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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Railway Series illustrator nominated for heritage award

An illustrator credited for his work on The Railway Series has been recognised for a Green Plaque Award.

The artist John Theodore Kenney is among those nominated for the posthumous prize in Leicestershire, UK.
The plaque awards figures from the city who have lent heritage to the region with voting open till April 7th on the city council's website.

Kenney lent his illustrations for six books from 1957's The Eight Famous Engines until 1962's Gallant Old Engine.

Also part of the shortlist is Henry Wills, printer and founder of Ladybird Books. The company is known to Thomas fans for adapting the first two television series in book format during the 80s.

Thanks to SiF for the alert.

Bachmann Thomas models and more in 2014 catalogue

Bachmann have revealed the first images of their upcoming models for the Thomas & Friends range.

The model maker's products for the year are seen in their 2014 catalogue, with Jeremy, the Red Coaches and the new resin buildings among those due.
Included are images of Arry and Bert in their HO guises while the fourth creation of a Troublesome Truck takes on a green livery.

A new listing however shows a Round Water Tower accessory joining the US range.

The Thomas & Friends 2014 range from Bachmann hit US model and hobby stores later this year.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

'Tale of the Brave' confirmed for September DVD debut

The Tale of the Brave feature-length special is set to be released on DVD for September 2014.

The special is confirmed to appear as a DVD/Blu-ray combo in the US for the Autumn month.
Revealed by Mattel's brands website, a similar release date on DVD may follow for the UK.

An alternate synopsis of the movie reads; Join Thomas & Friends for a brave and exciting new adventure on the Island of Sodor in a tale of friendship and courage.

After a storm closes in on the island, Percy catches a glimpse of some mysterious footprints leading Thomas & Friends to embark on a spooky investigation filled with close calls and courageous teamwork.

With the help of his engine friends, Percy must learn to muster the courage to face the monster on the Island of Sodor.

Tale of the Brave: The Movie hits US DVD/Blu-ray shelves in September.

Thanks to Thomas Stansfield for the alert.

China Clay Works returning in 'Tale of the Brave' movie

The China Clay Works are to return to the series in the next special, Tale of the Brave.

The feature-length special for 2014 is to use the location after last being seen in the Fifth Series and was formally teased in its trailer.
Its comeback was confirmed at Toy Fair 2014 in New York, where the Wooden Railway product Thomas' Fossil Run utilises the Works now referred to as the Sodor Clay Pits.

Parenting site Growing Your Baby, who were present at the event, explained the practicalities of the set in a YouTube video; This is a beautiful set, very elaborate. Its got some lovely decals, multiple levels, 360 degrees of play.

We have Thomas at the Sodor Clay Pits, this is one of the key iconic locations from the tentpole [movie].

We're calling out those tentpole items by highlighting those locations that are actually in the tentpole to differentiate them from the other items.

Thanks to Oliver267Studio for the alert.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Series 18 confirmed for 'Trouble on the Tracks' US DVD

The 18th Series is confirmed to appear in an upcoming US DVD from Walmart this spring.

The 2014 season will mark its debut on the Trouble on the Tracks release from the retailer. Its cover sees Thomas amongst a clutter of Troublesome Trucks.

Five episodes featuring Thomas, HenryAnnie and Clarabel, Diesel, Salty, the Troublesome Trucks and Paxton will appear alongside the now official return of Toad the Brake Van.
Episodes include;
Thomas the Quarry Engine
Not So Slow Coaches
Flatbeds of Fear
Disappearing Diesels
Toad's Adventure

Extras include;
The Earl's Quiz
Guess Who?
The description reads; Cinders and ashes…there’s trouble on the tracks for Thomas and his friends!

The Troublesome Trucks delight in causing chaos for Thomas, as Annie, Clarabel and Toad encounter unexpected high-speed adventures.

Oily Diesel gives Paxton a fright, while Salty’s spooky story has the engines running scared. All Aboard for fun and exciting escapades with Thomas & Friends!

Trouble on the Tracks from Lionsgate Entertainment hits US DVD shelves in Walmart stores only on April 8th.

'Tale of the Brave' Wooden Railway images released

Images of the Tale of the Brave Wooden Railway models have been published by The Train Cellar.

The products, part of the 2014 range from Mattel, tie-in with the release of the hour long special.
Gator, Marion, Timothy and The Scrap Monster serve as newcomers to the wooden franchise with Reg and Percy at the Scrapyard to be available as a set.

A Fossil Discovery add-on coincides with packs including Thomas' Fossil Run, James' Roaring Delivery and Oliver's Fossil Freight.

Specialist items such as Merrick and the Rock Crusher, Tidmouth Tipping Bridge, Lumber Yard Waterfall Adventure and a Lights and Sound Ironworks follow suite.

The 2014 Thomas Wooden Railway range hits UK and US toy shelves later this year.

British voice cast tease 'Tale of the Brave: The Movie'

Two members of Thomas & Friends' voice cast have given hints towards the latest feature-length special.

Tale of the Brave, due later this year, is to introduce four new characters to the series in the forms of Gator, Marion, Timothy and Reg.
Today saw Teresa Gallagher tweeting her wrapping on the upcoming special; Well, that's Annie and Clarabel recorded for the next Thomas & Friends Special. Exciting guest actor voicing new character!

