NEW YORK, Feb 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The world's leading preschool toy manufacturer teams up with the world's number one preschool brand as Fisher-Price, Inc. (a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT), begins a Really Useful 2010 at New York Toy Fair as the global master toy licensee for Thomas & Friends(TM). Under its familiar and trusted red scalloped logo, Fisher-Price will unveil an exciting new collection of innovative Thomas & Friends tracksets, playsets, talking engines and preschool items that are sure to capture kids' imaginations.

"We are thrilled to partner with HIT Entertainment to develop toys for the beloved Thomas & Friends brand," said Gina Sirard, vice president of marketing for Fisher-Price. "It's exciting to have this opportunity to translate the true essence and magic of one of preschoolers' favorite characters just as the brand celebrates its 65th year. It's an exciting time to get on board as Thomas and his friends from the Island of Sodor evolve to CG animation and speak in their own voices for very first time!"

The first of the new Fisher-Price products will be pulling out of the station this spring in a collection of all-new Take-n-Play(TM) portable playsets featuring truly innovative track that unfolds out of the playset, all in one piece - so that there are no small pieces to lose. As Thomas and his friends are now speaking in their own voices for the first time on the new Thomas & Friends DVDs, website and television series around the world, talking die-cast engines are also on track for this spring. Each features a light, and fun train sounds and phrases straight from the Island of Sodor.

This fall will see the debut of some of the most innovative Thomas & Friends products to date:

  • As part of the Trackmaster line the Zip, Zoom & Logging Adventure(TM) Playset captures the thrill and excitement of the direct-to-DVD release Misty Island Rescue. Boys will be able to act out their favorite scenes with the playset's motorized Thomas engine and all-new action features including a never-been-done-before zip line and motorized logging mill. Age: 3+/ Price: $59.99
  • 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. Boys 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 younger Thomas fan, Fisher-Price is introducing a collection of preschool items highlighted by Follow Me Thomas, a chunky Thomas engine and easy-to-use lantern. 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

"As we enter the 65th Anniversary year for Thomas & Friends, we feel it's a great fit to partner with a manufacturer as trusted as Fisher-Price to continue to grow and bring innovation to the Thomas line," said Gary Krakower, SVP, Consumer Products and live Events for HIT Entertainment US. "In 2010 Thomas fans, young and old, will hear Thomas and his friends like never before, and will enjoy the rich collection of Thomas toys from Fisher Price that truly capture the spirit of imagination and discovery that is core to this beloved brand."

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, Dora the Explorer(TM) and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The Company's web site,, 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 SproutSM, and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the US, UK and China). For more information, visit


SOURCE: Fisher-Price, Inc.

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