BOYS MONTH: Hit bolsters Bob and Thomas

Evergreen properties continue to attract new deals.
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Hit Entertainment has signed further deals with a number of major licensees for its two biggest boys' properties, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Next year will see Thomas & Friends will move into the electrical goods market for the first time after signing a new deal with master licensee Martin Yaffe.

The range, which includes Thomas TVs, a TV/DVD combo, digital camera and boom box, is currently in development and is due to hit shops in summer 2009.

In addition, Thomas toiletry 'Wipes to Go' by UPEX brands will be launched into grocery stores this month, while sweet manufacturer Pez has created a range of Thomas dispensers for its products in 2009.

Fun Foods will be launching a new range of organic pasta for kids, which are shaped as Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine characters. 'Free from Pasta' is made in Italy and the pasta is free from wheat, gluten and egg.

The Bob range will be available in supermarkets and grocers this autumn, followed by the Thomas range next year.

Thomas & Friends is ranked as the UK's number one pre-school licence since 2000 and is also the UK's number one propety for 2008 (source: NPD June 2008). There are currently over 100 licensees.

Bob the Builder, meanwhile, is the number two pre-school boys' brand in the UK. There are 50 licensees in the UK alone.

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