NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Toy manufacturers, entertainment industry executives and others interested in space program licensing opportunities are invited to attend the fourth annual Toys, Games and Multimedia Workshop "Playing Among the Planets 98," a one-day seminar at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Friday, Oct. 2, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., to learn more about JPL's missions and partnership programs.

With the success of last year's "Hot Wheels Sojourner Mars Rover Action Pack," Mattel's toy version of the Mars Pathfinder rover and lander, interest in working with JPL to produce space- related toys and entertainment industry products has never been higher, say workshop planners.

The fee is $25, including refreshments and a box lunch. Early registration is recommended, as space is limited. A brochure that includes a registration form is available at The workshop will be held at JPL's von Karman Auditorium, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA.

"The day will include details about exciting technologies from some of JPL's thousands of rocket scientists and engineers," said Joan Horvath, a business alliance manager with JPL's Technology Affiliates Program. "Most importantly, it will allow participants to meet others who have the same vision of inspiring kids and adults alike with realistic toys, games and multimedia space adventures."

Following registration and coffee, the day begins with "Creative Licensing," a welcoming address by Judy Willis, Esq., Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, Mattel Toys. Subsequent morning talks cover licensing programs, the latest results from the Mars program, the Galileo mission to Jupiter and Cassini's voyage to Saturn, among many other topics.

Following a networking lunch, John Copeland, producer of the "Babylon 5" television series, presents the afternoon's keynote address, "Adding Science to Science Fiction." Copeland's Babylonian Productions recently became JPL Technology Affiliate partners, allowing its staff to work with JPL scientists and engineers on the authenticity of scripts for the company's next series, "Crusade," premiering on the TNT network this January.

Following presentations about missions to comets and asteroids and NASA/JPL projects that study Earth, Jean Firstenberg, director and CEO of the American Film Institute, presents the closing address, "Science and the Movies." The day ends with optional JPL lab tours from 4 to 5 p.m. For recorded information about the workshop, call (818) 354-9511.

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.

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