HIT Entertainment and Fisher-Price(R) Enter Into Global Agreement



    
    FISHER-PRICE(R) TO BECOME WORLD-WIDE MASTER TOY LICENSEE FOR THOMAS &
    FRIENDS(TM) THE WORLD'S NO. 1 PRESCHOOL BRAND FOR BOYS(*)

    
    NEW YORK, LONDON and HONG KONG, Jan. 5 /CNW/ -- HIT Entertainment, one of
the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights
owners has today announced the appointment of Fisher-Price, Inc. as the global
master toy licensee for Thomas & Friends(TM), the world's Number 1 preschool
property for boys, in a multi-territory, multi-year deal.
    
    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090105/LAM005LOGO)
    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071017/AQW096LOGO-b)
    
    Under the terms of the agreement, Fisher-Price, a division of the world's
leading toy company, Mattel, Inc., will be bringing together some of Thomas &
Friends' core category rights and will begin using its world-wide distribution
capability to enhance and grow the long term business for this iconic brand.
The first line of products will be available in 2010 and will expand as
existing licensees' rights expire across key toy categories.
    Fisher-Price has been granted the global rights for Thomas & Friends,
excluding Japan, on:

    
    -- Vehicles, figures and play-sets, including die cast vehicles and play
       sets, and the TrackMaster(TM) train system
    -- Preschool toys, including electronic learning and developmental toys
    -- Plush, games, puzzles, role play and water toys
    -- Battery-powered ride-ons
    -- Plastic pedal trikes (North and South America and Asia only)
    Jeff Dunn, CEO, HIT Entertainment, commented:
    
    "Aligning one of the world's most successful and preeminent pre-school
brands with the world's largest toy company is both an exciting event and a
natural evolution for HIT Entertainment.  We are immensely proud of Thomas &
Friends, a brand which continues healthy growth around the world and is today
in 185 territories and in 45 languages around the world. We look forward to
working closely with Fisher-Price in taking Thomas & Friends to the next level
as we begin preparations for Thomas' 65th Anniversary celebrations in 2010."
    
    Neil Friedman, President of Mattel Brands added:
    
    "We are both excited and proud to be working with the world's most
successful preschool brand for boys.  It feels only natural that the world's
number one preschool brand for boys and the world's largest toy company should
work together to continue the growth and development of this much-loved
property.  Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends both have an incredibly rich
history, and are much loved by children and trusted with parents.  At
Fisher-Price, our business is founded on the principles of providing
innovative, high quality and good value toys that help make childhood more fun
and enriching.  We look forward to bringing our expertise to development of
the Thomas line -- taking Thomas into its 65th year and beyond."
    
    The Wooden track system rights remain with RC2.
    About HIT Entertainment
    
    HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax
Partners, is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment
producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as
Barney(TM), Bob the Builder(TM), Thomas & Friends(TM), Pingu(TM), Fireman
Sam(TM), Angelina Ballerina(TM) and Rainbow Magic(TM). HIT represents Chapman
Entertainment's Fifi and the Flowertots(TM) and Roary the Racing Car(TM) in
North America and Japan.  HIT also acts as a worldwide representative for The
Jim Henson Company's library of classic family brands and as representative
for The Wiggles(R) in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT's lines of business span
television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer
products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada,
Hong Kong and Japan.  HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS
KIDS Sprout(SM), and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the
US, UK and China). For more information, visit
http://www.hitentertainment.com.
    
    About Fisher-Price
    
    Fisher-Price, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE:   MAT) located in
East Aurora, N.Y., is the leading brand of infant and preschool toys in the
world.  The Company has a 77-year legacy of high quality toys that enhance
early childhood development.  Its often-emulated Play Laboratory was the first
child research center of its kind in the toy industry, allowing researchers to
observe the way children play and how play benefits their development.  Some
of the Company's best-known "classic" brands include Little People(R), Power
Wheels(R) and View-Master(R).  Fisher-Price is also a leading developer of
baby gear products (infant swings, bouncers, high chairs, nursery monitors),
as well as a wide array of character-based toys inspired by high quality
children's programming such as Sesame Street(R), Dora the Explorer(TM) and
Winnie the Pooh.  The Company's web site, http://www.fisher-price.com,
provides valuable information and resources to parents.
    
    To download artwork, please visit http://www.hitnewsonline.com.
    

    
    (*) Sources: US NPD: YTD September 2008; UK NPD Oct 2008; Australia: License
      to Thrill 3rd Quarter 2008

    




For further information:

For further information: HIT UK and International, Nicole Price,
nprice@hitentertainment.com, or Philip Ranger, pranger@hitentertainment.com,
+44 (0) 207 5543681, mobile, +44 (0) 7768534641, or HIT USA, Denielle Webb,
+1-646-277-5216, dwebb@hitentertainment.com, all of HIT Entertainment; or
Fisher-Price Worldwide, Juliette Reashor of Fisher-Price, +1-716-687-3354,
juliette.reashor@fisher-price.com Web Site: http://www.hitentertainment.com  
              http://www.fisher-price.com                
http://www.hitnewsonline.com

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