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For Release: July 13, 2000


The following interview was written by Ms. Janie, an author, publisher, and spokesperson with diverse expertise in the consumer collectibles market. It was posted on her web site on July 13, 2000.

IMA Hero™
The plush toy that educates you as you play!

With education being such an important tool, IMA Hero™ has developed a superior plush line that will entertain your youngster while educating them at the same time.

IMA Hero™ Collection is distributed by StarRise Creations. StarRise Creations was founded in 1999 to create fun products to educate and inspire people of all ages. Their goal is to design educational tools for people to learn while they are having fun. Their first product line celebrates important people in the past 1,000 years who have made a positive contribution to society. As we enter a new millennium, IMA Hero™ Collection looks back on important achievers of the last millennium.

With all product lines there are bound to be a few favorites. My favorites are as follows:

Florence Nightingale - This adorable bear is white with a red heart on the chest and is sporting a nursing hat. I am particular found of the bear for a couple of reasons. My son has asthma and every year I have the difficult task of trying to locate an appropriate gift for the school nurse. Florence is appropriate and would be a welcoming gift for any medical caregiver.

I am also fond of William Shakespeare. William is a teal colored bear wearing a white collar; he is the only bear in the line with a collar accessory. His colors are vibrant and he represents an important time in history and in theatre.

Last but not least Benjamin Franklin is another favorite, lets face it, without good old Ben we would all be in the dark. Ben has been designed in a raspberry color and wears a kite on his chest.

All of the designs have been cleverly selected and are all winners! The plush material is soft, the colors are vibrant and their price is reasonable.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathy Malowney from IMA Hero™ and would like to share my findings.

Q: When did you start your company?
A: I started the company, StarRise Creations, in 1999. The offices are located in San Diego, California.

Q: Why did you start StarRise Creations?
A: I started StarRise Creations to create fun products to educate and inspire people of all ages. Our goal is to design educational tools for people to learn while they are having fun.

Q: What products have you developed?
A: The first product line is the IMA Hero™ Collection. It is a line of teddy bears that celebrates important people in the past 1,000 years who have made a positive contribution to society.

Q: What does IMA stand for?
A: IMA stands for Important Millennium Achievers. As we enter a new millennium, the IMA Hero™ Collection looks back on important achievers of the last millennium.

Q: How do the teddy bears represent the historical people?
A: Each bear has an embroidered logo on its chest that represents something about the person's life. For example, Thomas Alva Edison has a light bulb on his chest because he invented the light bulb. Also, the bear comes with a hang tag which gives information about that person's life.

Q: How can a person learn more about the historical people?
A: Our web site at
http://www.imahero.com has additional information about each person. One page talks about the person's life, and another page discusses the times in which that person lived.

Q: Will I get bored while reading this information?
A: We hope not. We present the information at an introductory level. The biographies are full of interesting information and written at the 4th grade level. This way, people of all ages will be encouraged to learn about the person.

Q: How will you expand your product line?
A: The IMA Hero™ Collection will release additional series of bears to continue celebrating other great achievers. Also, we are working on books, games, and activities to go along with the teddy bears.

Q: How did you select the first series of bears?
A: We chose people who have made a positive contribution to society. They represent different nationalities, occupations, and time periods.

Q: Are you looking for suggestions for other people to add to your product line?
A: Yes. We welcome any suggestions people may have about who they think should be added to our line of teddy bears. We have a
"Who's Your Hero?" page on our web site at http://www.imahero.com where people can submit their hero.

Q: How do you define "a hero?"
A: The IMA Hero™ Collection has chosen well-known people for its first series. However, heroes do not have to be famous people. Heroes can come in different shapes and sizes. A hero can be a relative, teacher, coach, or friend. It is up to each person to chose their own heroes.

Q: Who is your hero?
A: My hero is my older brother, Mike. We've always been close friends. Now he is a father of 2 girls, and they have a very close relationship too.

Q: Do you consider the first series of heroes to be the most important people of the last millennium?
A: No. The IMA Hero™ Collection does not rank the importance of achievers. Different people are important for different reasons. We provide people with information about each person and let them decide the importance for themselves.

IMA Hero™ Testimonials

Retail Stores say:

"The IMA Hero™ bears are very cute."
Barbara Williams, Owner
Spare Hands Craft & Gift Shop
Milton, Pennsylvania

"StarRise Creations is a great company. Its No Minimum Policy allowed us to try the IMA Hero™ bears to see how it worked. I knew it was a good quality product, and I was very pleased to see how fast it really did sell."
Ken Johns, Buyer
Edison-Ford Winter Estates
Fort Myers, Florida

"The IMA Hero™ bears send a positive message as they remind us there are heroes out there! They have been very enthusiastically received by both staff and customers alike here at the Fleet Center."
Kathy Loder, Buyer
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
San Diego, California

"StarRise Creations is a wonderful company to work with. The IMA Hero™ bears are a good product for hospital gift stores."
Kris Coxsey, Manager-Buyer
Pomerado Hospital
Poway, California

What Customers are saying:

"My 7 year old son salutes the IMA Hero™ Robert E. Lee bear before going to bed."
Newport News, Virginia

"When I saw the IMA Hero™ bears, I thought they were cute. When I saw my 4 year old son playing with the bears, I realized how much he can learn from them. He takes what he learns at home with the Galileo and Columbus bears and connects it with what he learns in preschool about the earth, moon, and sun."
San Diego, California

The IMA Hero™ website is eye appealing, fun and challenging. I highly recommend you visit it and take a look around. Thank you to the good folks at IMA Hero™ for allowing me to interview them and share a very special part of their world.

This article was written by Janie E. Daniels
commonly known as Ms. Janie
This article is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in any form.
July 13, 2000




Happy Learning!

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