“Since the beginning, ‘Thomas & Friends’ has celebrated friendship and teamwork through storytelling, which has cultivated fan love across generations,” says Chuck Scothon, senior vice president and general manager, infant and preschool, Mattel. “In this milestone 75th year, we are releasing more storytelling content than ever before to engage the next generation of fans. While families are spending more time at home, we are able to offer new content to enjoy together across videos, books, apps and through music and podcasts and are thrilled that we could partner with leading platforms like Calm and Caribu along with Netflix and Harry, The Duke of Sussex to bring this content home for fans.”
Fans can expect the following content.
- Anniversary year content kicks off on May 1, with a new 1 x 22’ celebratory special, “Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine,” which pays homage to the show’s British heritage and features Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales as a child. Thomas travels to London for the first time on a mission to take Sir Topham Hatt to Buckingham Palace. “Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine” includes a special introduction from Harry, The Duke of Sussex. Actress Rosamund Pike voices a new character, Duchess of Loughborough.
- Also releasing this year as part of season 24 are 2 x 22’ specials under the title “Thomas & Friends: Marvelous Machinery.” The specials have an invention theme and new characters including a flying car and a technology fair celebration. In addition, 20 x 11’ new episodes will debut. All of this content will be available on Netflix in the U.S.
- To supplement season 24 episodes and specials, the brand will release four all-new made-for-YouTube series, with episodes debuting weekly. New YouTube content includes the series “Thomas’ Magical Birthday Wishes,” a kid-friendly nod to anniversary year celebrations.
- Nitro Circus and “Thomas & Friends” are teaming up for a train adventure. At Nitro Circus, a “train” involves a lot more motorcycles, ATVs, and plenty of crashes. The crew brings in some friends to help jump a “train” over a train, and that train is pulled by none other than Thomas the Tank Engine himself. Check out this stunt on Quibi. The Life-Size Toys series debuts May 25.
- On May 12, the brand is launching “Thomas & Friends Storytime,” a new podcast for kids. There will be 46 stories released weekly including origin stories of characters, Thomas versions of fairytales and adaptations of previous television episodes and books. Each episode ranges from five-to-10 minutes in length and will be available on all major podcast platforms.
- Thomas will have his very own birthday album releasing on May 8, including three all-new celebration themed songs. The album will be available across all major digital music platforms. The brand is also launching more than 50 more new songs throughout the year, with accompanying music videos on YouTube.
- On May 4, “Thomas & Friends” is kicking off a partnership with “Calm,” a leading app for sleep, meditation and relaxation, to introduce young fans to Thomas-themed sleep stories and guided meditations. “Calm’s” bespoke content will allow families to enjoy a new, immersive way to engage with “Thomas & Friends” through mindfulness. The content will be available for free for the month of May on the “Calm” app, with two more new content releases coming later in the year.
- “Thomas & Friends” started as a story told by a father to his son, and after 75 years and more than 207 million books sold around the world, the brand continues to release new titles with more than 20 publishing partners globally. In the U.S., Random House Books for Young Readers is releasing Thomas & Friends: Best Birthday Ever! Fans can celebrate Thomas the Tank Engine’s best birthday ever with this Thomas & Friends storybook featuring stickers, a poster and a party game. In the U.K., Egmont is releasing three titles for fans celebrating the brand’s heritage, Thomas’ birthday and the new Royal Engine Special.
- “Thomas & Friends” is teaming up with Caribu, a leading family-activity video-calling app. Caribu allows families to read books from a library of children's titles, play games, color or cook from a recipe together in a video-call. To celebrate “Thomas & Friend's” 75-year-milestone, Kevin Jonas is collaborating with Caribu to read classic Thomas & Friends books every week in May, starting today.
- “Thomas & Friends” is celebrating this milestone year with several new birthday-themed toys. Birthday Wish Thomas is a push-along Thomas train with a cargo cart and light-up birthday cake candle, and includes music and phrases including “Happy Birthday.” Golden Thomas is decorated with balloons and beats a party drum as he moves along the track and Celebration Thomas, Percy and Nia engines have metallic finishes.
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