23 FEB, 2015

New Content to be Featured on “Thomas & Friends” YouTube Channel to Enhance Brand Experience


NEW YORK, NY – February 23, 2015—Thomas & Friends® will embark on exciting new adventures that will arrive on YouTube throughout 2015.  Mattel, Inc. is pleased to announce today that its global preschool content development division, HIT Entertainment, will develop new 52 x 3 minute original digital videos for Thomas & Friends.   The new short-form videos feature Thomas the Tank Engine™ as fans have never seen him before, having adventures off the Island of Sodor in fascinating destinations like London, Paris, and New York City, and coming to life in children’s playrooms.  New Thomas & Friends shorts will debut on the Thomas & Friends YouTube channel weekly and the content will be available via the new YouTube Kids app, launched today.


Thomas & Friends and our entire portfolio of brands engages millions of  children and families with exciting adventures, and our imaginative new short-form content continues that strong story-telling tradition,” said Sid Mathur, Vice President, HIT Entertainment, The Americas.  “From airing thousands of hours of content with the best broadcasters for children around the world to launching content on exciting emerging platforms like the YouTube Kids app, we are thrilled to join with best in class partners to provide families with trusted and captivating entertainment in multiple formats and on all platforms where they are engaging with content.”   


Starting in March, Mattel plans to introduce a new digital Thomas & Friends short each week.  The videos will be tagged on the Thomas YouTube channel with “World Tour”, and the first video, “Thomas & Friends: Thomas is Leaving the Island of Sodor”, teases Thomas’ new adventures.  The introduction of the new Thomas videos is the latest example of Mattel’s multi-platform approach to content distribution. 


The unique content will feature:



  • Thomas Around the World:  Videos styled in 2D comic strip style animation that take Thomas to exciting destinations across the globe. 

  • Live Action Playroom Shorts: Thomas comes to life as a toy in a child’s playroom.

  • Thomas Comedy Showtime: A mash up of great moments and characters from the Island of Sodor. Each video is accompanied by humorous sports-style commentary analyzing events as they happen.

  • Classic Songs: Favorite songs from the original Live Action television series set to new CG animation.

  • Mr. Perkins’ Story Time:  Everyone’s favorite Thomas & Friends driver returns to narrate classic tales from the classic Railway Series storybooks.


“Exploration and experimentation are at the heart of our playful new Thomas & Friends content,” said Christopher Keenan, Vice President, Content and Executive Producer, HIT Entertainment.  “With its global adventures and new production methods, along with classic songs and stories, the new YouTube videos enrich the world of Thomas & Friends and expand on what’s most loved by kids and families about their favorite number one engine, Thomas.” 


The launch of the new content continues a year of celebration for Thomas & Friends around the world in 2015 as the brand celebrates its 70th anniversary with new content, partnerships and activations around the globe.  


Watch the first Thomas & Friends YouTube short.


Visit the Thomas & Friends YouTube Channel.


Find the YouTube Kids app in Google Play and iTunes.


 


-ENDS-


 


For more information, please contact:


Noelle Dong / HIT Entertainment – The Americas


(646) 467-5336 / noelle.dong@mattel.com


Katie Kajumba / HIT Entertainment – Global Public Relations


+44 (0)20 755 42581/ katie.kajumba@mattel.com


 


About Thomas & Friends


Thomas the Tank Engine™ was created by a father for his son 70 years ago and today is enjoyed by families in more than 300 territories and in over 40 languages.  The No.1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. Children embark on adventures with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends makes tracks to great destinations on PBS KIDS® and Sprout® in the US and on Five’s Milkshake! and Nick Jr in the UK and on CCTV in China.  Downloadable episodes are available through iTunes. For more information about the world of Thomas the Tank Engine™ and his friends, please visitwww.thomasandfriends.com and follow Thomas on Facebook at facebook.com/thomasandfriends


About HIT Entertainment


HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading preschool entertainment companies, specializing in building powerful brands based on engaging stories.  HIT Entertainment’s world-class portfolio includes  Thomas & Friends®, Mike the Knight™, Fireman Sam®, Bob the Builder, Barney®, Angelina Ballerina®, Pingu® and Rainbow Magic®.


HIT Entertainment excels at creating and building globally successful brands which capture the hearts and imaginations of preschoolers and their families.  This is achieved through exceptional storytelling in multiple formats, enhanced by creating high quality character-based products and experiences with best-in-class partners. HIT Entertainment’s lines of business span television and home entertainment production, content distribution, digital media, and live events and attractions.  HIT Entertainment, a division of Fisher-Price, and a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT), has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information visit www.hitentertainment.com


About Mattel


The Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. Mattel’s portfolio of best-selling brands includes Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels®, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends® and Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People® and Power Wheels®, MEGA®Brands, including MEGA BLOKS® and RoseArt®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere Magazine and in 2014 ranked No. 5 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel’s companies employ nearly 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sell products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at www.mattel.comwww.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel. 


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