Mattel has detailed a new US television and consumer products partnership with Nickelodeon for the iconic pre-school property, Thomas & Friends.
The partnership will include the launch of the new season of Thomas & Friends on the Nick Jr. channel, as well as additional specials that will air on Nickelodeon throughout the year.
Nickelodeon will also become Mattel’s exclusive US consumer products agent for Thomas & Friends across multiple merchandise categories including apparel, accessories, home goods, consumer electronics and more.
“Securing Nick Jr. as our new home for Thomas & Friends is a huge game changer for the brand franchise, and one that, alongside our reimagined content direction will enable us to captivate new audiences as well as deepen engagement with our existing fans in the US,” said Kate Schlomann, VP & global brand GM, Thomas & Friends.
“The brand is undergoing a huge evolution to ensure that it remains relevant and competitive for today’s audiences. We are taking Thomas off Sodor for the first time in our episodic series, evolving our storytelling to be more inclusive, meaningful and entertaining which will strengthen our brand franchise.
“We are thrilled to have Nick Jr. as our partner as we bring the world into a child’s home through the eyes of Thomas & Friends.”
Pam Kaufman, chief marketing officer and president, Nickelodeon Consumer Products, added: “Thomas & Friends’ iconic characters and engaging stories have resonated with kids for decades and we believe the new seasons will be a great complement to Nickelodeon’s curriculum driven pre-school programming.
“We look forward to working with licensing partners to capture the spirit of Thomas through fresh, innovative products that inspire kids to live out their own adventures through play.”
The new season of Thomas & Friends will debut weekdays in March on the Nick Jr. channel and full-length episodes and short-form content will also be available on Nick Jr.com and the Nick Jr app.