"Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway originally launched through the specialty channel, giving the brand both heritage and equity as a premium franchise. That, along with the property's rich storytelling, presented Mattel with an opportunity to drive both direct-to-consumer product sales, as well as generate incremental mainline product sales by diversifying distribution," says Geoff Walker, executive vice president, global brands, Fisher-Price.
Thomas will now have a dedicated product catalog and e-commerce website. The website, ThomasWoodenRailway.com, and the first Thomas & Friends DTC catalog (which is set to hit more than 1.5 million homes over three mailings) will launch this summer.
The website will carry the full range
Much like American Girl is anchored by its eponymous doll and its dedicated book series, Thomas too will have a robust publishing program that will additionally introduce a new character as part of the Exclusive Sodor story collection, which will also feature four new train sets based on favorite Thomas & Friends characters. Each train set will feature an exclusive hardcover story book, created in conjunction with each set.
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