HIT Entertainment And Universal Studios Home Entertainment Enter Into Distribution Pact For Thomas & Friends®, Angelina Ballerina®, Barney & Friends®, Bob The Builder® And HIT's Greater Preschool Portfolio In North America


NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - HIT Entertainment, one of the world's leading preschool entertainment companies, and a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAT), and Universal Studios Home Entertainment, a premier home entertainment company, announced today a deal that gives Universal distribution rights to HIT's vast award-winning family content library including Thomas & Friends®, Angelina Ballerina®, Barney & Friends®, Bob the Builder®, Pingu®, Kipper®, and more1. As part of the arrangement, Universal acquires rights to distribute, sell, and market hundreds of titles from HIT's extensive content library in the U.S. and Canada across Blu-ray, DVD, Electronic Sell-Through and VOD platforms.

Universal will begin to distribute and market the HIT Entertainment catalog on October 1. In addition, the two companies will work together to distribute new content produced by HIT, including the upcoming Thomas & Friends feature length special, "Tale of the Brave," due out in fall 2014.

"HIT Entertainment's vibrant, preeminent brands are a spectacular complement to Universal's outstanding portfolio of family franchises, including Barbie, Despicable Me and Curious George," said Eddie Cunningham, Universal Pictures' President -- Worldwide Home Entertainment. "Pairing HIT's superior entertainment properties with Universal's formidable home entertainment sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure effectively positions our companies for an enduring and prosperous collaboration."

"With its strong expertise and footprint in content distribution across both brick and mortar and digital retail platforms, we are thrilled to partner with Universal Studios Home Entertainment to distribute and market HIT's preschool franchises in North America," said Sid Mathur, Vice President, The Americas, HIT Entertainment. "As consumer options to view content increase and evolve, we look forward to working together with Universal to leverage our popular evergreen portfolio and offer families the best preschool offerings in home entertainment."

With the HIT partnership, Universal now distributes Mattel's top powerhouse brands in North America starting from HIT's preschool portfolio through Mattel's girls and boys brands. Universal Studios Home Entertainment currently distributes Blu-ray, DVD and Digital animated content based on some of Mattel's hit brands including Barbie®, Monster High®, and Hot Wheels®, and live-action content for American Girl®.

About Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

About HIT Entertainment

HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading preschool entertainment companies, specializing in building powerful brands based on engaging stories. HIT Entertainment's world-class portfolio includes Thomas & Friends®, Mike the Knight™, Fireman Sam®, Bob the Builder, Barney®, Angelina Ballerina®, Pingu® and Rainbow Magic®.

HIT Entertainment excels at creating and building globally successful brands which capture the hearts and imaginations of preschoolers and their families. This is achieved through exceptional storytelling in multiple formats, enhanced by creating high quality character-based products and experiences with best-in-class partners. HIT Entertainment's lines of business span television and home entertainment production, content distribution, digital media, publishing, consumer products and live events and attractions. HIT Entertainment, a division of Fisher-Price, has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information visit www.hitentertainment.com

For more information, please contact:

Noelle Dong / HIT Entertainment
646.467.5336 / ndong@hitentetainment.com

Lea Porteneuve / Universal Studios Home Entertainment
(818) 777-1391 / Lea.Portneuve@nbcuni.com

1 Excluding Fireman Sam® & Mike the Knight™

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140429/82218

SOURCE: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

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PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

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