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Friday, 29 November 2013

'King of the Railway' characters added to Engine Depot

The Thomas & Friends website has added several characters to its Engine Depot page.

Four characters introduced in the King of the Railway special are available in profile on the Sodor resident portal.
Connor and Caitlin are the newest additions alongside Ulfstead Castle's The Earl and his estate engine, Millie.

Despite the special's representation, Stephen appears absent whilst the new profiles remain hidden.

The first update for 2013 comes a year after the previous inclusions of Scruff, Stafford, Norman, Paxton and Sidney.


Original TV series models sheet memorabilia auctioned

A rare item of Thomas & Friends memorabilia was auctioned off on ebay today.

A contact sheet depicting film strips of various engines from the TV series was sold on the auctioneering website in the US for $24.99.
The collection of photos shows various measurement angles of engines introduced in the Fourth Series.

Some of the photos suggest utilisations for the 2004 to 2009 era of the official Thomas website's Engine Depot page.

The listing described it as a very rare and unique 22" x 16.5" (approx) contact sheet highlighting many of the models used in the hit TV show Thomas & Friends. Printed on Kodak paper.

Thanks to Daniel Coffey for the alert.

'The Thomas Way' UK DVD cover and content revealed

The cover for the UK version of The Thomas Way DVD has been published by play.com.

The 2014 disc, which carries the same cover art as its US counterpart, is to also feature the same Season 17 episodes as its original release.

The Thomas Way, The Switch, Percy's Lucky Day, Calm Down, Caitlin! and The Lost Puff however, will also be joined by the addition of Luke's New Friend.
Really Useful Engines, Mr. Perkins' Postcard, The Earl's Quiz, Mr. Perkins' Story Time and Who's That Engine? meanwhile serve as the extras, formally seen on the US Santa's Little Engine DVD.

The description reads; Get ready for fun and frolics on Sodor as the engines find out that there is always something new to learn!

While Thomas and Duck learn how to steam ahead together with a special delivery, Luke and Millie find out what it's like to drive in each other's tracks - literally!

Percy steams straight into a lucky encounter with Bill and Ben, Caitlin gets a lesson in how things are done and Paxton works hard to recover Thomas' lost puff.

With so much activity on Sodor, it's important to remember that the only way is not always the Thomas way!

The Thomas Way from Hit Entertainment hits UK DVD shelves on January 27th 2014.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

'Tale of the Brave' new character promo shot emerges

A new promotional image concerning an upcoming character has emerged on the internet.

The so far nameless character, who is due to appear in next year's feature-length special Tale of the Brave, stars in the low quality shot which appears in the Pairs minigame on the Tracks4Thomas website.
The newcomer, based on a Colombian Steam Motor Locomotive, has been described as an unusual engine with sloping boilers.

Three of the 2014 film's book covers were published earlier this week with one of them depicting the aforementioned engine.

Tale of the Brave: The Movie is coming soon to DVD in 2014.

Thanks to Adam Abrahart for the alert.

Monday, 25 November 2013

'Tale of the Brave' double book release cover published

Another two book covers for the Tale of the Brave special have been published by Random House.

Five tie-in books were revealed for release in July coinciding with the 2014 film's release in the fall.
For the double release Thomas and the Fearsome Footprints/Thomas the Brave, Percy and Thomas are seen depicted in the rainy night for the Thomas the Brave art.

Fearsome Footprints' cover meanwhile, sees an astonished Thomas on an industrial estate discovering a reptile's footprints on the ground.

This week also saw an unknown engine, due to be introduced in the special, appear on the Brave Little Engines cover.

The five Tale of the Brave books from Random House and Golden Books hit US book shelves on July 22nd 2014.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

'Tale of the Brave' book reveals new character form

A new book tie-ing in with the upcoming 2014 Thomas & Friends special has revealed a new character.

