EDISON, N.J., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- HIT Entertainment and Sakar International are riding the rails together with a new license agreement that will bring the popular Thomas & Friends® franchise into the consumer electronics space in North America. The license authorizes Sakar to develop, manufacture and market an extensive collection of branded merchandise ranging from clock radios, walkie talkies, text messengers and boom boxes to digital cameras, flashlights, and video game and computer accessories – all featuring the friendly faces of the beloved Thomas the Tank Engine® and his engine friends.
The agreement covers the U.S. and Canada and builds on the long-running success of Thomas & Friends. As of early 2012, according to The NPD Group, the brand has ranked as the #1 preschool toy property in both the U.S. and the UK for 11 and 12 consecutive years, respectively. In the U.S., Thomas & Friends also holds the #1 spot for overall top preschool property and was a top 10 property in the entire toy industry for 2011.
"Consumer electronics is an expanding licensing category for Thomas & Friends, and we're thrilled to develop this new range with Sakar for today's preschoolers and families whose lifestyles are immersed with technology," said Gabriela Arenas, Vice President, Consumer Products, Thomas Division – The Americas, and Latin America, HIT Entertainment. "With Sakar's experience in developing branded electronics and accessories for the preschool market, we will be able to establish a presence in this critical space and give tech-savvy Thomas fans new ways to engage with their favorite #1 engine."
"In our work with other brands, we have found that preschoolers are as interested in electronics and digital products as older children. That should be no surprise, considering the kids are playing with Mom's iPhone and Dad's iPad long before they can read," said Liza Abrams, Sakar Vice President of Licensing. "The enduring popularity and endearing personalities of the Thomas & Friends franchise provide a wonderful platform for developing products in this area."
The first products in the collection will be released in early 2013.
About Sakar International
Sakar International Inc. designs and manufactures a wide range of technology, toy, and consumer electronic products. Founded in 1977, the company is the manufacturer of Vivitar camera equipment and accessories, a market leader in youth electronics and rechargeable batteries, and a producer of licensed products for leading consumer brands. Products range from digital cameras and camcorders with related accessories to computer, iPod, GPS and gaming accessories, binoculars, MP3 players, clock radios, gift and toy electronics. The company is privately held and headquartered in Edison, N.J. For more information, visit www.sakar.com.
About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading children's entertainment producers and rights owners. HIT Entertainment is a division of Fisher-Price, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Thomas & Friends®, Barney®, Bob the Builder®, Fireman Sam®, Angelina Ballerina®, Mike the Knight™, Pingu® and Rainbow Magic®. Launched in 1989, HIT's lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing, digital media, and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com
SOURCE Sakar International