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Action Performance Companies Reintroduces 'The Rebel' - Company to Launch James Dean 50th Anniversary Program

Action Performance Companies Inc. today announced plans for its yearlong 2005 James Dean 50th Anniversary program. Action was granted exclusive rights as the master licensee for the program through the James Dean Estate and CMG Worldwide.

Throughout 2005, fans all over the world will be able to mark the 50th anniversary of Deanís tragic death on Sept. 30, 1955 with a series of tribute events. To commemorate the occasion, Action Performance, the leader in licensed motorsports merchandise, will issue a variety of James Dean 50th Anniversary die-cast collectibles, including a 1:18-scale specialty 1949 Mercury inspired by the vehicle that Dean drove in his classic film, Rebel Without a Cause.

The James Dean 50th Anniversary line of merchandise also will include fashion apparel, headwear, accessories and gift items. The James Dean 50th Anniversary program represents a departure from Action Performance Companiesí usual die-cast and merchandise programs, as this one did not originate from a direct motorsports tie-in.

"The James Dean 50th Anniversary program represents how Action Performance is expanding its market opportunities," said Fred Wagenhals, Actionís chairman, president and CEO. "James Dean appeals to consumers across a variety of demographics. As such, this program is allowing Action to showcase our products to an audience who may not already know about our great brands or diverse merchandise lines."

An array of products from the James Dean 50th Anniversary collection was previewed during the SEMA Show in the MSD Industries/Motorsport Direct booth (No. 22475) located in the Hot Rod Alley section of the exhibition hall. SEMA, the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world, was hosted at the Las Vegas Convention Center on November 2-4. Motorsport Direct, an Action Performance distributor, was chosen as the companyís sole distribution partner for the Dean program.

"Debuting the James Dean 50th Anniversary line at SEMA is the optimum way to introduce the yearlong program to automotive industry buyers and representatives," said Jim White, MSD Industriesí president and CEO. "We are pleased that Motorsport Direct was chosen as Action Performanceís exclusive distribution partner in this venture."

Additionally, Action Performance will create a special 53-foot Tour Trailer featuring the official James Dean 50th Anniversary logo. The trailer will travel across the country to auto shows, state fairs and several racing events, showcasing items from Deanís personal collection, on loan from the James Dean Estate, and a full-scale replica of Deanís infamous Porsche 550 Spyder from the personal collection of Fred W. Wagenhals. Action Performance also has plans for other cross-promotions featuring James Dean 50th Anniversary imagery.

Merchandise from the James Dean 50th Anniversary collection will be available to order via a special e-commerce Web site: www.jamesdean50.com. The site, managed by Motorsport Direct, also will include up-to-date Tour Trailer information as well as news about other Dean-related festivities throughout the year.

"James Dean is someone who could have been from my hometown," Wagenhals added. "Rebel Without a Cause inspired most of us to change our wardrobe and pick up a wrench and get to work on our Willys, Chevrolets and Fords. As an icon, James Dean still inspires his fans, and I think those same fans will be incredibly impressed by the James Dean 50th Anniversary program."

About James Dean:
On Sept. 30, 1955 while en route to a race in Salinas, Calif., 24-year-old James Dean, behind the wheel of the Porsche 550 Spyder, was killed in a highway accident. His death preceded the release of the most widely acclaimed film of his tragically short acting career, Rebel Without a Cause.

Source: Action Performance Companies Inc.
Date: November 9, 2004

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