Thomas & Friends celebrates 75th anniversary with new licensing deals

Published on: 24th September 2019

Deals announced with Harrods, Pyramid International, Smiffys and more.

Mattel has announced a raft of new partnership deals for Thomas & Friends that will roll out from autumn/winter 2019 across categories including toys, publishing, apparel and retail, as the world-famous brand celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2020.

A new deal with licensee Pyramid International will see the launch of a range of wall art, including posters, prints and canvases, together with an accessories collection of badges, stickers, keychains, mugs and a comprehensive range of stationery.

Created as a fictional story by the Reverend. W. Awdry for his son in 1945, publishing remains a strong part of the brand heritage and franchise. With over 100 titles and 2m books sold each year, licensing partner Egmont will be producing a special edition compilation of the original Railway Series to commemorate the anniversary.

In April next year, the brand launches a partnership with Harrods; activations throughout the store and limited edition branded merchandise will celebrate the heritage of the brand.

In 2020, model railroad manufacturer Bachmann will work with the brand on a two-year licensing deal to bring the world of Thomas to life. The traditional electric trains will encompass the adventure and discovery of Thomas & Friends, to provide fans of the brand, railway enthusiasts and collectors with a realistic re-creation of the adventures on the Island of Sodor through HO (1:87) scale products in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Smiffys has also teamed up with the brand to launch a dress-up range for babies and toddlers that supports storytelling. The new range is on track to launch in time for World Book Day in March, as the annual event continues to grow in popularity.

A new UK licensing partnership with Danilo will launch in autumn/winter 2019, and will see the creation of a collection of Thomas & Friends branded greeting cards, wrapping paper and gift bags.

Helen Genia, head of UK licensing and Hardlines EMEA, Mattel, said: “We are thrilled to announce these new licensing deals for Thomas & Friends; spanning publishing, apparel and retail, they are sure to delight and excite Thomas fans. Our goal this coming special 75th anniversary year is to introduce new highly accessible and memorable consumer products through our increased partnership activity. A number of specialised product and retail executions will be launched to help give added meaning to the experience Thomas & Friends delivers to the consumer in its celebratory year.”


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