Mattel, Lappset to Open Mattel Play! Theme Park in the Netherlands

Lappsett-GroupMattel Inc. will open Mattel Play!, an interactive, indoor family entertainment center, in Sevenum, Netherlands set to open this fall. The theme park will feature play zones based on several Mattel characters including Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam, Angelina Balerina and Bob the Builder. [Read more...]

Mattel to Debut Thomas & Friends Super Station

image001Mattel is debuting the Thomas & Friends Super Station at the North American International Toy Fair in New York City. The Super Station includes 35 feet of track that make up 10 different locations from the Island of Sodor, such as Tidmouth Sheds, Brendam Docks, Knapford Station, Search & Rescue Center, and more, and works with all scales of Thomas engines.

The tracks can also be reconfigured as four different racetracks to fit multiple play spaces. There is room for more than 100 different locomotives, so kids can use all of their engines in one station. Three engines are included—Cranky, Harold, and Owen—in three different scales.

Mattel Kicks Off Thomas & Friends Global Brand Campaign

ThomasAndFriendsThomas & Friends, from Mattel Inc., kicked off its first global brand campaign with a year-long marketing program, Set Friendship in Motion.

The campaign aims to help preschoolers strengthen friendship skills, such as collaboration, communication, sharing, manners, kindness, and the abilities to express and understand feelings and emotions. Set Friendship in Motion will include ways for families to interact with kids including content, digital activations, and live events to bring the campaign to life. [Read more...]

Angelina Ballerina and Thomas and Friends Premiere in Latin America

HIT Entertainment and Discovery Kids have debuted new episodes of Thomas and Friends in CG animation, as well as the new CG animated series Angelina Ballerina the Next Steps, in Latin America. In its first week of launch, Angelina Ballerina the Next Steps received the top ratings for girls ages 4-11 across all kids pay-TV networks in Colombia and Brazil, and ranked as the No. 2 kids’ program for girls 4-11 across all kids pay-TV networks in Mexico and Argentina.

Thomas and Friends
introduces new characters including Charlie, a small engine with a reputation for fun and mischief, and the Japanese engine Hiro. Joining them are Kevin the crane and Victor, an engine from the Sodor Steam Works. The characters were first unveiled in the feature-length special Thomas & Friends: Hero of the Rails, which aired on Discovery Kids on May 7.

Angelina Ballerina the Next Steps
is an extension of the original Angelina Ballerina books by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig. Each episode stars Angelina and consists of two 11-minute CG animated stories linked with a live-action segment featuring all types of young dancers and musicians.

Upper Deck, HIT Entertainment Release Thomas and Friends Trading Cards

The Upper Deck Company, in conjunction with HIT Entertainment, has released the first trading cards of long-running television show Thomas and Friends. The trading cards, Thomas and Friends Sodor Adventures Collectipak, is an 18-card set including stickers, tattoos, and pop-up cards features characters from the show.

The set is targeted to children ages 3 to 6, and is based on the travels of Thomas and the other characters around the Island of Sodor. Players journey around the islands and help the engines get back to Tidmouth Sheds.

Upper Deck plans to release additional trading card sets based on the series. The second set will launch in November.

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.

[Read more...]