Almost 50 years after the original Thunderbirds TV series launched, London-based ITV Studios is counting down to a major merch blast-off for its upcoming franchise reboot Thunderbirds are go!
For publishing in the UK, Simon & Schuster is creating a series of activity, sticker and story books that will be available in print and digitally. And DC Thomson has also jumped on-board to publish official Thunderbirds are go! annual and monthly magazines.
Beyond books, ITV Studios has signed on licensees Kokomo (personal care and toiletries), Danilo (greeting cards and calenders) and Posh Paws (bags and backpacks). Vivid Imaginations, meanwhile, will be the property’s master toy licensee everywhere except in the US and Asia, and its first products will start to hit retail in fall/winter 2015.
The original Thunderbirds show debuted on ATV back in 1965, with marionette puppets as its main characters. The Thunderbirds are go! revival, co-produced by ITV Studios and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures, will be completely upgraded for a modern audience of kids ages five to 11 with a mix of CGI animation and live-action miniatures. The first 26 x 22-minute season is set to launch next year in the UK on ITV and CITV.
Earlier this summer, ITV Studios also sold the show in Australia to free-to-air Nine Network, where it will air in a children’s block on digital channel GO!, as well as on the net’s 9jumpin VOD service.