Leveraging Strengths from Fisher-Price, American Girl and HIT Entertainment, Mattel Unveils a Premium Shopping Experience Featuring Limited-Release Engines and Customizable Products
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 21, 2014 -- Mattel (Nasdaq:MAT) is bringing a new, premium shopping experience to Thomas & Friends™ fans nationwide in a cross-company collaboration that began rolling out this month. Leveraging various strengths from within the Mattel portfolio, the new experience - anchored by the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line - will further enhance the immersive world of Thomas & Friends via the first ever Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway direct-to-consumer catalogue, ThomasWoodenRailway.com e-commerce website (launching Aug. 2014), and partnerships with 20 independent specialty retail stores, which will serve as Official Thomas & Friends Specialty Stations in the U.S.
"The Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway initiative represents a new business model for Fisher-Price and an opportunity to tell our brand story to a new audience," says Geoff Walker, Executive Vice President Fisher-Price Global Brands. "The initiative is designed to bring new consumers into the brand and provide them with a truly premium experience."
Thomas & Friends will also introduce a limited-release wooden engine*, Logan - a Shunter who works at the coal plant. Logan will only be available in the U.S. through the new catalogue, e-commerce website, and Official Specialty Stations and will be the first of a series of limited-release engines to be introduced by this new program annually.
With more than 50 new and exclusive Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway products available, from custom train sets to personalized engines and story books, fans across the country can fully immerse themselves in the Thomas & Friends world. Thomas aficionados will be able to expand their collections with Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toys tied to 11 new story books and exclusive items such as pajamas, bedding and more.
The new Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway strategy harnesses Fisher-Price's expertise in toy design and manufacturing, American Girl's full-service direct-to-consumer model and HIT Entertainment's strength in storytelling. Recapturing Thomas' roots in specialty retail, the cross-divisional team shares product development and marketing responsibilities to drive increased sales across the entire Thomas &Friends franchise, generating both new direct-to-consumer sales, as well as a halo over mainline product.
Moving forward, Toys "R" Us will become the exclusive national chain retailer of Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway, serving as the premier destination for all Thomas & Friends toy categories.
To learn more about Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway, sign up for a catalogue or meet Logan and explore the custom options available for purchase, please visit www.ThomasWoodenRailway.com or call 800-491-7508.
*Logan wooden engine available from July 2014 through December 31, 2015.
The Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. Mattel's portfolio of best-selling brands includes Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels®, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends® and Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People® and Power Wheels®, MEGA® Brands, including MEGA BLOKS® and RoseArt®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere Magazine and in 2014 ranked No. 5 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel's companies employ nearly 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sell products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at www.mattel.com,www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel.
Margaux Vega, 310-252-3520
Source: Mattel Inc.
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