HIT Entertainment Realigns Business Units

Hit Entertainment has announced an internal realignment of its business units. As a part of the realignment four new divisions will be created. The divisions will form two new lines of business: one focusing on Thomas & Friends, and the other on HIT Global Brands (Angelina Ballerina, Barney, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Pingu, and Rainbow Magic). The realignment is effective immediately.

The Thomas & Friends line of business will comprise three divisions: the New York-based “Thomas Americas,” London-based “Thomas EMEA, ” and the Hong Kong-based “Thomas Asia.” The HIT Global Brands business unit will be managed from London as one global division.

HIT’s Finance, Legal, HR, and IT groups will remain centralized staff units supporting both lines of business. As a part of the restructuring, Peter Byrne, executive vice president of International Consumer Products and Home Entertainment, will be leaving the company

K’NEX Signs On to Produce “Roary” Building Sets

K’NEX Brands has signed a licensing deal with Chapman Entertainment and HIT Entertainment to manufacture and market a line of construction toys based on the Sprout series, Roary the Racing Car.

K’NEX will produce Roary building sets, including builable figures and buildable vehicles. The sets will be available at mass retailers in the U.S. and Canada in fall 2011.

Last month, Bandai America announced that it was named the U.S. master toy licensee for the brand, and will manufacture a full line of Roary toys, available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores.

Barney and Other HIT Properties to Become Stage Shows

HIT Entertainment has signed deals with several producers of live stage musicals to develop, produce, and tour new shows for the HIT brands Barney, Angelina Ballerina, and Thomas & Friends.  The shows will debut in the U.S. this fall and will tour through 2011.

Vee Corporation has signed on to be the exclusive producer of Barney Live. The preschool stage show, touring in North America and the Caribbean, will feature Barney, BJ, Baby Bop, Riff, and others.

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HIT Adds to Global Development Team, Names New Execs and Projects

HIT Entertainment has expanded its Global Development Team by naming four experts to the newly created Global Advisory Committee. The members of the committee include Dr. David Buckingham from The Institute of Education in London, and head of the Centre of Study of Children, Youth and Media in the UK; Dr. Sandra Calvert, professor in the department of psychology at Georgetown University, and director of the Children’s Digital Media Center; Dr. Renee Cherow-O’Leary, president of education for the 21st Century, a research and consulting firm in New York City; and Dr. Wendy Sims, associate chair of the department of learning, teaching, & curriculum at University of Missouri-Columbia and director of music education at the university’s School of Music.

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HIT Partners with New Licensees for Thomas & Friends

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HIT Entertainment has signed new licensees to develop, manufacture, and market new Thomas & Friends products. The agreement marks the first time HIT has worked with Tara Toys, Think Wow Toys, The Toy Workshop, and Upper Deck.

Tara Toys will develop a new arts and crafts line for the property including magnetic sets, rolling art desks, activity cases with pads, markers, crayons and stampers, giant activity floorpads, Sit n’ Play activity trays, and 5-in-1 activity easels.  All of Tara Toys’ Thomas items will be available at both mass and specialty stores starting this fall.

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The Toy Book’s Toy Report 12/01/09

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Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 12/01/09.

To view click here.