(Left: Picture of the Gateway Rugrats Astro PC computer, from an ad in the April 2000 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine; ©2000 Viacom. Note that the Nick & Rugrats logos were removed from the software in this ad, though (in my opinion), Gateway probably had the same rights to those as the characters themselves.)
During this past year, there were several games, software and computer accessories released featuring the Rugrats, enabling your computer to join the Rugrats fun. Now, your new computer can actually BE part of the Rugrats, with a little help from Gateway, a computer company known for its cow-spot boxes.
At the end of 1999, Gateway released a special version of their Astro PC computer, with the main unit and accessories designed in the Rugrats style. The Astro PC is an "all-in-one" computer system -- with the monitor, drives, CPU and other components in a single case, similar to the Apple iMac.
The computer system, which will also include Rugrats software, will retail for US$898; printer and additional peripherals extra.
Here are the specifications for the Astro PC Rugrats computer:
|Screen:||15.0" (13.9" viewable)|
|CPU:||Intel Celeron 400MHz 128k|
|Video:||Integrated Intel® 3D Graphics|
|CD-Rom:||Integrated 17X min./40X max. CD-ROM drive|
For more details, see the full ad from the April 2000 Nickelodeon Magazine.
A Blues Clues computer, also by Gateway, will also be released simultaneously at the same price.
A regular Astro PC computer, with the same specifications, but without the Rugrats or Blues Clues stuff, retails for US$799.
These computers are the first steps in a multi-year alliance between Nick and Gateway. Here's Viacom's press release, outlining the details:
NICKELODEON AND GATEWAY FORM ALLIANCE TO CREATE UNPRECEDENTED KIDS COMPUTER EXPERIENCE
Leading Consumer PC Maker Teams with Number One Kids Network on Special Branded Computers and Live Theatrical Tour
New York, NY - November 19, 1999 - A new multi-year alliance announced today between Nickelodeon and Gateway unites the #1 kids TV network with the leading consumer PC maker to create specially branded computers designed just for kids. Beginning later this month, Rugrats and Blue's Clues, two of the most popular entertainment franchises for kids today, will be featured on specially branded versions of the all-in-one Gateway Astro PC.
In addition to the new Rugrats and Blue's Clues edition Astro computers,
the agreement includes the following:
The Gateway Astro computer is an all-in-one system that goes from box to Internet in a flash and is backed by Gateway's industry-leading reputation. The Blue's Clues and Rugrats editions, each priced at $898, will include specially designed branded computer accessories and be packaged with five educational and entertainment software titles, including four award-winning and best-selling Blue's Clues or Rugrats CD-Rom titles from Humongous Entertainment (Blue's Clues) and The Learning Company (Rugrats). The Blues Clues and Rugrats accessory and software packages will also be available on other Gateway consumer desktop systems.
"Kids love the Nickelodeon characters and they love the magic of computers. Combine the two and you've got kids having fun while learning," says Jeff Weitzen, Gateway president and chief operating officer. "Parents love the quality, value and support they get from Gateway. We see this as an alliance that appeals to kids while giving their parents the confidence that comes with the Gateway name."
Added Jeff Dunn, chief operating officer, Nickelodeon: "Gateway recognizes the power of the Nickelodeon brand and the power of kids influence on computer buying decisions. Through this extensive alliance - our most significant licensing partnership to date - Gateway joins us in putting kids first by creating a product line that not only appeals to kids, but empowers them."
The Nickelodeon and Gateway alliance combines two of the leading sources of quality entertainment and educational media for kids. Gateway has been helping kids and their parents use computers to learn since its founding in 1985. Gateway offered its first multi-media family PC in 1993 and then became the first major PC builder to make CD-ROM standard on desktops in 1994. By getting CD-ROM drives into public use, Gateway and other computer companies set the stage for dramatic improvements in multimedia computing through the use of compact discs as a software medium.
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