Children’s entertainment producer and rights owner HIT Ent. has appointed Fisher-Price Inc. as the global master toy licensee for the leading preschool property Thomas & Friends. The first line of products will be available in 2010, in time for Thomas’ 65th anniversary, and will expand as existing licensees’ rights expire across key toy categories.
‘Aligning one of the world’s most successful and preeminent pre-school brands with the world’s largest toy company is both an exciting event and a natural evolution for HIT Ent.,’ Remarks HIT Ent. CEO Jeff Dunn. ‘We are immensely proud of Thomas & Friends, a brand which continues healthy growth around the world and is today in 185 territories and in 45 languages around the world.’
The multi-territory, multi-year deal will see Fisher-Price, a division of Mattel, Inc., distributing Thomas vehicles, figures, play-sets, the Trackmaster train system, battery-powered ride-ons, plastic pedal trikes, electronic learning and developmental toys, plush items, games, puzzles, role play and water toys.
The company will exercise global rights, excluding Japan, for these categories. The Wooden track system rights remain with RC2.