BLE 09: Hit unveils Thomas & Friends anniversary plans

Firm announces broadcast, retail, marketing and PR plans for the 65th anniversary celebrations.
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Hit Entertainment kicked off the anniversary year with the theatrical premiere of the new CG animated special Hero of the Rails at Vue cinema in Leicester Square last weekend.

The film was screened in 53 Vue cinemas over the weekend and the DVD is due for release in the UK on October 12th. The new CG animated TV series is set to broadcast in January 2010 on Five's Milkshake.

Hit has also appointed Cake to handle the consumer PR for the 65th anniversary including high profile stunts, events and a year-long programme of media relations. The PR campaign will support the marketing plans for the property, which include themed Day Out With Thomas parties, tie-ins with retailers and licensees and a Guinness World Record Attempt at Hamleys in spring 2010.

In addition the Thomas website will be given a CGI and 65th anniversary make-over with new artwork, games and news.

Finally, 2010 will see a new range of consumer product from global master toy partner, Fisher-Price, with a new die-cast range to arrive in early 2010 and a new range from category partner Mega.

Hit's Victoria Bushell commented: "2010 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years ever for Thomas & Friends.

"We have developed a strong programme of retail, marketing and PR activity with our partners that celebrate Thomas' 65 years of pre-school heritage as well as communicating the timeless values of the world's most loved properties."

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