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Thomas & Friends™ Celebrates 75th Anniversary with New Licensing Deals

-Deals announced with London’s famous luxury department store Harrods, specialist children’s publisher Egmont, global fancy dress manufacturer Smiffys and more
-The celebratory year for the world’s most famous No.1 Blue Engine will see an increase in brand activity worldwide spanning the entire Thomas & Friends™ franchise


Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) today announced a raft of new partnership deals for Thomas & Friends™ that will roll out from AW19 across categories, including toy, publishing, apparel and retail as the world-famous children’s brand celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2020.

Created as a fictional story for the Reverend. W. Awdry’s son Christopher in 1945, publishing remains a strong part of the brand heritage and franchise. With over 100 publishing titles and 2 million books sold each year, licensing partner Egmont continue to tell stories of the iconic engine through generations of children and will be producing a special edition to commemorate the anniversary..

In April next year, the brand launches an exciting licensing partnership with exclusive London department store Harrods, to celebrate the heritage of the brand with several activations throughout the store and limited edition branded merchandise sold in store.  

Later in 2020, model railroad manufacturers 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.

Popular party and fancy-dress company Smiffys also have teamed up with the brand to launch an exciting dress-up range for baby and toddlers that support storytelling. The new range is on track to launch in time for World Book Day in March, as the national day of the year continues to grow in popularity with dress-up across nurseries and schools in the UK.  

The UK will also see a partnership with Europe’s number one publisher of licensed calendars, greetings cards, gift wrap and diaries, Danilo. The family-run company has operated for over 40 years, creating products to celebrate those important milestones in life. The collaboration is a new licensing partnership, launching in AW19, and will see a collection of Thomas & Friends™ branded greeting cards, wrapping paper and gift bags. 

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.

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 that will 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”.


About Mattel

Mattel is a leading global children’s entertainment company that specializes in design and production of quality toys and consumer products. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic franchises, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends® and MEGA®, as well as other popular brands that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 40 locations and sell products in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and technology companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in exploring the wonder of childhood and empowering kids to reach their full potential. Visit us online at

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