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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Exclusive: Origins of Discover Thomas layout revealed

The origins of the Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition in the UK have been uncovered.

From its inception in 2009, the exhibition at Drayton Manor's Thomas Land is home to some of the models and sets seen in the Classic and New era of the show.

Roll Along Thomas were forwarded info in June from the layout and the park's designers, RMA Themed Attractions, about several models initially proposed.
Thomas, Rosie, Edward, Harvey and Stepney are known to be the only stationed engines. Bulgy, Trevor, Elizabeth, Terence and Bulstrode represent the road characters.

According to RMA in 2009, only the popular characters will be going on the layout.

We've also got Gordon and Toby here, as well as a diesel engine all in black. A blue narrow engine will be on top of a canyon. Gordon and Diesel are however hidden under the layout along with an assortment of props.

They include grey and brown cargo vans, a cattle van, a jam tanker, a truck full of tinned cans and Edward's happy, clenched and tired face casts.

Discover's storage also contains Sodor circus vent vans, balloon trucks and Flora's tramcar with tarp, all of which can be seen on RMA's website.

Thanks to ellsworth.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Exclusive: Hit Entertainment on UK Blu-ray question

Hit Entertainment have revealed the reason behind the lack of Blu-rays for the UK.

2011 brought the first high-def release for Britain with the Day of the Diesels double play but remained the singular story met with the treatment.
The US has continued its collection of feature-length specials on HD disc from Misty Island Rescue up to September's Tale of the Brave triple play from Universal Home Entertainment.

Roll Along Thomas talked with Hit in the spring to find out about the lack of future UK Blu-rays.

We release content in formats that best suit the needs of our fans and consumers. We therefore have no plans to release Blu-ray formats in the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Exclusive: Harvey return in CGI helped by Thomas Land

Drayton Manor's Thomas Land played a part in Harvey's return to the TV series, it has been revealed.

The crane engine made a successful comeback in the 17th Season in two installments, most notably his re-establishment in Gone Fishing.
In 2012, Drayton's UK Thomas theme park were involved in his re-introduction, a recent visit witnessed.

Their involvement came, according to a representative of the land's Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition.

Harvey was indeed sent back to Hit Entertainment to be modelled for CGI, the exhibition and Bryan's Museum member said.

Thanks to ellsworth.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Announcement: The end of Roll Along Thomas...?

It is with gracious and careful thought that after over four years, Roll Along Thomas will be no more come August.

This is the moment I've been dreading for a while and have been contemplating for two months, so please read in full. It is to do with my future and have come to realise that I cannot go on with my blog for long. But, when you've got to go, you've got to go. If I don't let go now, I may find it harder to step away from it.

In September, I will be continuing my studies in acting as a BA honourate, planning to venture forth in other cities and have picked up an odd few opportunities in the business. Throughout the latter part of this year to 2015, I will need to be at my most creative, focused and consider time in order to progress with my career and for what's to come for me. I want to step away from blogging before it becomes stuck with me for the rest of my life.
(A visit to Thomas Land. 2011.)
Another reason why I have called it a day is due to the minutes and hours of excessive discoveries from the fans prompting me to think up original sentences and paragraphs within little time. The moments of spontaneity has been tough, having to rush back and forth to my desktop without a few hours of rest, so it has been physically draining, especially when other workloads can take over me. August is when the end comes...

I tend to credit whoever sends or finds me links as a courtesy, which I believe the fanbase lacks... trust. When I don't credit peers, its mainly to do with who found what first as fans would pick an item up, leading to confusion. In some cases, news items can be too late to be reported, past their sell by dates or by lack of publicity from companies. Incidentally, when a discovery is made, is it really news? A worst of poll including a 2000 film is questionable...

My eye on the internet hasn't allowed me to leave my study. Having to design the necessary images for posts and sprucing them up from home sources was another challlenge. There has been tough weeks, especially the week of June 23rd, the slew of Tale of the Brave's publicity. The specials I will say have received the most interest in viewership, according to Blogger's demographics.
(Return to the Bluebell Railway. 2013.)
If I have to be honest about the fanbase who are dedicated and certainly passionate, the certain lots who have overused words (such as the o word... that's repetition.) to get through conversations are bizarre to see. The fangirling behaviour from time to time is also another asset, I have to say, wishing for things to come when it can be denied of truth even for a show squarely aimed at 2-6 year olds.

I'm aware of the so-called hardcore generation and Wikias, but the way that tweets or online conversations go, it can look acid. That's when other internet users tend to step in to harass or rather annoy those responsible for being too excited for one detail after another. Its not my hatred of fans, absolutley not, its just the bizarreness of how out of control things can go.

