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CULTURAL TOYS LAUNCHED AT TOY FAIR BY FORMER TONKA EXEC, INCLUDES FIRST LICENSABLE TOY LINE BY AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN OWNED COMPANY

 MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Cultural Exchange Corporation of Minneapolis will introduce Cultural Toys(TM) at the 1993 American International Toy Fair, a full line of multi-cultural toys, games and stationery products. The proprietary products are designed to grab the attention of the fastest growing segment of the American economy -- people of color -- while strongly appealing to all children growing up in an increasingly diverse society.
 "Cultural Toys begins to fill the vast need for well thought-out, quality designed, culturally relevant and self-reflective toys, games and products," stated toy industry veteran and Cultural Exchange Corporation President and Chairman Jacob R. Miles III, former director of operations for Tonka.
 "There is a hunger out there, both at the consumer and the retail levels, for toys which capture diversity as a strength," stated Miles.
 "What he's doing is timely and marketable -- absolutely," stated Dayton-Hudson Corporation Trend Expert Joel Kaplan. "We're very interested in developing a product which is design-sensitive to varying cultures. Ethnocentric merchandise is growing and becoming a big part of mainstream business," commented Kaplan. "It's a design direction."
 This year marks Miles' 14th International Toy Fair and caps nearly 20 years in the toy industry beginning with Kenner Products in 1975. Miles became head of General Mills' largest toy division in 1985 and was soon recruited by Tonka to direct its entire operations group. In his six years at Tonka, he set up satellite offices in Asia, developed the company's subcontractor base worldwide, and implemented fast track product development and delivery systems which vastly improved Tonka's efficiency.
 Cultural Toys consists of five lines of multi-cultural toys, games, books and stationery products. Hollywood Hounds(TM) is the company's signature product line, a multi-cultural group of loveable, huggable dog and cat plush toys. The five animal characters are the first licensable toy line by an African-American owned company. Related products in development include an animated series, music video and soundtrack, comic books and collector cards. The music soundtrack is being developed by Grammy Award nominee Rahni Song, and has its first demo completed.
 Cultural Exchange Pre-school(TM) is the industry's first truly multi-cultural pre-school toy line; Double Scoop(TM) children's books are written by children and illustrate the positive side of racial bonding; Pirates, Danger & Treasures(TM) is a board game which offers an appreciation of others through adventure; Cultural Greetings(TM) is the most exciting product line of multi-cultural occasion and holiday cards, posters and ornaments to be introduced in years.
 The current line of Cultural Toys will be introduced into the marketplace in the second half of 1993.
 As a minority owned business, Cultural Exchange Corporation will target the nations' largest toy distributors -- Target, K-Mart, Sears, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us -- with well established minority purchasing programs for licensing, sales and other partnering opportunities.
 Between 1980 and 1990, gross income among African-American and Hispanic households increased 155 percent. In 1990, according to U.S. census data, these groups combined had gross income just under $500 billion. Growth among African-Americans and Hispanics accounts for approximately 20 percent of the total U.S. population and, by the year 2000, are projected to account for more than 30 percent of all U.S. residents.
 -0- 2/1/93
 /CONTACT: Jacob R. Miles, president of the Cultural Exchange Corp., 612-544-1581 or 212-675-8676 (March 8-17); or Susan Stuart-Otto of Susan Stuart-Otto PR, 612-925-8348, for Cultural Exchange/


CO: Cultural Exchange Corporation ST: Minnesota IN: SU: PDT

KH -- MN019 -- 1540 02/01/93 17:01 EST
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Date:Feb 1, 1993
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