HIT Entertainment has licensed Sakar International to create a line of consumer electronics for its Thomas & Friends franchise.
The agreement, which covers the U.S. and Canada, will focus on branded merchandise ranging from clock radios, walkie-talkies, text messengers and boom boxes, to digital cameras, flashlights, and video game and computer accessories. The first products in the collection will be released in early 2013.
"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," says Gabriela Arenas, vice president, consumer products, Thomas division, 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 No.1 engine."
The brand has been ranked by The NPD Group as the No. 1 preschool toy property in both the U.S. and the U.K. for 11 and 12 consecutive years, respectively.
"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," says Liza Abrams, vice president of licensing, Sakar. "The enduring popularity and endearing personalities of the Thomas & Friendsfranchise provide a wonderful platform for developing products in this area."