Calm through. Surprises can be a better feeling than not having your wish come true. I will use this opportunity to quote two songs to reflect my passion. Don't judge a book by its cover, just remember the rule... The Island of Sodor, magical land where dreams come true.

The dreaded nation of spoilers is disrespectful. I do feel for the many who'd rather not be surprised until the day whichever product is meant to arrive for them. Checking timelines, whether its your YouTubes or your facebooks or your Twitters, it can be a real blow. Example; when a trailer for a major blockbuster is released, the tantalising spoilers of plot and visuals can damage the viewing experience, judging something in a low accord.
(A surprise or two at the Battlefield Line Railway. 2014.)
It is also disheartening when the powers of be at Hit Entertainment see the cryptic nonsense going on, especially when I learnt at a railway event in April by a member of the team (who shall remain nameless) divulged to myself that they, even at Thomas production, oversaw tweets made to be disappointed with how leaks have gone.

I was surprised to learn that my site has been used by the crew as a backbone for seeing developments and decisions made by websites and studios to release information on anything Thomas. Although spoilers have been a thing, I didn't want to blog about them, otherwise I'd be held responsible for ransom and didn't want to be spoilt myself. I however got to know the odd secret or two, but I kept my mouth shut.

In retrospect, I am sometimes miffed of the support in terms of the timing of when my word of mouth mentions news, sometimes lacking response, as there have been in numbers. But to those who did, those eager, websites, friends, groups, online communities, producers, long time fans (you all know who you are, even the ones who went back to me after misinterpretation), I just want to say this... thank you.
(The archive.)
I will continue to watch the show and the brand religiously without having to worry about watching my eye on the internet and to enjoy things as a casual viewer. I will also continue to participate in fans' YouTube series (so long as the script or people are good!) and attend events dutifully to lend support and to talk to those willing for answers or for the pure banter.

For now, if there's any questions, submit or tweet me things you'd like to know, why things weren't blogged and what of the blog you may learn. I will gladly answer them. To culminate, I will only continue for now with a few more exclusives to look forward to on the way. Answers for the fans. I did this for the fans.

Until then, birthday come Saturday. I prepare for my departure and a little event in the capital in August. Trust Thomas. Thank you.

Melad.

Logan image revealed on Official Website's Depot

The Thomas & Friends website has revealed a new image of Logan the Strong Little Shunter.

The physical appearance of the character was made available to view on his Engine Depot profile today in the US, originally billed as a new friend mystery.
The image went live two days after missing the proposed July 7th. Painted in yellow, and blue along boiler and wheels, he is based on a Sentinel 0-4-0 Steam Shunter.

A Logan and the Big Blue Engines Wooden Railway and book combo, all images of which now online, is coming soon.

Logan's cartoon appearance rather than CGI has been questioned by fans. A forthcoming addition to the series will star in a future Dinos & Discoveries DVD.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

'Tale of the Brave' story and sticker books pushed back

Tale of the Brave's story and sticker books for the UK have been pushed back.

The two guides of the 2014 feature-length special were intended for release on July 31st.
Both will come out almost a month later in late August on the day of the last screenings at Vue cinemas.

It now allows UK fans the chance to avoid spoilers from the special in book format before the DVD release.

The Tale of the Brave Storybook and Sticker Books from Egmont hit UK book shelves at the new date of August 28th.

PRE-ORDER THE 'TALE OF THE BRAVE' BOOKS FROM AMAZON.CO.UK

Thanks to SodorSteamworks for the alert.

Thomas & Friends official account opens on Vine

The official Thomas & Friends account for Vine users has opened on the social website.

The channel for the six second videoing network posted its first Vine on July 2nd.
Wooden Railway models of Thomas and James appear under the subtitle, Thomas & Friends come along with you no matter where you go!.

The silent stop-motion clip earned over 100 loops within 20 hours of publication.

The channel shares its username with ThomasParent, the Twitter page for US fans.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

'Tale of the Brave' stars enter Website's Engine Depot

Tale of the Brave's four new stars to the series have been added to the Official Website.

Today, the quartet of Gator the Alligator Tank Engine, Marion the Steam Shovel, Timothy the Little Engine and Reg the Scrap Yard Crane were inducted onto the Engine Depot.
Their profiles, complete with images, speak of the friends' personalities and workings such as Marion and Timothy belonging in the China Clay Pits and Reg on Edward's Branch Line.

Tidbits of fun facts are seen alongside events mentioned due to unfold in the feature-length special.

Last week, a character guide was leaked detailing on ten characters appearing in the story.

MEET 'TALE OF THE BRAVE'S NEW FRIENDS ON THE THOMAS & FRIENDS WEBSITE

Saturday, 28 June 2014

'Dinos & Discoveries' DVD and two new episodes due

New episodes and a DVD are to appear in the next year with the arrival of tie-in books.

