Much of the growth has been through the Thomas and Friends licence which has now edged ahead of characters such as Batman and Barbie to rank as the fourth biggest licence in the total toy market, behind brand giants Star Wars, Power Rangers and Winnie the Pooh.
Tomy?s European marketing director, Sally Plumridge, said: ?2005 is a year for double celebration. Not only does Thomas celebrate his 60th anniversary, Tomy is proud to have the most exciting and innovative range of Thomas toys ever. In a tough market, this is paying off with incredible sales growth and three brand new Tomy introductions already topping the Thomas August sales charts?.
The firm has promised an 80 per cent increase in TV advertising alongside plentiful point of sale, in store promotions and PR activity.