The new deal will see Tomy develop the Motor Road and Rail track system to a brand new play system Trackmaster due for launch in autumn/winter 2008.
Tomy has licensed Thomas & Friends for almost 12 years. In 2005, Tomy launched the Steam Along Thomas Set and the Thomas Aquadraw, the latter winning the Pre-School Toy of the Year Award from the Toy Retailers Association. The following year, the Thomas Aquadraw was voted Best New Non-UK Toy Design at the 2006 Max It Awards by the British Toy and Hobby Association.
Peter Byrne, Executive vice president worldwide consumer products HIT Entertainment commented: “We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with Tomy who will be bringing new innovation to the category with the all important Trackmaster launch. The year ahead presents enormous licensing opportunities for our partners on Thomas with new programming, new characters and destinations and the opening of Europe’s first Thomas Land in the UK in early 2008.”
Robert Mann, CEO of Tomy added: “At Tomy, we are extremely proud of our successful partnership on Thomas which stretches back over 12 incredible years. Now recognized as the biggest license in the UK industry, we’re thrilled to be such a major part of Thomas’ future. The introduction of Trackmaster and continued innovation across our own Thomas pre-school developed line will continue the strong momentum in building the Thomas business across all territories in Europe’’.