MEGA BRANDS AND HIT ENTERTAINMENT ENTER INTO GLOBAL MULTIYEAR LICENSING PARTNERSHIP
MEGA Brands and HIT Entertainment Team up to Develop Construction Sets Based on Thomas & Friends, the World's Number One Preschool Brand for Boys*
MONTREAL/LONDON/NEW YORK - June 3, 2009 - MEGA Brands Inc. announced today that it has entered into a multi-year, global licensing agreement with HIT Entertainment, one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights owners, to develop construction toys based on the world's Number 1 preschool licensed property, Thomas & Friends™.
Under the global, multi-year agreement, MEGA Brands obtains the rights to develop all-new construction toy sets based on the timeless characters of Thomas & Friends and exciting destinations from their Island of Sodor world. The Mega Bloks licensed product offerings will launch worldwide in the spring of 2010, marking Thomas & Friends' 65th anniversary. The Thomas & Friends construction sets by MEGA will be available at department stores, toy retailers, mass market retail establishments, specialty stores, e-tailers, wholesale clubs and at Day Out With Thomas™ events.
"We're excited and proud to have this wonderful opportunity to partner with HIT Entertainment, and build on the immense worldwide popularity of Thomas & Friends to grow our preschool portfolio," said Vic Bertrand, Chief Innovation Officer of MEGA Brands. "Mega Bloks are the world's number one preschool construction brand and it's a natural fit to align with the world's number one preschool brand for boys. We look forward to developing a new line based on the engaging characters and timeless stories of Thomas & Friends, and to inspire creativity and imagination through Mega Bloks for years to come."
"We are thrilled to work with a world-class toy partner like MEGA Brands to create all-new Thomas & Friends construction sets," said Gary Krakower, Senior Vice President, US Licensing and Live Events, HIT Entertainment. "Across the globe, children will enjoy imagining and building with Mega Bloks and Thomas & Friends, building new destinations and recreating exciting railroad adventures, as children have with Thomas for nearly 65 years."
Thomas the Tank Engine™ was created by a father for his son in 1945 and today is enjoyed by families in more than 185 countries in over 30 languages through books, DVDs, live family events, on TV, online and in toys. Children embark on adventures with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation.
In 2010, Thomas the Tank Engine celebrates his 65th Anniversary making tracks to great destinations and will move full steam ahead with the debut of an all-new CG animated series, with new friends and new adventures. For the first time, children will hear Thomas speak, as the #1 blue engine and his friends now have a voice in telling their own stories and inspiring the imaginations of all young engineers for many more generations.
About MEGA Brands
MEGA Brands is a trusted family of leading global brands in construction toys, games & puzzles, arts & crafts and stationery. They offer engaging creative experiences for children and families through innovative, well-designed, affordable and high-quality products that deliver on our Trusted Brands promise. Visit http://www.megabrands.com for more information. The MEGA logo, A Family of Trusted Brands, Mega Bloks, Rose Art, MagNext and Board Dudes are trademarks of MEGA Brands Inc. or its affiliates.
About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax Partners, 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 and Japan. 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 Sprout, and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.
* Sources: US NPD Q1 2009- Preschool Toy Category; UK NPD Oct 2008; Australia: License to Thrill 3rd Quarter 2008