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Monday, 28 February 2011

Season Fifteen reminder plus extras

Tomorrow sees the premiere of Season Fifteen airing on five here in the UK at 7:30am.

Starting with Gordon and Ferdinand, this season seems promising with all the suprises we have witnessed so far.

To celebrate the new series, I present to you worthy Thomas fans three promo shots for all of you to enjoy.

And as an added bonus, an exclusively larger sized promo of Thomas in the countryside.

Also, as part of the new season launch, my YouTube Channel background has now been fully updated with all the characters featured in the television series so far.

Season Fifteen premieres on FIVE and FIVE HD in the UK starting tomorrow at 7:30am

New DVD announced for the UK

Amazon.co.uk have announced that a new DVD for UK fans will be available in the Summer.

The DVD could well be the second Season Fourteen release, Pop Goes Thomas or the last for Season Thirteen.
The as of yet untitled DVD hits UK DVD shelves on May 9th 2011.

Special thanks to CraneProductions27 for the alert.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Season Eleven completes On Demand series

FIVE's On Demand service has finally made the Eleventh Series available to view.

The 2007 Season now completes Demand5's line-up of all the episodes from the Hit Entertainment era of Thomas & Friends.
A total of 166 episodes can now be watched whenever you like via the internet.

The Fifteenth Series could also be added sometimes after it's finished broadcasting.

Archive: When France promoted Season Twelve

When the Twelfth Series of Thomas & Friends was airing, France promoted the series by publishing some photos that had never been seen before at the time. More images were later added which featured the Eleventh Series.

These images are featured in their original, unblurred and unedited states.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

New US DVD for birthdays due

Lionsgate and Hit Entertainment are to release a new DVD for the US.

The Birthday Express is the new release and will come with a free wooden Thomas whistle.

The DVD seems to be in a similar style to the Holiday Express DVD release a couple of years back and could see a compilation full of episodes about birthday parties.
It will run at 45 minutes approximately in duration and according to Amazon.com, it will be in widescreen, although this might change.

The Birthday Express hits US DVD shelves on May 17th 2011.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Third week of Season Fifteen ahead

Digiguide have revealed the third week of episodes for the new series of Thomas & Friends, Season Fifteen.

Gordon and Thomas collect logs for an animal shelter and sing a song about snow in the hope that they can make snow clouds appear.

Broadcasts on Monday March 14th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

Thomas is excited because it is time for a winter party. However, Thomas's friends need help to be fixed so will not be able to make it to the party.

Broadcasts on Tuesday March 15th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

It is a very foggy day and the engines are asked to stay put until the weather clears. However, Spencer and Percy do not need the warning.

Broadcasts on Wednesday March 16th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

Thomas feels sorry for Bertie so takes him on a tour. Bertie then realises that he needs to go and collect a group of people and cannot be late.

Broadcasts on Thursday March 17th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

Thomas meets Butch, who has a magnet attached to his crane arm. However, he and Butch do not listen to Victor about how to use the magnet.

Broadcasts on Friday March 18th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

Season Fifteen premieres on FIVE and FIVE HD in the UK starting from Tuesday March 1st 2011 at the earlier time of 7:30am

The third week seems to be the most promising for the 2011 Season as not only that Spencer will recieve his own episode since his debut, but Bertie will now speak in a role since Season Twelve.

In one of the most suprising moves ever since his cameo appearances, Butch the Tow Truck will be in a supporting role and will speak for the very first time since his appearance way back in 1998. 

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

'Misty Island Rescue' website details for Japanese

The Misty Island Rescue website for the Japanese Thomas fans has now been updated.

The website showcases the 2010 special for the Japanese with details on the feature-length story.
Other additions include event information, character descriptions, images and the official trailer for the release.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Take-n-Play Dart revealed at Toy Fair 2011

Day of the Diesels character and newcomer to the series Dart will be released as a Take-n-Play model.

In a YouTube video posted by ZooLert, while inspecting the Rumbling Gold Mine Run playset, Dart's sighting can be seen.
He is seen next to other Take-n-Play's; Butch, Jack and Percy. All of which were at New York's Toy Fair of 2011.

The Take-n-Play Dart hits toy shelves later this year.

Thanks to TMRReturns for the alert.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Announcement: New YouTube video due

Yes everyone, I will be back with a new YouTube video following on from Misty Island Rescue.

