Fans have been left pondering over certain stories being re-used in the UK magazine series and if there will or will not be anymore books in the Thomas Story Library series.
Egmont's Editor of the Thomas & Friends magazine series, Jane Tarrant has responded to fans in an email sent by SteamTeam, revealed especially for The Thomas & Friends News Blog.
In the light of the repeated use of previously published stories in some of the magazine issues, Tarrant assures people that some change will be on the way.
We do re-use stories, because from research we have undertaken, we understand that some children like to read favourite stories over again and we have a library of stories that we have amassed over the years.
However I have taken note of comments and will endeavour to avoid using the stories too frequently.
As for the TV stories we can only reproduce them when we have the images from the Licensor and the most recent series has only been available for the last few weeks.
Stories from this series will be appearing in the New Year. Unfortunately I have not been in a position to commission stories with the new characters up to now but I will be doing in 2012.
Bash, Dash, Charlie and Hiro will be appearing in stories towards the middle of the year.
With the magazine problem dealt with, there has been limited roll outs of more Thomas Story Library books. It was predicted by Toot Toot Toys that the series would return in 2012. An Egmont respondent has played down speculation.
As the Story Library series has been in the market in since 2003 and we have seen a decline in sales in recent years, we have been working up a new, replacement series.
Since that original series launched the Thomas brand has undergone numerous changes, not least the switch to CGI animation at the start of 2010.
So to keep up with the changing nature of the brand, we are just about to launch a new series, called Thomas Story Time that will hit the shops in January.
Although these books will not be character based in the same way as the previous series, the new titles will feature the latest characters (Flynn and Belle etc) and be drawn from the latest episodes (for which we have material).
We are publishing five titles in Jan-12, five in Apr-12 and five in Aug-12 before extending the series in 2013. It is also worth noting that both Charlie and Hiro featured in the last titles in the TSL series (nos. 61-65).
Thomas Story Time book line begins rolling out onto UK book shelves on January 3rd 2012 with the next sets due April 2nd and the month of August. Further publications will be expected in the year of 2013.