The eighth feature-length special, Tale of the Brave, was ordered by Hit Entertainment in October alongside the commission of an 18th series, both due for the fall of 2014.
Five tie-in books were subsequently unveiled for release in July. Random House have since published the cover art for the Brave Little Engines colouring title.

It shows Thomas travelling under a quarry bridge, while a green engine based on a Colombian Steam Motor Locomotive passes by on the bridge.

Tale of the Brave: The Movie is coming soon to DVD in 2014 while the five Tale of the Brave books from Random House and Golden Books hit US book shelves on July 22nd 2014.


Friday, 15 November 2013

'Spills & Thrills' US DVD date revealed for March 2014

The first DVD release for the US in 2014 has had its date confirmed by Walmart.

Spills & Thrills is to be the fourth American release to store Season 17 episodes after Railway Mischief, Santa's Little Engine and The Thomas Way.
Teased over several months, the disc will arrive in the country in early March, with more episodes and extras to be announced.

It was revealed earlier this week that Gone Fishing would join The Afternoon Tea Express for the release.

Spills & Thrills from Lionsgate Entertainment hits US DVD shelves on March 4th 2014.

Thanks to SteamTeam for the alert.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

'Gone Fishing' for 'Spills & Thrills' DVD and Take-n-Play

Season 17 episode Gone Fishing has been revealed to feature in an upcoming US DVD.

The story, which has aired in the US and Australia, brought back Harvey the Crane Engine in his first major role since his introduction in 2002's Harvey to the Rescue.

Inspired by the character's comeback role, Harvey's Heavy Hauler is to be released as a Take-n-Play pack. Its description reveals the 2013 episode's inclusion in the Spills & Thrills US DVD and its original title.
As seen in the "Harvey's Hook" episode on the Spills & Thrills DVD, Harvey is delivering a spinning lathe to the Dieselworks.

Along the way he drops the cargo and wood chips fly everywhere! Includes Harvey, two cargo cars, a spinning lathe tool and a wood chips accessory piece that clips onto Harvey's face.

Also due is Ben & the Cement Canyon which sees one of the China Clay twin engines re-introduced for the die-cast range.

This toy is based on the character from Thomas & Friends, and encourages the development of gross motor skills, as well as sensory and thinking skills. It also encourages imaginative play.

Spills & Thrills is coming soon to US DVD from Lionsgate Entertainment.

'The Thomas Way' and 'Spills and Thrills' for UK DVD

The first new DVDs for the United Kingdom in 2014 have been confirmed by amazon.co.uk.

The new year will see The Thomas Way and Spills & Thrills make their way onto UK release, sometime after hitting the US.
Way's disc is to run at 61 minutes while Spills will contain an extended runtime of 70 minutes.

Episodes from the 17th Series are to be revealed in due course alongside the usual helping of extras.

The Thomas Way and Spills & Thrills from Hit Entertainment hit UK DVD shelves on January 27th and March 31st 2014 respectively.


Thanks to SteamTeam for the alert.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Hamleys begins Tracks4Thomas Christmas campaign

Hamleys paved the way for a new Thomas & Friends campaign for charity in the UK today.

The toy retailer's London store in Regent Street opened its doors to the public who were greeted by The Fat Controller to share and present activities.

It began the first leg of a Christmas Journey tour which sees Thomas and Sir Topham delivering presents to children's hospitals in aid of charity, en route from Hamleys stores.
The idea stemmed from Thomas' origins as encompassed in The Railway Series, as the website's blurb states; Rev. W. Awdry created Thomas the Tank Engine as part of The Railway Series to cheer up his son when he was sick.

In the same spirit, Thomas & Friends are celebrating Christmas this year by undertaking an epic journey to help The Fat Controller deliver presents to children in hospitals across the UK and Ireland.

The Thomas & Friends UK facebook and Twitter pages are encouraging users to post and share all about the Tracks4Thomas campaign which will lead to virtual tracks being built in order for the journey to reach its next destinations.