The video will be my take on the All You Need music video from Season Fourteen, which has been planned since making the Misty Island Rescue videos.

It will feature scenes from Season Thirteen, Misty Island Rescue and Season Fourteen.
You have all probably guessed it but yes, the song will be remixed and extended which will make the 3-4 minute target on the song itself.

Currently, I am working on remixing the audio which is halfway through completion. After which, the clips will be compiled and added onto the video.

I have no idea when it will be released but I shall provide an update in due course.

Thomas & Friends - TheTopHatts' 'All You Need' - Season Fourteen Music Video Remix. Coming soon to YouTube.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Season Fifteen continues with second week airing

Season Fifteen seems to be greenlight for broadcast, as the second week of episodes have been revealed by Digiguide.

Edward is given a special job to do, so he decides that he needs to become a hero. He soon discovers that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Broadcasts on Monday March 7th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

James shuns Toby's help and refuses to work as part of a team when Gordon needs recuing. However, James soon has to swallow his pride and ask Toby to assist him.

Broadcasts on Tuesday March 8th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

Thomas tries to cheer Hiro up when he sees that he does not look very happy. Hiro tells Thomas he is sad because he is missing home, so Thomas takes him on a trip to forget his woes.

Broadcasts on Wednesday March 9th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

Thomas and Percy are chosen to deliver a giant balloon. The wind on the coast track whips the balloon into the sky. Thomas and Percy wait for the balloon, but Gordon tells them it will not fly back, so the engines have to find another way of replacing it.....

Broadcasts on Thursday March 10th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

Henry is given a special task of taking a very important visitor around on a tour, but finds himself teased about the special coal he has to use.

Broadcasts on Friday March 11th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

Season Fifteen premieres on FIVE and FIVE HD in the UK starting from Tuesday March 1st 2011 at the earlier time of 7:30am.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Season Fifteen starting in March 2011

Digiguide and LocateTV have revealed that the new series of Thomas & Friends will broadcast from the beginning of March in the UK.

The Fat Controller gives Ferdinand the honour of helping Gordon to take the Lion of Sodor to the summerhouse. Gordon, however, gets very jealous, which causes a nasty accident on the track.

Broadcasts on Tuesday March 1st 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

Bash is rewarded by the Fat Controller for being a Really Useful Engine. His prize is to spend the day with Toby. Bash enjoys himself so much that Toby thinks his friend would like to live on Sodor. Together, the pair set out to find Bash the perfect new home.

Broadcasts on Wednesday March 2nd 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.


 Emily is given the job of looking after Dash on a trip to the steam fair. Dash shows Emily how to make special tweeting noises with his whistle, but he does it so often he runs out of fuel and gets stuck. Emily thoughtlessly goes to the fair without him. Will she remember her job and come back?

Broadcasts on Thursday March 3rd 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.


 Percy wants to make friends with the wild animals on Sodor, but they are frightened of him and run away. Percy realises that if he is gentle and quiet rather than fast and loud, he will stop scaring them. He is soon covered in friendly animals!

Broadcasts on Friday March 4th 2011 at 7:30am on FIVE and FIVE HD.

So there we have it! The first 4 new episodes coming in March which is not long away and I am intrigued that Dash and Ferdinand will star in similar episodes with Emily, Toby and Gordon.

Season Fifteen premieres on FIVE and FIVE HD in the UK starting from Tuesday March 1st 2011 at the earlier time of 7:30am. 

Thanks to BusterTheSteamroller for the alert.

Trackmaster Dart and Belle unveiled at Toy Fair

Day of the Diesels newcomers Dart and Belle are to be released as part of the Trackmaster range.

In a YouTube video posted by ZooLert showcasing the Cranky & Flynn Save the Day playset, two Trackmaster models of Dart and Belle can be seen in the bottom right corner.
Not only that, but Flynn the Fire Engine is also seen in the video, as part of the playset.

The Trackmaster models of Flynn, Dart and Belle hit toy shelves later this year, coinciding with the release of Day of the Diesels.

Railway Series book No. 42 recieves working title

The SiF Fansite have revealed the working title for the next Railway Series book.

In an email sent to Egmont by SiF, the book company confirmed the present title; Thomas and His Friends, which possibly is subject to change.

Sadly, news regarding more new Railway Series books are distancing.