The origins of the Dinos & Discoveries book double with Emily Saves the World are unveiled for a DVD release of the same name.

One of Random House's next books for January comes in the form of Thomas and the Volcano. Its artwork of Millie and Thomas places them against a backdrop of a dinosaur and an erupting volcano.
Teasing, As seen on DVD! Dinos & Discoveries, its summary tells more; Thomas and his friends see a volcano in the new Dinosaur Park! Could it erupt?

Boys who love trains will thrill to this Step into Reading adventure, featuring a shiny foil cover and two sheets of stickers, and based on an episode from the newest Thomas & Friends DVD release, Dinos & Discoveries!.


Another title due on the same date is Thomas and the Dinosaur, sharing the same themed setting.

Thomas the Tank Engine and his friend Percy are startled and scared to see a dinosaur in the forest! Train and dinosaur obsessed boys will get a double thrill from this Thomas & Friends Little Golden Book.

The three Dinos & Discoveries books from Random House hit US book shelves on January 6th 2015.

PRE-ORDER THE 'DINOS & DISCOVERIES' BOOKS FROM AMAZON.COM
THOMAS AND THE DINOSAUR

Thanks to SteamTeam for the alert.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Vue confirms 'Tale of the Brave' cinema date week

Vue have confirmed the release date for Tale of the Brave: The Movie arriving at their cinemas.

The new adventure will be screened across 80 of Vue's cinemas across Britain and Ireland for one week only in late August.

It comes shortly after Hit Entertainment's plans for Tale's world release were divulged and the word of a blue carpet premiere for London's Leicester Square.
The Thomas & Friends UK YouTube has meanwhile uploaded a HD version of the second trailer. amazon.com's page for the US DVD meanwhile enlists award winning Olivia Colman of Broadchurch as cast.

An extended synopsis reads; Thomas is working at the Clay Pits when a storm closes in and the rain makes the clay cliffs unstable.

A flash of lightning reveals what looks like giant footprints on the slope above, but a landslide has begun and Thomas can’t stay to investigate. Bill and Ben push Thomas to safety just in time!
Unable to go back and confirm what he saw, Thomas tells Percy about it, but Percy quickly becomes convinced that there is a monster on the island. He even becomes frightened of taking the Mail Train at night.

When an unusual engine, with sloping boilers, first appears, Percy even thinks he must be the monster!

James teases Percy and tries to scare him even more, but the new engine, who’s called Gator, proves to be a good friend and ally, who helps Percy discover what it really means to be brave.

Tale of the Brave: The Movie rolls into Vue cinemas across the UK from August 22nd to 28th.

Hit delivers world initiative for 'Tale of the Brave' film

Hit Entertainment have today revealed their plans for Tale of the Brave's worldwide debut.

The eighth feature-length special in the franchise is to be bolstered by cinema screenings for the UK, Australia and for Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Mexico until the end of 2014.
The first Thomas production to be executive produced by BAFTA and Emmy award winning Global Content President of Hit, Michael Carrington, is also on course for broadcast on Mexican and Brazilian television.

Booking from June 30th, 80 of Vue's cinemas are reaffirmed to bring Tale to the UK and Ireland after a blue carpet premiere at London's Leicester Square is held. A broadcast on PBS Kids stations across the US is incoming.

Promoting are a minisite in August with profiles, clips and games, activity sheets at UK Day Out with Thomas events and issues from Thomas & Friends magazines in the UK and US including a dedicated themed one in September.
More rafts of merchandising, including home video, will come through products of toys, homeware and accessories from Fisher Price, MEGA Bloks, Ravensburger and books from Random House and Egmont.

Hit's Vice President for Global Brands, Kate Schlomann, anticipated the special. We are extremely excited to introduce Tale of the Brave this September with new direction from Michael Carrington.

The movie lifts the bar offering viewers engaging storytelling with more dynamic and compelling animation.


Thanks to Puff Puff Thomas for the alert.

Character guide previewed for 'Tale of the Brave' film

The cast of characters set to play important roles in Tale of the Brave has been leaked online.

A Hide & Seek page on the All Aboard Thomas & Friends website lists ten characters poised to play substantial roles in the special.
Initially as an unlockable feature for June 30th, the page had been accessed early by Thomas fans.

Among the likes of Percy, Cranky and Bill and Ben, hero shots and bios of Timothy, Reg, Marion and Gator tell more on the new Sodor friends.

Two colouring pages with Gator, Reg and the team of Thomas, Percy and James are included.

This week saw details of the US DVD/Blu-ray bundle and Hit Entertainment's initiative for Tale's debut to the world.

Thanks to Adam Abrahart for the alert.