Press Release

<< Back
Amazon.com Announces Amazon.com Toy Quest Winners --

All-Star Judges panel selects two grand prize winners from 40 inventors at festive New York celebration; winning toys will be manufactured and sold at Amazon.com Toys

NEW YORK- (BUSINESS WIRE) - December 6, 1999 - Leading online retailer Amazon.com (www.amazon.com) today announced that 7-year-old Nicky Englisis and 11-year-old Nadia Smith are the grand prize-winning toy inventors in the Amazon.com Toy Quest, which culminated this weekend with a celebration party in New York City. Both grand prize winning inventions will be manufactured and sold at Amazon.com Toys in the year 2000.

Nicky is the winner from the 8 years and under category. He invented the My Favorite Friend doll - a doll whose face is a picture frame in which kids can put photographs of their friends. It comes with a disposable camera and one changeable outfit, among other accessories, and was created so that kids can always have their friends with them.

Nadia is the winner from the 9 to 12 year old age group. Her toy, Mr. Itchy Pants, is a large, quirky character dressed in overalls with ants scurrying all over his body. When you press a button he dances and sings an upbeat song about the ants in his pants that are making him dance.

In addition to having their toy inventions manufactured and sold at Amazon.com Toys, Nicky and Nadia will each receive a $10,000 college savings bond from Amazon.com. These inventors will also receive royalties from their toys' sales in the form of a college savings fund.

Forty kid inventors came from across the country, from Florida to Alaska, to present their dream toy ideas to an all-star judges panel at the Amazon.com Toy Quest celebration. The judges selected one grand prize winner and one runner up each of two age categories.

"Amazon.com Toy Quest celebrates kids, toys, and innovation - we were overwhelmed with the creativity and invention we saw from the finalists and in the thousands of entries we received," said Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. "These kids are innovators for the 21st century."

A distinguished judges panel evaluated all 40 inventions and selected the grand prize winners and runners up. The panel featured Bezos; Katarina Witt, world champion figure skater and two-time Olympic gold medallist; independent inventor Richard Levy, who has worked with major toy manufacturers such as Hasbro and Mattel and developed over 200 products including the Furby® - one of the most popular toys in recent years; Lonnie Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Research & Development and inventor of the Super Soaker®, which was the hottest selling toy in America in 1991 and 1992; and Thomas Edison Sloane, Jr., Thomas Edison's great grandson and expert in the development of talking toys.

The Amazon.com Toy Quest runners up were 8-year-old Daniel Fremont, inventor of Robopet, and 11-year-old Megan Griffin, who created Karaoke Hair Care. Robopet is a small, green, cone-shaped robot that follows its owner around the house. He has camera eyes, squeeze sensors and a speaker mouth, and responds to voice and other sensory stimuli. Karaoke Hair Care is a combination hairbrush and microphone that plays music, so that kids can sing and brush their hair simultaneously. Each of these inventors will receive a $2,000 college savings bond from Amazon.com.

All 40 finalists and their inventions can soon be found at www.amazon.com/toyquest. All 40 finalists and their inventions will also be featured as electronic greeting cards at Amazon.com's e-cards site (www.amazon.com/cards).

Nicky Englisis is from Morganville, New Jersey; Nadia Smith is from Voorhees, New Jersey; Daniel Fremont is from Palo Alto, California; and Megan Griffin is from Englewood, Colorado.

A Celebration of Kids and their Creativity

The 40 finalists and their families came from all over the country to participate in the Amazon.com Toy Quest extravaganza - a magical event celebrating kids and their innovation and creativity on Saturday, December 4. Each inventor brought a hand-made model of his or her toy invention to share with the judges and made a presentation to the judges describing the toy.

Winners and runners up were announced during a festive awards ceremony at the event, during which all 40 finalists received an award and special recognition for their creativity and hard work.

The Amazon.com Toy Quest celebration was also filled with a variety of games, entertainment and activities. The finalists, their families and the judges participated in everything from carnival games to flinging themselves against a giant Velcro wall to rolling down the lane in human bowling.

Additional Background

Amazon.com Toy Quest was conceived to encourage kids' creativity and imaginations, and reinforce the importance of education. Amazon.com launched Toy Quest in early October, issuing a nationwide invitation to kids 12 and under to design and create their dream toy. Children were asked to send a 200-word description of their toy invention, along with a drawing, to Amazon.com. Twenty finalists were selected from each of two age categories - 8 years and under and 9 to 12 years.

About Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon.com (Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries) is the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 DVD and video, and No. 1 book retailer. Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection, along with online auctions and free electronic greeting cards. Amazon.com lists more than 18 million unique items in categories including books, CDs, toys, electronics, videos, DVDs, home-improvement products, software, and video games. Through Amazon.com zShops, any business or individual can sell virtually anything to Amazon.com's more than 13 million customers, and with Amazon.com Payments, any seller can accept credit card transactions, avoiding the hassles of offline payments.

Amazon.com seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company where customers can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. Amazon.com's All Product Search scours the Web to help customers find merchandise that is not available at Amazon.com, Amazon.com Auctions, or Amazon.com zShops, making Amazon.com the shopping destination to find anything.

Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. Amazon.com also operates Amazon.com LiveBid Auctions (http://livebid.amazon.com), the leading provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.

Amazon.com has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient: drugstore.com, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at www.drugstore.com; Pets.com, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at www.pets.com; HomeGrocer.com, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and Southern California, at www.homegrocer.com; and Gear.com, which offers brand-name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at www.gear.com. Amazon.com also has a minority interest in Della & James, which brings together leading retailers with gift registry, expert advice, and personalized gift suggestions to help everyone give better gifts, at www.della.com.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of distribution-center expansion, risks related to fourth-quarter performance, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction and zShops services, risks related to fraud and Amazon.com Payments, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999, June 30, 1999, and September 30, 1999.


Contact Amazon PR

For Non-media Inquiries:
Amazon Customer Service
For Kindle Marketing/Brand Inquiries:
Kindle Brand Use Guidelines