The Railway Series' 42nd book hits book shelves on July 4th 2011.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Review: 'The Complete Series 12' DVD

My copy of The Complete Series 12 DVD arrived since it was sent off on a Wednesday at 9:56am, courtesy of hmv.com.

This is perhaps the first time that I recieved a pre-ordered Thomas DVD on a Friday rather than a Saturday, boy was I pleased!
 Things you can expect from the DVD;
- A slipcase is included
- The back cover also resembles the layout for The Greatest Stories US DVD. With an image of Thomas in a recognised Season 12 promo, you can also expect to see images of these engines in circle borders across the back cover; Edward, Henry, James, Percy, Emily, Toby, Gordon, Freddie and Rosie. All on there due to them having episodes to themselves on the Sodor railway.
- Starting the DVD when loaded comes in order; The Warning introduction, Hit Entertainment's ident, the Take-n-Play commercial featuring the Farm playset, the Thomas Land at Drayton Manor commercial, a titlecard for the Complete Series 12.
- Now don't get your hopes up, but there is no Day of the Diesels trailer included as the DVD was submitted to the bbfc way before the trailer was released, I mean, I wasn't expecting it and I have seen it on mobile.
- The main menu features the Thomas promo shot in the bottom left corner, above him is the logo for the DVD. Next to which shows various scenes from the Twelfth Series accompained by the title music from Season Thirteen and onwards and is repeated once. Below the screen is a Play All option, Episodes Selection and a tab showing Subtitles On/Off.
- Selecting the Episode Selection shows the episodes across 4 pages. However, instead of moving scenes in the boxes, you get promo shots for each episode while the background features The Red Balloon from Duncan and the Hot Air Balloon.
- Viewing all the episodes will entertain you for the next 3 hours and 22 minutes.
- All episodes are in broadcast order as seen on the FIVE broadcasts.
- After watching all the episodes, the newest Hit Entertainment ident as seen on the Wobbly Wheels & Whistles DVD will play followed by the Thank You ident. Afterwards you will be returned to the Main Menu where you have completed watching the whole DVD.

Now I haven't really watched the whole of Series 12 in a while but did sometimes catch episodes like Gordon Takes a Shortcut, The Party Suprise and Duncan and the Hot Air Balloon thanks to FIVER. Looking back on the 2008 Series, I think it is one of the best and one of the highlights from the Hit Entertainment era. Seeing all the CGI implements made the Island of Sodor look more life like thanks to the upgrade in picture quality, the film effect and Nitrogen Studios' CGI.

The suprises continue with the returns of certain characters like Duck, Trevor, Ben, Stepney, Murdoch which when viewed in the first broadcasts would have suprised a lot of you including myself, especially with some having larger roles, but watching these again will make you think back and felt pleased while you still would when watching these again.

Looking back on the stories, some of them were really good, a few might seem a tad formulaic, however I am OK with the episodes, partly because of the CGI effects featured which still destracts me from reviewing certain episodes.

Some of them are real winners like Rosie's Funfair Special, however, if you were to ask me which one in this series that I thought was the best, I would go for Gordon Takes A Shortcut as it had it all; Supporting and best loved characters, the straining mood on the music, the structure of helping and rivalry and the drama.
This was the second series to be filmed in HD, but because of the CGI effects had to look more realistic, a film effect was added. Now, this really benefits as Series 12 on DVD looks very glorious and is perhaps even more glorious if viewed on a HD ready TV.

However, the picture can sometimes lack in places, especially on very fast movements which might have the occasional blur, while stock footage from Series 11 may have it's colours differed to Series 12, especially on the sky.

The DVD is presented in 16:9 widescreen. But the titlecard for the release after the trailers looks like a 4:3 fullscreen frame.

There is a significant difference to Michael Angelis' narration sound on Series 12. In the Eleventh Series, Angelis' narration sounded slightly rough, not because of his voice, but because of the sound mixing as it sounded in Series 3, luckily for Series 12, it improved.

Angelis' narration is more clearer to hear, however owing to the tight scheduled recordings since Pierce Brosnan's depature, you may think that his narration sounds rushed, apart from the occasional voices and accents. The music can be heard clearly in places and there is no problem with that bit.

However, with the CGI episodes from Season Thirteen and onwards featuring more enhanced sound, you might feel a sometimes quiet atmosphere when listen to the Twelfth Series' audio.

