A revamped and reinvigorated new series for Thomas & Friends is championing diversity, sustainability and tackling other social issues in the biggest shake up for the brand since its launch 73 years ago.
The relaunch of the show - which is now airing daily - is the centrepiece of a major strategic brand refresh from brand owner Mattel, to help engage a new generation of fans by bringing its content in line to meet the tastes of a modern global audience.
Market research with audiences around the world was conducted to help shape the new look and feel for the British brand, one based on global appeal. A jazzed up theme tune and a refreshed line-up of central characters are also at the core of the new series, and aim to give the main ‘Steam Team’ a better balance of gender equality and representation across the show.
Ian McCue, Seniro Producer at Thomas & Friends said the “evolution” would make it more relevant for the next generation of parents and their families.
“The changes and new additions of characters and geographies will make the show more entertaining, inclusive and global – whilst ensuring all the favourite characters and storylines that fans around the world love remain at the heart of the action,” he adds.
As part of the redevelopment of content, the Thomas & Friends production team also collaborated with the UN Department of Public Information’s Creative Community Outreach Initiative. The partnership ensures that the key issues tackled in the show, like gender equality, responsible and sustainable consumption and being part of a modern community, are appropriate and enriching for a pre-school audience.
Products launched alongside the new series include a Fisher-Prices toy range, with more set to launch in spring 2019.