Fizzling Fireboxes: Thomas Voyages to New York!

NEW YORK, Aug 26, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- Peep! Peep! Thomas the Tank Engine(TM) fans were treated to quite a sight this morning as Thomas arrived to Brooklyn Bridge Park not by rail, but by sea. To mark the DVD release of the Thomas & Friends Misty Island Rescue from HIT Entertainment and the introduction of the newest Thomas toys from Fisher-Price, Inc. (a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT)) the companies joined together for a very special sneak preview.

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The Misty Island Rescue sneak peek offered the biggest Thomas fans an inside look at the upcoming excitement for this holiday season. In a nod to Thomas, the iconic #1 blue engine, leaving the Island of Sodor for the very first time in Misty Island Rescue, a life-sized Thomas the Tank Engine steamed into the park on a barge (just like in the movie) to deliver the first new Thomas & Friends(TM) toys from Fisher-Price including the Zip, Zoom & Logging Adventure(TM) Playset, Thomas & Friends(TM) Shake Shake Bridge, Return from Misty Island Playset and Follow Me Thomas. The new collection features engines and playsets with exciting new action features and tons of interactive play. Following the arrival, play stations offered up the opportunity to experience the new toys and to watch a sneak preview screening of the movie before the DVD officially debuts next month.

Adding to the excitement of the "Misty Island" themed event, Thomas was tugged by The Pegasus, a historic tugboat that participated in both World Wars, and play station activities were hosted aboard the Lehigh Valley #79, a restored 94 year old wooden covered barge. The Lehigh Valley and the life-sized Thomas model were docked at Brooklyn Bridge Park for the day for all visitors to enjoy.

"We're thrilled to be on board for the first time as the master toy licensee," said Gina Sirard, Vice President of Marketing for Fisher-Price. "It's exciting to bring the true essence and magic of Thomas and Misty Island to fans around the world through toys that bring the characters to life."

"With the TV show's transition to CG animation, the new partnership with Fisher-Price and Thomas' momentous trip off the Island of Sodor - the sneak peek shares with Thomas fans the excitement surrounding the beloved Thomas & Friends brand," said E.J. Minor, Vice President, Consumer Marketing, HIT Entertainment.

Misty Island Rescue sees Thomas the Tank Engine(TM) leaving the Island of Sodor for the very first time in the engine's latest movie adventure. Misty Island is full of new and colorful characters and new mysterious destinations, and is a place where nothing quite works as it should! Misty Island Rescue - The Movie will be released on DVD on September 7, 2010, from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Following the screening of the DVD, play stations offered a hands-on experience with the toys:

  • As part of the TrackMaster(TM) line the Zip, Zoom & Logging Adventure(TM) captures the thrill and excitement of the DVD release Misty Island Rescue. Kids will be able to act out their favorite scenes with the playset's motorized Thomas engine and all-new action features including a thrilling zip line and motorized logging mill. Age: 3+/ Price: $59.99
  • Rounding out the TrackMaster(TM) line, the Thomas & Friends(TM) Shake Shake Bridge enables kids to play out Thomas' thrilling encounter with Shake Shake Bridge just like in Misty Island Rescue. They can recreate the scene, sending motorized Thomas on his way around the special dark brown "Misty Island" track as he teeters and totters over fallen logs on bumpy track. While Thomas wobbles across the bridge, the rails collapse! Age: 3+/ Price: $24.99
  • In the Take-n-Play category is the Rescue from Misty Island playset. It features two destinations in one: Misty Island on one side and the Island of Sodor on the other for more fun and on-the-go play. Kids can take Thomas through the two-leveled play on Misty Island and then send him wobbling over the Shake Shake Bridge to return to the Island of Sodor. For added value, all of the Take-n-Play products connect together. Age: 3+/ Price: $39.99
  • For the youngest Thomas fans, Fisher-Price is introducing a collection of preschool items highlighted by Follow Me Thomas, a chunky Thomas engine and easy-to-use lantern remote. Kids can be the conductor as they lead Thomas wherever they want to go. Utilizing infrared technology, the Thomas engine reacts to the light of the lantern and follows along for endless fun. For extra play, boys can press one of three large buttons on the side of the lantern to activate pre-programmed moves including zigzags, figure eights and circles. Age: 2+/ Price: $44.99

About Fisher-Price:

Fisher-Price, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT) located in East Aurora, N.Y., is the leading brand of infant and preschool toys in the world. The Company has an 80-year legacy of high quality toys that enhance early childhood development. Its often-emulated Play Laboratory was the first child research center of its kind in the toy industry, allowing researchers to observe the way children play and how play benefits their development. Some of the Company's best-known "classic" brands include Little People(R), Power Wheels(R) and View-Master(R). Fisher-Price is also a leading developer of baby gear products (infant swings, bouncers, high chairs, nursery monitors), as well as a wide array of character-based toys inspired by high quality children's programming such as Thomas & Friends(TM), Dora the Explorer(TM) and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The Company's web site, www.fisher-price.com, provides valuable information and resources to parents.

About HIT Entertainment:

HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney(TM), Bob the Builder(TM), Thomas & Friends(TM), Pingu(TM), Fireman Sam(TM), Angelina Ballerina(TM) and Rainbow Magic(TM). HIT represents Chapman Entertainment's Fifi and the Flowertots(TM) and Roary the Racing Car(TM) in North America, as well as Wallace & Gromit(TM), Shaun the Sheep(TM), Timmy Time(TM) and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations. HIT also acts as representative for The Wiggles(R) in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT's lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS Sprout(SM), and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.


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      Jen Holzapfel/ jholzapfel@freemanpr.com
      Freeman Public Relations
      973-470-0400


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SOURCE Fisher-Price

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