In line with its broadcast, online and consumer products growth strategy, Mattel’s HIT Entertainment has secured new US partners for its hit preschool properties Thomas & Friends and Mike the Knight.
New licensees for Thomas & Friends products available for fall 2013 at select mass retailers include Dynacraft (bicycles and scooters), InnoVision (UV headgear), Kurt Adler (a line of ornaments, holiday stockings, and indoor and outdoor seasonal décor), Dr. Fresh (toothbrushes at select mass retailer and food and drug retailers), and Step 2 (toy rollercoaster). In addition, no-slip socks from Planet Sox are available now.
For Mike the Knight, new partners to its licensing program with products available this fall include Disguise (costumes and accessories), VTech (video games and an interactive e-book), and Ravensburger (puzzles). Additionally, Amscan is set to launch party goods and costumes this summer and Publications International has new interactive sound books available now at mass retailers.
The Thomas deals come as plans are in place to move the top-rated series to a new daily sked on PBS KIDS this fall that will reach more than 95 million households each month, and an expanded cross-platform social media presence is also expected.
With the second season of Mike the Knight airing this fall on Nick Jr. in the US, HIT expects more growth for the brand driven by its cross-country mall tour, new deals and recent ones with Simon & Schuster (books), Fisher-Price (toys), and NCircle (home entertainment).