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Railway enthusiast and children’s author, Reverend W. Awdry was the original creator of character ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ who starred in his series of 42 books titled ‘The Railway Series.’ First published in 1945, the initial titles were based on tales he repeatedly told his son Christopher as he recovered from measles; the latter of whom later also contributed to the series. Located on the fictional Island of Sodor, the engine characters were predominately based on real classes of locomotives and in the mid-80s led to the popular and award-winning children’s television series.
The icon of children’s entertainment has a 70 year heritage that continues to appreciate in value through its multiple global theme parks, movies, inspiring TV series, theatre performances, ‘Days Out’ with Thomas family events, online apps and entry in Guinness Book of World Records for the longest toy train track. In 2014, ‘Thomas and Friends’ was justly awarded the ‘Best Classic Licensed Property’ at the UK Licensing Awards. Retailers can stock toys and baby gear from this popular license, under ownership of Mattel since 2012, from award-winning wholesaler Baby Brands Direct.
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Toy giant, Mattel acquired the ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ licence from Hit Entertainment in 2012 for a reported $680 million. In previous years Fisher-Price had a licensing agreement with the Company to manufacturer some of it toys and was paying Hit Entertainment royalties on them. The partnership was very successful, soaring its property’s toy sales particularly in the US and becoming the number one toy brand in China. At the time, Mattel reported that the Thomas toy sales exceeded $150m a year and planned to ‘continue to expand and grow the product lines into the foreseeable future.’ Commenting on the purchase, Mattel Chief executive Robert Eckert stated, “Mattel is the right home for Thomas and friends," Baby Brands Direct is a UK Mattel distributor, offering trade prices on the Thomas and Friends range of products to its registered retailers.
As a worldwide supplier, Baby Brands Direct has made it convenient for retailers to stock on brands and items that they often have scarce or no access to locally. For instance, Babymoov has introduced innovative inflatable bathtub, perfect for parents looking for a comfortable, safer bath for their baby. From mats that tell you when the water is too hot to T bars that help hold the baby in place. You can choose from the Earth Friendly Baby range offering organic shampoos, body lotions, baby wipers, massage oil and bubble bath. Hooded towels have been a growing hit among retailers and parents.
Our partners, Munchkin, have introduced a line of bath time ducks to help parents check the temperature of their baby’s bath, doubling as fun, exciting toys for baby to play with while in the tub. Our range of bath inserts and supports are designed to make bath time easier for parents. We have made available a range of bath time accessory products, from the practical Tommee Tippee and Beaba who are providing you with baby scissors and combs to nail clippers and nose aspirators.