Obviously because this is a Complete Series release, there is no extras. However with 20 episodes to enjoy, you might not mind, unless you count the trailers at the beginning as extras, it's lacking.

Subtitles are included for the Hard of Hearing. In a way, a traditional extra.
You won't be dissapointed with this release. With it's complete revamp for the CGI era of Thomas, you can perhaps say that the cover, menu and episodes look glorious. Let's just hope that this format be kept for a possible Complete Series 13 release, otherwise it would look messy if the layouts were completely changed over and over again.

Out of 10;
Film - * * * * * * * *
Video - * * * * * * * *
Audio - * * * * * *
Extras - * *
Overall - * * * * * * *

Pre-order The Complete Series 12;

Thursday, 17 February 2011

'Day of the Diesels' gets publicised

HitNewsOnline have issued a press release for the Day of the Diesels special.

The press release reveals all the happenings involved with the release and the special itself including the plot.

As well, 75 tie-in products are due involving Fisher Price, Egmont, Mega Bloks and Learning Curve.

Other tie-ins include;
- Books, Games, Sets, Engine Merchandise, Bedding and Accessories
- Mobile Applications
- Day of the Diesels themed magazines in the Autumn
- Day Out With Thomas events with free giveaways
- The Ultimate Diesel Guide book
- Microsite on the special for March
- Are you a Steamie or a Diesel? website poll
- Previews on BS KIDS prior to DVD release
- Nationwide screenings in Vue Cinemas in the UK
- Leicester Square celebrity premiere for UK
- Other screenings involving Australia and US retailers.

Senior Vice President of Global Brand Management for Hit Entertainment, Rick Glankler spoke of the plans; Thomas & Friends continues its reign as the #1 preschool toy property around the world, and we are extremely excited to introduce Day of the Diesels this fall.

Hit and its partners will offer consumers around the world an impressive array of tie-in products from core Thomas & Friends train systems to new digital offerings. We look forward to bringing the Diesels to life in CGI in 2011 and giving them their time to shine. 

Day of the Diesels premieres in Autumn this year with a UK DVD release for September 26th 2011 and Fall 2011 for the US

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

New 'Season Fifteen' episode recieves title

Toy company Rc2's latest catalogue for 2011 reveals an upcoming episode's toy inspiration.

On page 14 of the catalogue, a pack involving Bash and Toby with a boxcar is shown entitled Toby and Bash on the Farm.
Below the image reveals the quotation; Inspired by the episode "Toby and Bash".

Toby and Bash is now the first episode to have it's title revealed for the next series, Season Fifteen.

Season Fifteen premieres later this year.

Fisher Price reveals 'Day of the Diesels' set

Fisher Price have announced a new toy set based on the next Thomas & Friends special, Day of the Diesels.

At this year's International Toy Fair in New York, the new set was shown and will feature newcomer Flynn the Fire Engine and Cranky the Crane.
The set involves Flynn emerging out of a crate via Cranky ready to put out a fire.

A remote control is included for lowering Cranky's hook.

Thanks to ByOnu for the Flynn image.

Sporadic images of new Wooden Railways published

Toy company Rc2's latest catalogue for 2011 shows published images of new Wooden Railway stock.

Starting from page 8, a number of new faces are due to be released in the popular wooden form such as newcomers Den, Dart, Flynn and Belle.
Old favourites such as Diesel 10 are refurbished with their new CGI look's including Butch, who is revealed to have the Sodor Search and Rescue Center logo on his side on page 9.

Special items including inspired episode packs and battery powered engines are also included in the line-up.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Day of the Diesels trailer released then pulled

Hit Entertainment this morning uploaded the UK and US trailers for the Day of the Diesels special.

However nearly half an hour later, the trailers were sadly pulled from the official Thomas & Friends YouTube Channel.
Hit have currently made the trailers private for time being until a public release is made. Let's just hope it's Friday for the half-termers!

The trailers are currently on display on the SiF Fansite till made public, where you can see two shots on each screen. One of which includes a glimpse of new engine Belle.

Thanks to Joe Fischer for the screenshot.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

More Mr. Perkins on the way

Mr. Perkins who features on the DVD releases for Seasons Thirteen and Fourteen will return for more in future.

Marion Edwards of Scruffy Dog Media who produce the Mr. Perkins films confirmed that there is more to come of him in DVD releases.

