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A New Line of Web-Interative Plush That Allows Aspiring Jacques Cousteau’s To Create a Virtual Aquarium on


OAKLAND, NJ –Toy Fair 2008 – Put away your snorkel and flippers, your fish tank and filter and get ready for the ultimate virtual underwater experience. Applause® from Russ, a brand of Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. (NYSE:RUS) and its subsidiary Russ Berrie U.S. Gift, Inc., introduces Sea Pals™, a new line of marine-inspired plush that allows members to create their own virtual and interactive aquarium amid realistic ocean scenery.

Each Sea Pal comes with a secret code that allows you to log on to where you can create your virtual aquarium. Personalize your tank with castles, sand, coral and treasure chests, and ensure your aquarium thrives by feeding and nurturing your fish and keeping your tank clean. Once you’re settled in your new tank, you can choose to stay in your aquarium or jump out into the ocean, where you can play games, chat with other fish in the sea, explore reefs and shipwrecks, and learn a whole whale’s worth about marine life. Visit the eleven deepest oceans and seas by conquering deep-sea challenges and advancing to the next “level.” Complete all the levels and make your way to the extraordinary underwater city of Atlantis.

Explore the ocean to discover hidden treasures and collect hard to find items that you can bring back to your tank or share with friends. Earn ‘Pearl Points’ by playing games and engaging in fun activities. Kids can donate their hard earned ‘Pearl Points’ to various charity organizations to be announced later this year.

The first twelve characters in the Sea Pals school of fish include the Blackbar Triggerfish (pictured), Angel Fish, Blue Lobster, Clown Fish, Sea Turtle, Shark, and more. Each is named accurately after their counterpart in the sea and every character exhibits personality traits all their own. If you’re a land lover, your Sea Pal also doubles as a finger puppet, bringing it to life on land and in your virtual aquarium. Bring the beauty of your aquarium to your computer screen, the Sea Pals virtual aquarium doubles as a screensaver when the sea is calm and you step away from your computer.

The first twelve Sea Pals will be available this May in stores nationwide for an approximate retail value of $10.00 each.

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Russ Berrie and Company, Inc., a leader in the infant, juvenile, and gift industries, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries design, develop, and distribute a variety of innovative gift, infant, and juvenile products to specialty and mass market retailers worldwide. Known for its teddy bears and other plush animals, the Company's gift, infant, and juvenile lines are comprised of a diverse range of everyday, seasonal, and occasion-themed products that help people celebrate the milestones in their lives. The Company operates offices, showrooms, and distribution centers all over the world and trades on the NYSE under the symbol RUS.

Applause® is a registered trademark of Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. and its subsidiary Russ Berrie U.S. Gift, Inc.