RIDEMAKERZ(R) Wins ''Retail Store of the Year'': Chain Store Age Recognizes Shop as Best Attraction Retailer New Car-customizing for Kids Concept Inspired by Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) is Welcome Addition to Retail Scene -- Especially for Boys

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RIDEMAKERZ(R), the new experiential retailer that offers a unique car-customizing experience for kids from 6 to 106, has roared out of the retailing pack and taken best of show in one of the nation's most prestigious retail design competitions. RIDEMAKERZ won first place for "best attraction retailing" for stores under 5,000 square feet in Chain Store Age magazine's Retail Store of the Year Awards -- a most auspicious victory given that the retailer is in its rookie year.

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but it's always great when you are recognized by your peers and industry experts, too.

    Chain Store Age cited RIDEMAKERZ Shops for their "larger-than-life-feel, with 3-D fixtures and dynamic visuals. From the high-impact 'hero car' graphics to the black-and-silver checkered flooring with embedded messaging, RIDEMAKERZ is fun from the word 'go.'"

RIDEMAKERZ opened its first Shop last June in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and has since expanded to seven locations. By this June, RIDEMAKERZ will be operating at a dozen locations nationwide. (See below for locations.)

Marianne Wilson, editor-in-chief at Chain Store Age, said contest judges were impressed with RIDEMAKERZ as "a fresh new concept and a welcome addition in a category that many retailers have overlooked - young males."

RIDEMAKERZ ZEO (CEO) Larry Andreini called the win a vote of confidence in the team that dreamed up the concept and put it on wheels. "We already knew we had a winner from the smiles on the faces of the Customizers in our Shops building RIDEZ," Andreini said, "but it's always great when you are recognized by your peers and industry experts, too." The judges included architects, designers and retailers with broad experience in the industry.

Build Your RIDE(TM)

The RIDEMAKERZ experience invites guests, or "Customizers(TM)," into the ultimate car-customizing shop where they can CHOOZE, SONICIZE, MOTORIZE, MOBILIZE, CUSTOMIZE, PERSONALIZE and CRUIZE(TM) one-of-a-kind RIDEZ. Between the body styles and colors, tires and wheels, lights and sounds, accessories and decals, RIDEMAKERZ estimates there are more than 649,000,000 possible combinations, not including individual decal placement.

RIDEMAKERZ has agreements with Ford Motor Company to offer the Ford Mustang and the Ford Super Chief Alternative Fuel Concept Truck, and Dodge, a trademark of the Chrysler Corporation, to offer the Dodge Ram and the Dodge Challenger Concept car in miniature form. In addition, legendary car designer and host of TLC's hit show Overhaulin', Chip Foose, serves as an "advizor" and has even tricked out a Limited Edition Dodge Challenger Concept car for RIDEMAKERZ, which is offered alongside the plethora of other options including race cars, hot rods, trucks, and emergency-service vehicles.

Customizers can have the complete RIDEMAKERZ experience and leave the shop with a car or truck ranging in price from $12 to $29, depending on body and paint style chosen. Radio control can be added for an additional $25, and custom accessories range in price from $2.50 for grille guards, spoilers and hood scoops to $5 for a set of monster tires and chassis to $10 for a Street-Glow light kit to $15 for a deluxe "Muscle Kit" that includes a blown engine, spoiler, side pipes, muffler tips and roof vent. With more than half-a-billion combinations, there is a tricked-out RIDE for everyone's budget. RIDEZ measure approximately 10 to 12 inches long, about the size of a shoebox, and right around 1:18 scale.


RIDEMAKERZ currently can be found at:

-- Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

-- Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.

-- Spotsylvania Towne Center in Fredericksburg, Virg.

-- Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis, Ind.

-- THE AVENUE at White Marsh in Baltimore, Md.

-- The Shoppes at Hagerstown in Hagerstown, Md. and Woodfield Mall in Chicago, Ill.

-- On Saturday, May 17, RIDEMAKERZ will open its eighth and ninth locations when it unveils two Shops in the Detroit area at Twelve Oaks Mall and Great Lakes Crossing.

Following are other store openings with dates:

-- Branson Landing, Branson, Mo. May 31

-- Fox River Mall, Appleton, Wis. June 14

-- Baybrook Mall, Friendswood, Texas June 28

Virtual RIDEZ

No matter where you are in the country, RIDEMAKERZ.COM extends the car-customizing fun. Virtual RIDEZ can be tricked out for free and kids can learn about car culture and alternative fuels in the RIDERZ ED section. RIDEZ and accessories can be purchased online and are shipped unassembled so Customizers can have all the fun of building the RIDEZ at home (in minutes). RIDEMONEY(TM) Gift Cardz also are available online, along with information about birthday parties.


RIDEMAKERZ' mission is to have great fun making cool RIDEZ - with the ultimate vision of contributing to the positive development of kidz. Inspired by Build-A-Bear Workshop, a partner and investor in the concept, RIDEMAKERZ is about the joy and fun of creating something great, something artistic, something unique and original. Visit RIDEMAKERZ.com for more information.

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Kris Brill
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