Retailers Catch Fever for Kinetix's 3D Phenomenon

as Millions Worldwide Seek Baby Cha-Cha on T-Shirts, CDs, and Dolls

SIGGRAPH '98, ORLANDO, Fla., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Kinetix(R) today announced that Dancing Baby
-- the pint-sized pop culture icon who has developed a cult-like following on television and the World Wide Web -- is coming soon to a retailer near you. Originally created for Kinetix by Unreal Pictures using Kinetix's Character Studio(R) animation software, the blockbuster baby has attracted numerous licensing deals that will soon result in a wide variety of Dancing Baby merchandise, from T-shirts to dancing dolls. By September, Dancing Baby is expected find a home on some 70 different items in stores throughout the world.

"By all accounts, Baby Cha-Cha is dancing as fast as it can," says Jim Guerard, vice president and general manager of Kinetix, the leader in PC-based content creation tools for professionals. "Dancing Baby's many television appearances and its wild popularity on the Web have certainly contributed to a worldwide demand and market for the character, and we have been surprised and thrilled by the response from the retail community."

Although most Dancing Baby merchandise is still in pre-production, several early-release items are posting strong sales. Almost $3 million in wholesale T-shirt orders have been filled since March to department and specialty retailers nationwide. The Dancing Baby music CD sold close to 300,000 units in four weeks, while the CD single was No. 74 on the Billboard Top 100 chart after only two weeks of exposure. Demand for Dancing Baby back-to-school paper products also has been high, with strong initial orders from Office Max, Kmart, and other major retailers.

"It isn't often that the public embraces a character in the way it has opened its heart to Dancing Baby," said Eric Henry, president at Logotel, which serves as the Dancing Baby licensing agent for Kinetix. "Dancing Baby has a devoted following on the Web, and is appearing on television's top talk shows with the frequency of an A-list Hollywood veteran. There is growing demand for products that let people take Baby Cha-Cha home with them."

Dancing Baby is fast becoming a retail hit in a dozen countries worldwide, including Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and in countries throughout the Middle East, Europe and Scandinavia. Retailers expect demand to increase as the holidays approach. Likely to be one of the most popular holiday gifts is a mechanical Dancing Baby doll. Licensed by Wow Wee, the doll sits in a computer console "box" and is activated by pressing a "mouse." Deliveries are expected to begin in mid-September, with initial orders already in excess of $2 million wholesale.

In addition to doting Web fans, the undulating infant has a growing television audience, with recurring appearances on David E. Kelley Productions' hit series "Ally McBeal" and Blockbuster Video advertisements, and special guest appearances on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," the American Comedy Awards, and David Letterman's coveted Top 10 list.

The technology behind Dancing Baby, Character Studio software is the award-winning plug-in application for 3D Studio MAX(R) that enables animators to create realistic 3D characters on PCs running Microsoft(R) Windows NT(R) and Windows(R) 95. Character Studio integrates two breakthrough components: Biped(TM) and Physique(TM). Biped allows animators to place footsteps into a scene to create accurate and believable motion including walking, running, jumping, dancing or riding. Physique creates remarkably realistic character skins and musculature. Both components were used to create the model, musculature and skin of Dancing Baby, while Character Studio's breakthrough motion capture capabilities added realism to Dancing Baby's signature moves. Character Studio R2 recently shipped with over 500 motion capture files included in the software.

Pricing and Availability
3D Studio MAX R2.5 and Character Studio R2 are available worldwide and are U.S. list priced at $3,495 and $1,495 respectively. Kinetix software is available from Kinetix, and from Kinetix resellers and distributors. Kinetix products are sold through resellers and distributors worldwide. Visit Kinetix on the World Wide Web at, or contact the company at 800-879-4233.

About Kinetix
Kinetix develops and delivers affordable content creation tools for professionals such as film and video producers, video/computer game developers, Web content developers, architects, engineers, and designers. The leader in PC-based professional 3D modeling and animation tools, Kinetix provides a full range of products for the application development process, from 2D and 3D creation to assembly and delivery. With headquarters in San Francisco, Kinetix is a division of Autodesk(R), the fourth largest PC software company in the world with over three million customers in more than 150 countries. 3D Studio MAX, the company's flagship product, won more than 45 industry awards since the product was introduced in 1996.

NOTE: Kinetix is a division of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) Autodesk, Kinetix 3D Studio MAX and Character Studio are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. in the USA and/or certain other countries. Physique and Biped are trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks are referred to solely for the purposes of identification and belong to their respective holders.

Source: Autodesk Inc.
Contact: Melisa Bell, Public Relations Manager of Kinetix, 415-547-2258, or