With celebrations for Thomas’ 65th anniversary on track, HIT Entertainment has kicked off 2009 by naming Fisher-Price as the worldwide master toy licensee for preschool property Thomas & Friends.
The multi-year deal will see the toyco creating and distributing product beginning in 2010 to continue growing HIT’s evergreen brand, as well as expanding lines as the category rights with current licensees expire. Previous master toy licensee RC2, meanwhile, still owns the rights to the wooden track system.
With the exception of Japan, Fisher-Price will distribute product to retailers across the globe. In the works are vehicles, figures, playsets (including die-cast and the Trackmaster train system), preschool toys (electronic learning and developmental), plush, games, puzzles, role-play, water toys, battery-powered ride-ons and plastic pedal trikes (North and South America and Asia).
Thomas & Friends is currently available in 185 countries and 45 languages.