HIT Entertainment, the U.K. home of such brands as Bob the Builder, Pingu, Thomas & Friends and Angelina Ballerina ahs moved its consumer products division for the Benelux region in house. The Belgium. Netherlands and Luxembourg consumer products arm will be led by HIT’s VP of business development Jon Owen and his team out of the London head office beginning this January.
‘The Benelux region is an important and vital area of growth for HIT’s European consumer products business,’ says Owen. ‘Telescreen has created a solid foundation from which to expand and grow our consumer products program. In 2007 our focus will remain on growing our business with new and existing licensing partners across HIT’s portfolio of properties. In addition, new programming for Bob, Thomas and Pingu will be delivered to broadcasters in 2007/08 which will continue to drive the consumer product business as we introduce new characters and new destinations.’
Over the past five years, Bob the Builder has sold over 1.5 million videos, Thomas & Friends sold over 100,000 DVD’s and VHS and over 20,000 Pingu DVDs/VHS. Over 3 million Bob the Builder, Thomas and Pingu books and magazines have been sold in the region to date. The popular pre-school shows are broadcast across all three territories on Jetix, Nick Jr and Zeppelin. Days out with Thomas, an activity-based annual event for children, is held in The Netherlands with over 5,000 tickets sold each year.