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President and CEO, Humongous Entertainment
AGE 38
ADDRESS 3855 Monte Villa Parkway, Bothell, WA
BIO Once upon a time there was a Mom named Day who told bedtime stories to her son every night. After reciting dozens of Superman tales, she invented an entirely new story about a lovable purple car named Putt-Putt. Her son liked the first adventure so much (about Putt-Putt saving a cat from a tree) that she started telling new Putt-Putt tales every night. Day, who also happened to be a computer-game designer looking for a change, got so encouraged that in 1992 she quit her job at Lucas Film and formed a company with former co-worker Ron Gilbert. Their first release, Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, won great reviews and has sold more than 300,000 copies. Now Humongous is the third largest children's educational-software company, with nearly 30 interactive stories. While Humongous is now a subsidiary of gaming giant GT Interactive, Day retains complete creative control. Good thing, since storytelling and design have always been Humongous' forte. "Every product we do comes from somebody's heart and not from some research study," says Day, who shuns focus groups. Hand-drawn graphics provide the stunning images, which lend "feature-film quality," says Day. In addition to the Putt-Putt stories (there are now four) Humongous has built stories around Pajama Sam, a spunky little boy who isn't afraid of stormy weather or the dark; Freddi Fish, a female fish who explores the underwater world; and Spy Fox, a secret agent who wants to save kids from eating dry cereal every morning. Of course, every Humongous story has a happy ending, but the real-life tale of Day and her son Travis (now 11) is still unfolding.
1998 POWER PLAY Humongous is producing a series of interactive games based on Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues, the top-rated children's TV show. The first two titles--Blue's Birthday Adventure and Blue's ABC Time Activities--are out now, with two more releases slated for next year.
PLACE YOUR BETS Humongous is on a roll with its own top-selling programs, the new Blue's Clues titles and plans for a 1999 TV show. If it weren't a private company, we'd insist that you buy stock. Credit: ROBERT SORBO--THE NEW YORK TIMES SHELLEY DAY