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Monday, 24 October 2011

Official: Mattel named new owner of Hit Entertainment

Toy maker Mattel have been announced as the winner's of the sale of Hit Entertainment.

After a long year of talks and involvements going on during the bid, Mattel have purchased Hit for a $680 million sum.

Thomas & Friends once again will have a new home in the form of the known toy maker company who already sell several Thomas themed products in the market.
The Chairman and Chief Officer of Mattel, Robert Eckert spoke of the deal via Hit Entertainment's exclusive press release; Mattel is the right home for Thomas & Friends. This powerhouse brand is joining the ranks of such iconic brands as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and American Girl.

Thomas & Friends routinely ranks among the world’s leading preschool toys. Additionally, with more than half of the Thomas & Friends revenue generated from non-toy products, this transaction will marry Mattel’s global marketing,
distribution and brand management capabilities with Hit Entertainment’s global programming and licensing expertise to accelerate growth of the combined portfolio.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Hit Entertainment, Jeffrey Dunn also commented; Hit Entertainment owns some of the most loved and trusted preschool brands in the world and under Mattel’s leadership, I look forward to seeing them grow to even greater heights.
Mattel is a wonderful steward of brands and a great home for the outstanding properties Hit has developed and grown, including Thomas & Friends. It is fitting that the world’s premier toy company should become the owner of the world’s premier pre-school property.

Apax Partner's Media team member, Irina Hemmers said; We are very pleased that this strong portfolio of iconic brands will continue to flourish in the hands of Mattel.
Fisher-Price already produces Hit’s toys under license so the two companies know each other well and there is considerable industrial logic in this combination.

I would like to thank the employees and the management team for ensuring that Hit’s brands achieved their leading global position in the preschool character space. We wish the whole company every success for the future.

Viacom, Disney, Chorion, Saban Brands, Tomy and many other companies were all considered for the buyout but lost out to Mattel in one of the most eagerly anticipated stories of this month. 

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What's your view on Mattel? Are they the right choice to buyout Hit Entertainment?, could you see a bright future ahead?, and what do you think is to become of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends?

Send a comment just under this post to express your views.

14 comments:

  1. This is probably the best outcome. Probably won't make a lot of difference so I, personally, am not bothered.

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  2. It's good that the whole process is over and the most suitable partner - in HIT and Apax's eyes - has been found. Me though? I'm worried.

    Yes, the future of the series is safe, but that is not necessarily a good thing. I just have a feeling that, deep down, the TV series will just become more of an advertising tool for its new merchandise more than it already is (that's the whole reason there are so many Barbie movies).

    If I'm proved wrong then I'll be happier than most, but for now I have serious reservations over the whole thing.

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  3. For me, i think its a good company, as long as the kids are happy with it, as for us, a nervous track, but seeing how its not Disney thank goodness, i'm just glad all the selling plans are over...

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  4. I'm alright with, I'm happy that neither Disney nor Viacom own the Thomas rights. I have grew up with Mattel before in my childhood, I did like 'Hot Wheels' when I was a kid.

    Sure the company focuses on making toys, but you must know marketing is what makes the show nowadays, kids look at the engines and they like to have that particular engine as part of their sets, I now I did when Thomas & Friends were under the Britt Allcroft company. With money from the toy sales, it helps to fund the show.

    Disney and Viacom, would do that too, but I have strong disagreements about them:

    Disney: Although its the home of the Walt Disney famous characters such as Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie etc. and though they have great movies like The Lion King etc., they would really make Thomas like the 'Magic Railroad'.

    Viacom: Everyone knows, they take videos down from YouTube.

    I'm not nervous at the moment, but as time goes on, we might get use to the new ownership until Mattel is ready to buy out Thomas & Friends.

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  5. It's very sad Thomas is no longer in British hands, but I surpose it was going to happen, Chorion is acturlly spitting up now. I have a great respect for Mattel, for making most of the current Thomas toys, but I also worry if the standard of the series goes even lower, but we shouldn't be, because Andrew Brenner is the new head writer, and that should be brilliant news for the fact he wrote magazine stories for Thomas back in the glory days of the TV series, and some of them heled Allcroft and Mitton come up with the first orignal stories for the series, back in series 3. I feel that we just have to wait and see how different Thomas will be under their ownership, in all, they were the 2nd best company in the race to buy our no 1 engine.

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  6. I feel maybe Thomas was best being sold on it's own, too many bad memories under HiT me thinks, but that's just me, probably they will just concentrate on Thomas than Bob the builder of Fireman Sam, despite how much Thomas means to me, they were also part of my childhood and it would be sad to see them neglected.

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  7. I just hope that this doesn't mean that Learning Curve will be stripped of the Wooden Railway rights.

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  8. I think Mattel is the best owner for HiT TBH. I mean, they have the financial stability to own the giant brand, but they won't trash the series like Disney of Viacom would.

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  9. @Junk the Guild - I'm pretty sure they won't, but we better wait and see.

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  10. From what I heard recently about the conclusion of HiT buyer saga - It seems to be a good thing, as I'm especially glad that Disney or Viacom didn't buy the rights of the series. (My votes would've been preferred to Chorion at first, but in the end, Mattel wins - so congratulations for that.)

    As for the future of Thomas and Friends, we would all just have to wait and see what's coming from around the corner.... :)

    Dan5589

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  11. Sorry Junk the Guild, the press release says "Another key advantage to the acquisition is that Mattel will be able to reunite two key pieces of the Thomas & Friends® toy business: plastic and die-cast toys with the wood-based business. The current wood license expires at the end of 2012, at which time Mattel expects to add that line of business to its portfolio. Historically, the sales of wood-based toys have been around half the size of the plastic and die-cast business."

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  12. @Anonymous: 20 years, that'd make sense. It just means that my money will be going to Mattel then. Besides, they aren't screwed, they have Chuggington. But Chuggington will never make the same kind of money that Thomas is pulling in (unless Thomas still continues its current formula; stale, boring, and repetitive).

    But as TMRReturns mentioned above; we'll have to wait and see. But cheers to 20 years of Thomas Wooden Railway by Learning Curve. I'll always remember that Christmas of 94 getting Thomas, Gordon, and Toby.

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  13. To be honest I think that due to the greed and senseless running by management that Thomas and Friends is just another name for their portfolio and that they haven't a care or a clue about how the stories were written or the fact that they are all based on true stories of something happening to some engine somewhere.
    It needs to get rid of the awful characters that HiT thought would be great to add to the show and re-do all the stories written by Rev. Awdry and his son Christopher and in order too. Whether it is CGI or model makes no difference. I am eagerly anticipating seeing the new Tintin movie in CGI. It looks very realistic indeed and if Thomas and Friends were done in this vein then all would be well.
    But it isn't likely and so I'll happily make my models of the characters and find joy in the books that I have rather than line the pockets of greedy corporations like Mattel

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  14. @The third Anonymous - You have to know that Merchandising is what makes children shows nowadays, without money from the toy sales etc. , there would be no show for the children.

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