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Mattel buys Purple Moon
March 18, 1999: 4:02 p.m. ET

Acquisition resurrects software company known for girls' adventures
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Purple Moon, a software publisher specializing in adventure programs for pre-teen girls, has been revived through acquisition by Mattel Inc., the toy maker said Thursday.
     The deal comes a month after Purple Moon ceased operations, citing an over-saturated market for the software that it pioneered in 1996.
     Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.
     Mattel (MAT) said Purple Moon will be incorporated into its Mattel Media unit's interactive products for girls, which include Barbie and American Girl software. It also said it will support the expansion of Purple Moon's brands, beginning with books based on its Rockett character to be published by Scholastic.
     "Purple Moon and its Rockett brand are known for their relevance in girls' lives and will further strengthen our relationship with girls and our presence in software and technology," Mattel Media President David Haddad said.
     Purple Moon, under the aegis of software designer Brenda Laurel, was a pioneering effort to bridge a perceived computer gap between girls and boys. Before it was launched, just about all programs for pre-teens were action or competitive sports games that appealed more to boys.
     Among Purple Moon's critically acclaimed programs are Rockett's New School, Secret Paths in the Forest and Starfire Soccer. The company also hosts a Web site and sells merchandise related to its characters.
     But Mattel took the lead in girls' software with the introduction of its Barbie programs, which have ranked among the nation's top sellers. Other companies have joined the battle for girls' programs, and competing with flashier graphics and animation than Purple Moon.
     Mattel shares were up 1-7/16 to 24 in Thursday afternoon trading. Back to top


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