HIT Entertainment, Discovery Bay Games Announce Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station App, Accessory for iPad

HIT Entertainment and Discovery Bay Games have announced a new game and accessory for iPad: Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station. This Thomas & Friends-branded Duo accessory is compatible with the new Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station Duo App, available now on the App Store.

Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station gets kids jumping, skipping, and racing with all of their engine friends. The app comes with three games: Steam Engine Relay, Sodor Spot-It, and Seek & Find Adventure. Six engine cards, including Thomas, Percy, and James, along with other engine favorites, interact with Steam Team Station.

Designed for children ages 3 and up, the Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station accessory is now available at Apple Stores and Apple.com, Amazon, Target, and Toys”R”Us. The Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station Duo App is available for free from the App Store.

HIT, Lionsgate to Release New Children’s Titles

Barney and his friends discover that the sky is not the limit when you use your imagination in the all-new release Barney: Let’s Go To The Moon, arriving on DVD, digital download, and on demand January 8 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment and HIT Entertainment.

The film, suggested for children ages 1 to 4, has a run time of 65 minutes. For more information, visit www.barney.com, or check out Barney on Facebook.

Also from Lionsgate and HIT, Angelina Ballerina: Dance Around the World is slated for release on January 8 as well. Angeling Ballerina is a mouseling who knows how to celebrate the great big world of dance in this new five-episode collection.

The film, suggested for children ages 2 to 6, has a run time of 61 minutes. For more information, visit www.angelinaballerina.com, or check out Angelina on Facebook.

Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy Comes to U.S. and Canada

HIT Entertainment has tapped AB Studio Licensing to license a nine-month Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy curriculum to dance studios across the U.S. and Canada.  The Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy will commence this fall.

The 34-week program is inspired by the CG-animated series airing on PBS and Sprout, Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps, and it will focus on one story book per month. Targeted at children ages 3 to 6 years old, the program teaches beginner ballet at two levels. The Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy curriculum was developed by dance education specialist Beverly Spell, master teacher and author of the Leap ‘N Learn program. Angelina Ballerina’s voice will guide aspiring dancers through their movement lessons, and the program incorporates music from Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps, and custom music developed by Spell and composer Scott Killian. Participating studios will also have access to Angelina Ballerina posters and signage, costume items such as tutus and mouse ears, and placement mats.

To date, more than 100 studios across North America have applied to become Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy partner studios. The program already exists in the UK and Ireland, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy partner studios will also be listed in the national directory of official studio partners linked from the Angelina Ballerina website.

To learn more about the program or to find participating studios,  visit www.angelinadanceclass.com.

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Hit Entertainment Signs Fisher-Price to Produce Mike the Knight Toys

HIT Entertainment, one of the leading providers of children’s entertainment, is finalizing plans with Fisher-Price, Inc., to market and manufacture a global master toy range for Mike the Knight, excluding the UK and Japan.

The toy line will be based on the CGI animated series, Mike the Knight, which transports kids to a world of castles, dragons, and trolls. Fisher-Price, maker of infant and preschool toys and Mattel’s largest brand, plans to develop, manufacture, and market a variety of toys and role play items for boys and girls ages 2 and up across the following categories: role play, playsets, plush , figures, and preschool toys.

The first items are scheduled to launch in the U.S. and Canada in next fall.  Fisher-Price and HIT plan to debut the Mike the Knight line at retailers in the rest of the world (excluding the UK and Japan) starting in 2014. Mike the Knight currently airs on major broadcast platforms in the U.S. (Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.), Canada (Treehouse), the UK (Cbeebies), Australia (ABC), and France (TF1), and is slated to launch in more than 20 more territories in the coming months.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Hit Partners for Bob the Builder App

Hit Entertainment has partnered with BigPlay Studios, a developer of game, education, and book apps, for the launch of Bob the Builder: Muck’s Train to Trouble for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, available in Apple’s App store this week. This marks the first app release for the Bob the Builder brand.

Bob the Builder: Muck’s Train to Trouble is an interactive reading experience, which also features painting activities, video clips, and games. Every page includes narration, character voices, custom animations, and easy-to-read words with highlighted text.

With this first Bob the Builder app, Hit Entertainment adds to its iOS apps portfolio, which includes apps featuring Thomas & Friends, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam, and Barney.

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Techno Source Named New Licensee for Barney

Hit Entertainment has appointed Techno Source, a division of LF Products, as a  toy licensee for Barney. Under the terms of the deal, the Barney toy range from Techno Source will include plush, play sets, and figurines, launching this spring in the U.S. and Canada.

Barney & Friends can be seen on PBS Kids and Sprout in the U.S., and on Treehouse TV in Canada. Episodes are also available for download through iTunes.

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Reports: Mattel Finalizing Deal to Buy Hit Entertainment

According to multiple news outlets, including the Financial Times, Mattel is in talks with Apax Partners to buy Hit Entertainment for £500 million. Two anonymous sources told the Financial Times that Mattel is in the final stages of negotiations to purchase the company that Apax bought in 2005 for £489 million. The sale of Hit will not include the group’s stake in children’s channel Sprout, but will include Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam, and Pingu.

Angelina Ballerina Premieres New App for iPad

Callaway Digital Arts and Hit Entertainment have debuted its new Angelina’s New Ballet Teacher App for iPad is now available on Apple’s App Store.

The Angelina’s New Ballet Teacher App brings the dancer to life with narration, animation, puzzles, paint, and video. Each page of the story magically transforms into a painting page or interactive puzzle with the simple tap on the screen.

The app is available for $0.99 from the App Store, rolling out in the rest of the world early this summer.

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Hit Entertainment Names Licensees For New Barney Products

Barney is back with new licensees for products that will attract both young and old fans of the popular television show. Braha has obtained the license to create Barney plush puzzle mats while a Barney-inspired pillow will join the line of Pillow Pets from Ontel Products Corporation and CJ Products, LLC. Rasta Imposta is designing an adult Barney costume to complement the child’s costume they already produce. Yoostar is adding Barney & Friends to its library of content, allowing users to insert themselves into video footage from the show. Other apparel and accessories licensees include At Full Speed, Bio World, Classic Imports, Concept One and Planet Sox.

Shane Acker to Lead Thomas the Tank Engine Film Adaptation

Thomas the Tank Engine will star in a live-action fantasy film adaptation of the popular children’s television series. Academy Award-nominated director Shane Acker (9), has signed on to lead a creative team consisting of Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop (Avatar, The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Mattel’s entertainment properties design team. The goal of the new film is to make the Thomas characters and storyline more appealing to the entire family.

Hit Entertainment, which owns the Thomas franchise, has also named Chris Viscardi and Will McRobb (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and Josh Klausner (Shrek the Third, Date Night) as the writers for the film. Julia Pistor (Charlotte’s Web, Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events) will serve as the producer.