20 JAN, 2011


HIT Entertainment, one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights owners, has today announced the renewal of Character Options as UK Master Toy Licensee for the number two* pre-school boys brand, Fireman Sam™.

Under the multi-year licensing agreement, Character Options will continue to manage all toy category rights for Fireman Sam and will launch new ranges across play-sets, vehicles, figurines, plush and role play.

The Character Options contract renewal follows a hugely successful year for Fireman Sam.  The first master toy range from Character Options, based on the CG-animated series, was one of the most successful pre-school ranges of last year, with the Deluxe Fire Station playset chosen as a 2010 Dream Toy. 

Jon Owen, Senior Vice President, HIT Brands Global said, "We're delighted to continue our relationship with Character Options and look forward to even more fantastic, innovative Fireman Sam toy ranges over the coming years.  Following the huge success of the Character Options product lines in 2010, the Fireman Sam brand is going from strength to strength and certainly has a bright future ahead."

Jon Diver, Managing Director Character Group added, "We're excited to continue working with HIT Entertainment to develop even more new Fireman Sam lines. The consumer response to our first range based on this classic pre-school brand has been superb and we will continue to develop high quality, attractively priced toys which will only see the brand benefit further."

* NPD Nov 2010 YTD

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™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment's Fifi and the Flowertots™ and Roary the Racing Car™ in North America, as well as Wallace & Gromit™, Shaun the Sheep™, Timmy Time™ and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations.  HIT also acts as representative for The Wiggles® 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. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

About Character Group

The Company designs, develops, licenses and distributes children's toys both in the UK and Eire and internationally.  Currently, the Character Group is stated to be the fourth largest toy distributor in the UK behind only Mattel, Hasbro and Lego in terms of UK sales.

For more information:

Visit www.thecharacter.com

Email: info@charactergroup.plc.uk

About Fireman Sam™

Fireman Sam™, the Ultimate Hero Next Door, has been racing to the rescue of his friends and colleagues in all sorts of perilous situations since he first made his UK TV debut in 1987. Based in the pleasant Welsh village of Pontypandy, Fireman Sam is a pillar of the community and the hero of every rescue. Whether stuck on a high cliff-face or caught in an underground cave, the children of Pontypandy know help is always close at hand -- thanks to the brave and resourceful Fireman Sam. Fireman Sam airs in almost 100 territories worldwide.

For more information about Fireman Sam, please visit www.firemansam.co.uk