HIT Entertainment & Sakar Expand Thomas & Friends® to Consumer Electronics in the U.S.

Published on Saturday, 12th May 2012

New Collection Being Created for #1 Preschool Property

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. is a leading provider of consumer electronics and accessories. With a rich heritage of technology innovation since 1977, Sakar has developed a global presence by consistently evolving alongside technology to develop on-trend, cutting edge products. Sakar licenses over forty major entertainment and corporate brands and has maintained a diverse portfolio of product offerings, including: tablets, digital cameras, karaoke machines, small appliances, and accessories for audio, tablet, camera, smartphone and computer. Sakar acquired the Vivitar brand in 2008 and has since launched a full line of cutting edge products and accessories, establishing a rich heritage of technology innovation in consumer electronics. Sakar is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey, with additional offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, Latin America, Hong Kong and China.

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. (Nasdaq: MAT). 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