'The Simpsons' avatar creator: A marketing site done right

Make your own <i>Simpsons</i> character with this tool.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

Up until this weekend I hadn't really been too excited about seeing the upcoming Simpsons feature-length movie. That was until I laid my eyes on the film's Web site.

Like most other movie marketing sites out there, it's full of a lot of Flash with bouncy navigation and a nearly unbearable amount of sound effects. There are the usual mini-games (both of which I might add are quite enjoyable), and links to the movie's MySpace profile (it is Fox, after all). The real gem however, is the Simpsons avatar builder--a piece-by-piece character maker that lets people create their own Simpsons-esque persona right down to nose shape and facial hair coloring.

I've played with two other high-profile avatar creators before, one emulating Nintendo's Mii maker, and another that lets you make your own Picasso--missing ears and all. The Simpsons version is a little closer to Nintendo's offerings, giving users a wide array of body parts to choose from, along with a color pallet for further customization. There's also a "roll the dice" button that will spit out a randomized character.

When you're finished, you can print your character out to stick on the fridge, or save it for use around the Simpsons Web site. What it's really missing is the option to save it as an image file, IM buddy icon, or as a good size for social-networking profiles--the typical fodder for viral marketing.

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Design your own Simpsons character piece by piece with this avatar creator. CNET Networks