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Hasbro's BIG HUGS ELMO Plush (Photo: Business Wire)

Hasbro Inc.’s (NASDAQ: HAS) beloved PLAYSKOOL brand, in partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, introduces innovative new playthings in 2013 starring favorite Sesame Street characters including Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Ernie! This year’s lineup includes an adorable BIG HUGS ELMO plush that really hugs preschoolers back, the exciting new Sesame Street P.A.L. app learning system that encourages tots to learn and explore in a digital environment, and the interactive world of Roads & Rails that combines two favorite playtime activities for preschoolers - cars and trains.

Hasbro's BIG HUGS ELMO plush (Photo: Business Wire)

Hasbro's BIG HUGS ELMO plush (Photo: Business Wire)

This fall kids will experience magical moments with their favorite red furry friend with the introduction of the BIG HUGS ELMO interactive plush, Hasbro’s first feature Elmo toy that can actually hug kids back! When children give Elmo a hug, the red monster wraps his arms around them to show how much he cares. The huggable 22-inch Elmo plush has flexible arms and a soft head making it Hasbro’s largest, cuddliest, most lifelike Elmo plush ever.

With the introduction of the Sesame Street P.A.L. (Play and Learning) system parents can turn their tablet into a Sesame Street learning system for an easy-to-navigate and hands-on learning experience for children ages two and up. Featuring engaging learning adventures and games hosted by Sesame Street characters, parents simply download the Sesame Street P.A.L. apps to their iOS or Android device, place their tablet into the P.A.L. case, and then kids can learn and explore in a secure digital environment.

Combining two of preschoolers’ favorite things – cars and trains – the Sesame Street Roads & Rails collection includes three vehicle themed playsets featuring Elmo, Ernie or Cookie Monster. As toddlers move Elmo’s train over the ABC track in the ELMO JUNCTION set, they will hear him sing the ABC song. If he’s moving along the 123 roadway, Elmo will delight preschoolers with a song about numbers. Parents will appreciate the quick clean-up as the ELMO JUNCTION set folds up for quick and easy storage.

Sesame Street characters are a ‘must have’ in every child’s toy box. This year’s PLAYSKOOL line up offers a fresh perspective on classic characters and timeless play patterns,” said Jerry Perez, General Manager of PLAYSKOOL. “We are thrilled to provide children with that magical moment when Elmo actually hugs them back or the exciting experience of joining Cookie Monster for an interactive Sesame P.A.L. digital adventure. Parents will enjoy sharing new and different ways to engage their children with their favorite friends.”

“PLAYSKOOL has created an inspired new toy line that promises to delight young children as they interact with their favorite Sesame Street characters through play,” said Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Sesame Workshop. “We trust that parents and children alike will find this new Sesame Street collection both engaging and educational.”

The expansive product lineup features a variety of plush characters, learning toys, figures and playsets, developmental products, musical fun, and the new P.A.L. system. Highlights from the 2013 product portfolio include:

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