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Gaia Online and Scion Allow Teens to Pimp Their Virtual Rides


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Partnership Brings Virtual Scion Cars into Gaia's Fast-Growing Online Hangout for Teens

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 19 -- Gaia Online, the fastest growing hangout for teens on the web, and Scion, a marque of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., today announced a joint partnership that will enable Gaia members to buy and customize virtual versions of Scion cars. Beginning with the virtual Scion xB available today, Scion is the first auto maker to introduce its vehicles to the more than two million teens who visit Gaia every month.

After getting their virtual Scion xB, Gaia members can 'pimp their rides' with customizable options such as wheels, decals, fog lights, tail lights, spoilers and more. Gaia members can also compete in and socialize at drag races, join forums dedicated to car culture, and nominate their cars for accolades within Gaia's arenas. Enterprising members can trick out and sell cars in Gaia's marketplace for Gaia Gold, the currency of the Gaia economy.

"Teens spend hours every day on Gaia because there are endless opportunities to have fun, socialize and express their creativity. Customizing Scions is an exciting new way for our members to do all three," said Craig Sherman, CEO, Gaia Online. "Teenage obsessions with cars go back more than half a century, so bringing Scion into the Gaia community is a great new way to fulfill that interest."

Gaia Online is a fun, social environment online where teens can make friends and express their individuality through customizable avatars and homes -- and as of today -- cars. The site combines elements of social networking, virtual worlds, casual gaming and narrative entertainment. The Gaia community boasts more than two million unique users per month (up three fold from a year ago), with members spending an average of more than two hours on the site per day. Gaia's forums have exceeded a billion postings with a million new posts being added each day, and the Gaia economy sees more than 190 million in Gaia Gold transactions per day.

"We've had great success reaching virtual world visitors who might not be familiar with us otherwise. Gaia Online is a fantastic next step in our approach," said Adrian Si, Scion interactive marketing manager. "Gaia offers a community of young, creative people who seek customization and fun, so it's a perfect match for the Scion brand."

Beyond the Scion personalization options, drag races and other features available today, Gaia will introduce new ways to modify cars and activities involving vehicles in the future.

"Gaia has created immersive experiences for sponsors around New Line Cinema's movie The Last Mimzy and Time Warner's movies Gracie and Nancy Drew, and the uptake by Gaia members has been phenomenal. We believe these sponsorships represent some of the highest engagement between brands and online communities on the web, and we expect the same kind of intense interest and participation for the Scion partnership," added Sherman.