.

The BTR G.I. JOE line allows kids to re-construct their favorite G.I. JOE vehicles for different missions over a variety of terrain. Every kit comes with an authentic 3 3/4” G.I. JOE action figure and cool action features like projectile launchers and DESTRUCTO BRICKS. The BTR G.I. JOE line will carry the same theme as the 2003 G.I. JOE vs. COBRA SPY TROOPS action figure line.

The BTR TRANSFORMERS line allows kids to build vehicles that convert to robots. Kids start with a TRANS-SKELETON of a TRANSFORMERS character. By adding more building pieces, the child builds a vehicle that can be changed into a robot and back again – just like a real TRANSFORMERS action figure. Both the finished vehicle and robot will be equipped with projectiles and will be consistent with the TRANSFORMERS ARMADA theme that has taken the toy world by storm.

The BTR TONKA line will expand the TONKA SEARCH & RESCUE fantasy by allowing children to construct realistic rescue vehicles that help them complete their life-saving missions. Each set will come with constructable rescue gear and a 3 3/4” action figure that will fit into the vehicle.

Hasbro will introduce more than twenty-four BTR sets in the first year, eight in each category. BTR construction sets range from approximately $7.99 to $29.99 and can be found in the construction set aisle. The BTR line will be available in major toy stores and mass merchandisers nationwide beginning in August. Select online retailers can “presell” the line beginning in June.

Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

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