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MGPI's Plant-Based Biopolymers Are Key To WHAM-O's Eco-Friendly Toy Line

ATCHISON, Kan., June 8, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A unique line of wood-based biopolymer composites produced by MGP Ingredients, Inc. (Nasdaq:MGPI) has gained increased significance with the merger of Colorado-based Sprig Toys, Inc. and major toy and game manufacturer WHAM-O, Inc. earlier this year. Called Sprigwood™, the proprietary material is a durable, child-safe bio-composite that MGPI began manufacturing exclusively for Sprig in Sept. 2009. Sprigwood is used to produce an innovative line of battery-free, kid-powered preschool toys that are now part of the new WHAM-O® Jr. division.

As announced in a joint news release issued by WHAM-O and Sprig in February, the strategic partnership between the two companies will enable Sprig's eco-friendly specialty line to be offered on a greater scale and will give WHAM-O access to Sprig's proprietary material.  In addition to Sprig's award-winning products such as the Dolphin Explorer Boat and Eco-Trucks, the WHAM-O Jr. division includes WHAM-O's inflatables and outdoor play products.

"Green materials like Sprigwood are the future of consumer products," said Kyle Aguilar, chief executive officer of WHAM-O. "Together with our commitment to return manufacturing of many WHAM-O toys to the United States in the coming years, the ability to make products from Sprigwood goes a long way toward our goal of reducing WHAM-O's carbon footprint and helping preserve the planet for our children."

The Sprigwood material comes from MGPI's Terratek® WC line of biopolymers, which combine fine wood particles with recycled plastic materials to create firm, smooth pellets for convenient handling and further processing into multiple types of finished products. The biopolymers are produced at the company's facility in Onaga, Kan., where MGPI also manufactures its environmentally-friendly Terratek® SC line of wheat starch-based biopolymers, which have applications in the production of both pliable and hard plastic type products, including partially and fully degradable tableware, golf tees and key cards.

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