Official MINI USA Press Release: MINI USA and RIDEMAKERZ have teamed up to create the smallest MINI ever – the RIDEMAKERZ MINI – a 12- inch, completely customizable toy replica of the iconic MINI Cooper S – and have guaranteed a holiday donation of 2,000 of the new toy MINIs to Toys for Tots – the companies jointly announced today at an event celebrating the launch of the new MINI RIDE.

Joined by “tween” sensation Jansen Panettiere (star of the Nickelodeon movie “The Last Day of Summer” and the upcoming film “The Perfect Game”) more than 30 kids, ages 8-10, from the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club and the Latino Pastoral Action Center Family Life Academy Charter School in the Bronx, New York, are the first to build the new MINI RIDEZ. In addition the two companies presented 100 of the pint-sized cars to eight uniformed members of the U.S. Marines, who received the donation on behalf of Toys for Tots. Following the donation ceremony, MINI of Manhattan became “Santa’s workshop,” outfitted like a traditional RIDEMAKERZ retail shop featuring “zones” where kids – with the help of Panettiere and the U.S. Marines – were able to create their very own one-of-a-kind MINI RIDE.

The partnership between MINI USA, automaker of the iconic and uniquely customizable line of passenger cars that made small cars cool, and RIDEMAKERZ, the innovative new toy retailer whose concept of allowing kids the hands-on experience of customizing one-of-a-kind RIDEZ was inspired by the successful Build-A-Bear Workshop(R), underscores the companies’ shared commitment to delivering products and experiences that reflect fun and creativity.

“We are delighted to have partnered with RIDEMAKERZ – a company that, like MINI, values innovation and individualization and embodies those qualities in its products,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President of MINI USA. “We think everyone – adults and kids alike – should have the opportunity to experience the imagination and passion of MINI. That’s why we are encouraging all individuals to donate a MINI RIDE of their own to someone in need this holiday season.”

To donate a RIDE to Toys for Tots, consumers can visit a RIDEMAKERZ Shop, now through December 13th, or go online to http://www.ridemakerz.com/mini, now through December 31st. Consumers wishing to purchase and donate a MINI RIDE online can simply click on “Give the Gift of MINI,” which will allow them to choose a RIDE and have it shipped directly to Toys for Tots organizations around the country. As a part of MINI’s Motoring Hearts program – which encourages MINI owners and enthusiasts to give back to their favorite charities – this initiative promises to help deliver the creativity and fun of the RIDEMAKERZ MINI to numerous underprivileged children this holiday season.

“The RIDEMAKERZ experience is designed to provide choice, unleash creativity, foster confidence, encourage collaboration and instill a sense of community. These are our core values – or what we call The Five C’Z of RZ. MINI’s focus on customization, shared sense of adventure and contagious spirit of fun make the partnership and the opportunity to participate in the Toys for Tots donation a perfect fit with RIDEMAKERZ,” says Larry Andreini, ZEO of RIDEMAKERZ. “With more than 649,000,000 possible ways to customize a RIDE, we are excited to be giving kids the gift of creativity – and the smallest MINI ever – just in time for the holidays.”

MINI RIDEZ Kids of All Ages Can Enjoy

The RIDEMAKERZ MINI guarantees a distinctive and truly one-of-a-kind holiday gift for kids and car enthusiasts of all ages. Tapping into America’s love of cars and the massive car-customizing movement, RIDEMAKERZ invites guests, or “customizers” into the ultimate car-customizing Shop where they can CHOOZE, SONICIZE, MOTORIZE, MOBILIZE, CUSTOMIZE, PERSONALIZE and CRUIZE(TM) one-of-a-kind RIDEZ. The cars can be tricked out with a variety of performance and styling options so that no two MINI RIDEZ are alike. The companies also will offer a limited quantity of special Launch Edition MINI RIDEZ, customized with innovative graphics by renowned car customizer and MINI enthusiast Fireball Tim.

Available in four colors – Chili Red, Hot Orange, Laser Blue and Asphalt Black – and priced at either $22 or $25, the RIDEMAKERZ MINIs are available online at http://www.ridemakerz.com/, as well as at four RIDEMAKERZ Shop locations: Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, SC, the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, the Spotsylvania Towne Center in Spotsylvania, VA and Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis (additional RIDEMAKERZ Shop locations will launch in Spring 2008).