RC2 to Build New Bob Toys

RC2 Corp. has been awarded a license to produce a broad new line of Bob the Builder preschool toys under its Learning Curve brand. The product line, based on HIT Ent.’s recently announced animated TV series The New Adventures of Bob the Builder, will begin shipping in 2005.

The new show will be produced by HOT Animation in Manchester, England, and will be supported by significant marketing investment, fully integrated Internet "play-along" capability, publishing, toys and home entertainment. These will be rolled out simultaneously in multiple markets including the U.S. Bob the Builder, according to HIT, "is ranked consistently number one, two, or three among all preschool characters in awareness and likeability among children in countries all over the world."

RC2 produces Thomas & Friends and other collectibles, toys and hobby products in the areas of agricultural, construction and outdoor sports vehicle replicas; automotive, high performance and racing vehicle replicas; traditional children’s toys; sports trading cards and racing apparel and souvenirs; and collectible figures. These products are sold under the company’s market-focused brand names, including Racing Champions, Ertl Collectibles, Learning Curve, American Muscle, AMT, W. Britain, Press Pass, Eden, Feltkids and JoyRide Studios.

HIT controls all rights to such children’s properties as Angelina Ballerina, Barney, Kipper, Pingu and Thomas & Friends. Rubbadubbers, a new HIT-produced series, made its U.S. broadcast debut on Nick Jr. in September 2003. HIT also distributes The Wiggles to the U.S. and Canada.