Mattel and Nickelodeon have revealed a new U.S. television and consumer products partnership for the popular preschool property Thomas & Friends.
The collaboration includes the premiere of Thomas & Friends‘ 21st season on Nick Jr. in the U.S. in March, as well as additional specials that will air on Nickelodeon during 2018. Nickelodeon also becomes Mattel’s exclusive U.S. consumer products agent for the brand across such categories as apparel, accessories, home goods and consumer electronics, among others.
“Securing Nick Jr. as our new home for Thomas & Friends is a huge game-changer for the brand franchise, and one that, alongside our reimagined content direction, will enable us to captivate new audiences as well as deepen engagement with our existing fans in the U.S.,” said Kate Schlomann, the VP and global brand general manager for Thomas & Friends. “The brand is undergoing a huge evolution to ensure that it remains relevant and competitive for today’s audiences. We are taking Thomas off Sodor for the first time in our episodic series, evolving our storytelling to be more inclusive, meaningful and entertaining, which will strengthen our brand franchise. We are thrilled to have Nick Jr. as our partner as we bring the world into a child’s home through the eyes of Thomas & Friends.”
“Thomas & Friends‘ iconic characters and engaging stories have resonated with kids for decades and we believe the new seasons will be a great complement to Nickelodeon’s curriculum-driven preschool programming,” added Pam Kaufman, the chief marketing officer and president of Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “We look forward to working with licensing partners to capture the spirit of Thomas through fresh, innovative products that inspire kids to live out their own adventures through play.”