Cardiff is scheduled for November 17th with Glasgow and Dublin following on the 24th and December 1st respectively.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Thomas named 34th greatest kids show by Channel 5

Thomas & Friends has been voted the 34th greatest kids TV show in a new UK TV poll.

The franchise, represented by remastered clips of Edward and Gordon and Thomas, Percy and the Dragon, took the spot in Channel 5's three hour 50 Greatest Kids Shows countdown, which aired on November 8th.

Blue Peter was eventually awarded the top spot. Veteran presenter of itv's Tiswas and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Chris Tarrant, questioned the signing of Ringo Starr as the first storyteller.
I wonder at what point you go, " I know who we'll get to be the voice of Thomas the Tank Engine, let's ring Ringo Starr! And also I wonder at what point he went, "That's a great idea, I'll do that".

Phillip Schofield of This Morning fame and former CBBC presenter meanwhile mocked The Fat Controller; I don't know, are you allowed to say The Fat Controller anymore? Probably not. I bet health and safety would stop that.

They'd be outraged at that, you probably can't say that. The Overweight Controller, The Controller with Food Issues.
However, some viewers were frustrated at the show's ranking. @HollowSte tweeted, Top 50 kids tv shows ever and Thomas the tank engine is only at 34? And bunker grove (Byker Grove) is higher? Absolute disgrace!

@JamieCharnley95 followed withOutraged that Thomas the tank engine is 34th, while @roaddoGCaliG was more supportive; Thomas the Tank Engine = Greatest Cartoon Ever!!

Sooty, another long-running children's TV stalwart, ended up 42nd with Basil Brush in 35th and Teletubbies at 23. Thomas was previously 26th in a similar poll run by Channel 4 in 2001 for their 100 Greatest Kids Shows programme.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

'Tale of the Brave: The Movie' logo unveiled in book

The official logo aiding the next Thomas & Friends special has been witnessed in a new book.

Tale of the Brave was announced by Hit Entertainment in October to premiere in 2014. Its logo has since been used on the cover for the Thomas and the Monster book.
Thomas and James are also depicted on the cover, appearing to run away from a mysterious engine.

The special's synopsis reads; When Thomas spots some giant footprints his friend Percy quickly becomes convinced that there is a monster on the island.

When an unusual engine, with sloping boilers, first appears, Percy believes he must be the monster but the new engine proves to be a good friend and ally. He even helps Percy discover what it really means to be brave.

Another four books, along with the aforementioned, are to be published in the US for July 2014.

Tale of the Brave: The Movie is coming soon to DVD in 2014.

Thanks to SteamTeam for the alert.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Railway Stories makers AudioGO enter administration

It has been reported that The Railway Stories audiobook producers AudioGO have gone into administration.

The makers of the Michael Angelis narrated audios of The Railway Series, suspended business actions after irregularities in finance emerged on October 22nd.
Following the departures of 57 employees including managing director Mike Bowen and financial director Bradley Whittock on the 28th of the same month, AudioGO filed for administration.

Member of administrator BDO, Mark Shaw, explained the problems that arose within the company; Significant accounting issues and the consequent working capital requirements at AudioGO led to it being insolvent.

Unfortunately, there was no other option at this stage but to place the remaining UK business into administration as no suitable buyer could be found.

The BBC owned producers of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Lord of the Rings and Doctor Who audiobooks, were in the early stages of planning a seventh volume of The Railway Stories for 2014.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Thomas & Friends UK channel launched on YouTube

A dedicated channel for Thomas & Friends fans in the UK has opened on YouTube.

Under the name Thomas & Friends UK, the channel has been made available on the social video website since August.
Certain clips from the original Thomas YouTube have been carried on over such as existing music videos, Learn with Thomas segments and Guess Who? puzzles narrated by Mark Moraghan.

New clips promoting the Merry Christmas, Thomas! & Big Bang Surprise DVD bundle however, were uploaded earlier this week.

Channels for fans in Latin America, Portugal and Japan are also available with all of the aforementioned, bar Japan, adding new content every Thursday.