SOURCE: Bell Sports

March 16, 2005 08:30 ET

Bell Sports' New Helmets Let Kids Ride With Their Heroes, Favorite Characters

SANTA CRUZ, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 16, 2005 -- This spring, kids can bike with Barbie and Batman, head to the skatepark with Tony Hawk, and burn rubber with Dale Earnhardt Jr. These icons of fun, fashion and all things fast are featured in Bell Sports' 2005 bike and skate helmets, now available at retail.

Bell is making it easier than ever for people to express themselves through helmets based on today's popular athletes, sporting events, fashion trends, toys and characters. The market leader's 2005 line caters to a wide range of tastes and ages. Teens can explore their adventurous side with signature helmets featuring skateboard icon Tony Hawk and BMX champ Dave Mirra, or take a ride on the wild side with flame-covered, chopper-inspired helmets and accessories, while younger kids enjoy traditional favorites, such as Barbie and Batman.

Bell's inspiration for the new line came in part from a recent survey conducted in conjunction with the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, which found that a whopping 59 percent of kids ages 5 to 14 don't wear helmets when participating in wheeled activities. Bell believes wheeled sports are an integral part of kids' lives, and that everyday interests can inspire them to take proper safety measures when they ride. The company has also added features to make it easier to adjust helmet straps and buckles to achieve proper fit.

2005 Helmet Highlights

--  X-GAMES CHAMPS: Tony Hawk leads the line of Bell Signature Series
    helmets featuring fellow X-Games champion Dave Mirra. The popular multi-
    sport helmet line is for biking, skateboarding, in-line skating and other
    non-motorized wheeled sports.
    
--  NASCAR-THEMED: A NASCAR-inspired line of multi-sport helmets featuring
    the car colors and signatures of the hottest stars in the sport today --
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart, plus a special commemorative helmet
    honoring Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s No. 3 Monte Carlo.
    
--  BATMAN, BARBIE, AND MORE: A line of Batman-inspired helmets and
    accessories for biking and skating -- capturing the resurging popularity
    of the Winged One, who will be the talk of summer '05 in the highly
    anticipated film "Batman Begins." Bike products featuring Barbie, Hot
    Wheels and other kids' favorites fill out the licensed line with helmets
    to suit all interests.
    
--  VALUE PACKS: Updates to Bell's popular value pack line for less than
    $20, including new themes such as Silly Monster Trucks for toddlers, and
    Violet Flower Patch and Knight Quest for kids. The value pack line
    features a helmet, matching knee pads and elbow pads. Youth value packs
    in Skulls and Bones and Blue Flowers themes feature a helmet with matching
    locks and valve caps.
    
--  PROPER FIT: More helmets in the 2005 line are upgraded with Bell's
    exclusive Quick Fit™ fit system, CamLocks™ for easier strap
    adjustment and PinchGuard™ for no-pinch buckling. Bell owns patents for
    CamLocks and PinchGuard, and has a patent pending on QuickFit.
    
2005 Style Highlights
--  CUSTOM CHOPPERS: 89% of boys aged 8-15 are interested in chopper-
    styled bikes and accessories, and popular bands like Good Charlotte are
    bringing the trend to an even broader mix of tweens and teens. Bell is
    bringing the low-ride, flame-soaked Harley look to the masses with its
    line of Custom Choppers gear, including flame grips, iron cross pedals,
    eight-ball valve-ends and more.
    
--  MAKE AN ENTRANCE: Razzle Tazzles™: Decorative handlebar streamers
    with gemstones jazz up any bike. Ringer Dinger™: Space-age-looking bells
    you twist to turn heads. Wheelerz™ Spoke Lights: Motion-activated, multi-
    colored lights in fun shapes attach to spokes and give bikes a colorful
    glow.
    
"Consumers of all ages project who they are through what they wear, from sports team hats and jerseys to designer-label jeans. Helmets are no different," said Alex McKinnon, vice president of marketing at Bell. "For our 2005 line, we placed the greatest emphasis on designing helmets with icons, images and characters that kids can associate with, while adding features to make it easier to adjust our helmets for the optimal fit."

Bell helmets are available at mass retailers such as Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us and Kmart, among other retailers.

About Bell Sports

Bell Sports is the world's leading designer and marketer of helmets and accessories in the auto racing, motorcycle, cycling and action sports categories. The company markets helmets and accessories under the Bell, Giro®, Blackburn®, CoPilot™, X Games, West Coast Choppers, Batman, Barbie™, Hot Wheels™ and Fisher Price™ brands. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, the company has operations in Santa Cruz, Calif.; Rantoul, Ill.; York, Penn.; Limerick, Ireland; and Hong Kong. Bell Sports distributes its products in 45 countries. More information about Bell bike helmets and accessories is available at www.bellbikestuff.com.

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