We filmed a total of 20 Mr Perkins films last year so you'll see these popping up on Thomas DVD releases throughout this year and the next.
However, Mr. Arkwright a similar character who appeared in two US DVD releases will not return for any more fillers as confirmed by Edwards.

We only shot 2 Mr Arkwrights (not sure if it was 2008 or 2009) as we then moved on to Mr Perkins.

Mr. Perkins is played by Ben Forster while Robert Slade portrayed Mr. Arkwright.

Thanks to SI3DFilms for the email confirmation.

Diesel goes back for Bachmann

Diesel is the latest character to be immortalised to a Bachmann HO Scale model.

Wholesale and Horizon Hobby have listed Diesel w/ Moving Eyes on their databases.
Diesel was previously available as Lionel 00 Gauge model and a Hornby HO Scale. 

Knapford Station and a Large Scale Oil Tanker are also due to be released.

Bachmann Diesel will be released later this year in the US.

Thanks to SnowflakeTH for the alert.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Sodor to go fruity for Betty Crocker

There is to be a new set of fruit flavoured snacks in the US soon based on Thomas & Friends.

Betty Crocker Fruit Flavoured Snacks and Hit Entertainment have teamed up to produce the healthy snacks.

Vice President of US Consumer Products for the Thomas Division, Gabriela Arenas spoke of the launch; High quality and tasty options are as important to us as they are to the parents of all Thomas & Friends fans.

We are therefore thrilled to have the opportunity to work with General Mills, one of the largest and most trusted brands out there, to bring Thomas & Friends themed fruit flavored snacks to families.

The Marketing Manager for Betty Crocker, Ben Mand also contributed to the announcement; We love providing moms with deliciously fun fruit flavored snack options for their kids to enjoy, so we are pleased to offer Thomas & Friends Fruit Flavored Snacks.

The snacks will feature six characters mixed in with flavours including strawberry, orange and grape.

The Thomas & Friends Fruit Flavored Snacks will hit US supermarket retailers later this year in June.

Saban brands a Hit bid

It has emerged that Hit Entertainment's buyout situation is once again in limbo after another bidder stepped forward.

Haim Saban known for owning the Power Rangers is said to be another party on board for Apax and Hit's buyout.
President of Saban Brands, Elie Dekel told of the involvement; You can pretty much bet if there’s transactional activity in the kids space on established brands that we are looking and aware of them.

Whether or not we are pursuing or engaged is really on a case by case basis.

Former Disney Executive Officer Michael Eisner is also another party up for the bid.

It is now thought by the Bank of America Corporation that the end of the month could see some progress. 

Friday, 11 February 2011

Sif reveals 'Day of the Diesels'

The SiF team have officially posted an exclusive promo for the next Thomas & Friends special, Day of the Diesels.

The promo prepared by Hit Entertainment is an image showcasing three Steam Engines and Diesel Engines each with a tagline, adding up to the drama!

Diesel 10 of course returns in the special after his brief and suprise cameo at the end of the last special, Misty Island Rescue.
Newcomers Dart and Den are revealed in their CGI states for the very first time in the image alongside Diesel 10 himself, Thomas, Percy and James.

SiF reveals that all the Diesels who have so far appeared in the CGI Series will be involved in the new special, along with a few more characters due to be confirmed.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Small confirms more for 2011

Ben Small has confirmed more on upcoming TV Series and specials.

Small announced yesterday via YouTube that he had completed his recorded lines for the upcoming Day of the Diesels special; I actually finished my recording of DOTD today.

He also told good news for Stanley fans concerning his recent non-speaking cameos in Season Fourteen.

For those who wanted to know, I will be voicing Stanley in the US episodes from now on and he has an American accent, which is oddly enough the accent I have most used to date in animation.
Then some hours later; I will be voicing Stanley in the US version and Matt (Wilkinson) will be voicing him in the UK version, should have mentioned that!! 

Asked about certain meetings with US cast members, Small told of the friends he had made out of them.

Sometimes I bump into some of the US cast whilst at the studio. Kerry Shale I have met and Jules De Jongh is a close friend of mine, and we've worked together on lots of things before.

She is an awesome actress, and one of the best human beings I know. Regarding Martin P. Sherman, he's a lovely guy!

Day of the Diesels premieres later this year.