Narrator Mark Moraghan last week joined in on the hype when answering a fan's query; Yes it's a good one!

Returnees appearing in the story include Stanley after one series away and Oliver who was last seen in the 12th Series.

Tale of the Brave: The Movie is coming soon to UK and US DVD.

Red Coach and Red Brake Coach join Bachmann range

Bachmann have announced the full line of new Thomas & Friends products due for their range.

The 2014 lineup will see new resin buildings mark their debut alongside the long promised models of a fourth Troublesome Truck, Jeremy, Arry and Bert after being named a full year ago.
New products for HO will now include Sodor's Red Passenger and Brake Coaches according to the official Bachmann messaging board.

In the Large Scale range, the Red Open Wagon and Cream Tanker introduced in the Eighth Series are also due alongside the previously assumed Blue Open Wagon and Raspberry Tanker.

The Thomas & Friends 2014 range from Bachmann hit US model and hobby stores later this year.

Thomas Wooden Railway range earns dedicated website

The Thomas Wooden Railway line is to receive its own dedicated website later this year.

The upcoming portal will house offers and details from the range customised train sets and personalised engines.
A product catalogue and a mail subscribed Data Transfer Catalogue are to coincide with the website's launch in the summer. A new Sodor Story collection featuring four engine and book sets are also for creation.

The push, taking the range into bigger territory, was agreed between Hit Entertainment, Mattel and Fisher Price at the start of February.

Fisher Price's Executive Vice President for Global Brands, Geoff Walker, spoke of the move.

Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway originally launched through the specialty channel, giving the brand both heritage and equity as a premium franchise.

That, along with the property's rich storytelling, presented Mattel with an opportunity to drive both direct-to-consumer product sales, as well as generate incremental mainline product sales by diversifying distribution.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

'Tale of the Brave' DVD and playset seen at Toy Fair

The Tale of the Brave: The Movie DVD and a new playset have been revealed at Toy Fair 2014.

The annual US event brought in the 2014 special's DVD release, with its front cover of Thomas and a worrisome Percy and James biding through the story's quarry setting.
Showcased was the latest playset from Fisher Price for their Trackmaster range, Avalanche Escape, which includes Thomas as the starring vehicle.

Laurie Leahey of Time to Play Mag, who was present at the New York event, gave a brief overview of the Trackmaster set.

The motorized Thomas engine [goes] up vertically a 30 degree incline. Lots of cool action points and lots of cool features for pre-schoolers who want to play out the action and adventure from the DVD.

Tale of the Brave: The Movie is coming soon to UK and US DVD.

'All About' engine books heading to UK and Australia

A retrospective line of books on the engines of Sodor are to be published in the UK and Australia.

The All About series will examine the facts of Thomas, Percy, Edward and James to be available as individual titles.
Hardie Grant, Egmont's Australian subsidiary who already publish Thomas & Friends books for the latter and the UK, are to release the four All Abouts at the start of May.

Boasting amazing facts, stories and quizzes and over 50 stickers, the retrospectives are spun-off from 2011's The Big Book of Engines.

The All About books from Hardie Grant Egmont hit UK and Australian book shelves on May 1st.

'Really Useful Collection' DVD boxset due for UK May

A boxset featuring three UK DVDs is to be released for the country in late May.

Really Useful Collection is to collate together three existing releases with 12 episodes ranging from the 13th to 15th Seasons.
2011's Thomas in Charge! is joined by the 2012 discs Up, Up & Away! and Rescue on the Rails.

The set brings in a run time of 163 minutes with a host of extras from the trio also included.

Really Useful Collection from Hit Entertainment hits UK DVD shelves on May 26th.

'Spills & Thrills' Season 17 DVD release for New Zealand

Season 17 DVD Spills & Thrills is to be released for New Zealand in early March.

The six episode disc featuring the 2013 season is due on the same day as Australia's dating.
Away from the Sea, The Smelly Kipper, No More Mr Nice Engine, Gone Fishing, Thomas' Shortcut and The Afternoon Tea Express are the episodes included.

It will come in the usual carry me casing used as a prominence for both countries' DVD releases of Thomas.

Spills & Thrills from ABC for Kids hits New Zealand DVD shelves on March 5th.

Thanks to Dieselworks123 for the alert.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Hornby gives statement on Thomas & Friends range

Hornby have commented on the future of their Thomas & Friends range in the United Kingdom.

The HO model railway line was reported last week to have ceased production since December 2013.
Issues with supplies and an annual loss of £1 million are suggested to have attributed to its end.

In a statement responding to fan queries, Matt Jordan of Hornby's Customer Care declared the state of the situation.

We are currently reviewing the Thomas range. Please keep an eye on the web site for more information when this becomes available.

The range, born in the mid 80s, saw its last set of products arrive in 2012. New products have not appeared on the model maker's recent 2014 catalogue.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Bachmann Jeremy and new buildings images published

Bachmann are to bring out new resin buildings to their Thomas & Friends line in the US.

Joining the incoming Arry and Bert and a Troublesome Truck this spring are Jeremy and scenery add-ons.

Images released show the jet plane's model along with a Signal Box, Brendam Warehouse, Maithwaite Station and Black Loch Folly.

The products, according to fans, bore strong resemblances to the Hornby range, questioning the future of UK Thomas model rail.

The new Bachmann products hit US model and hobby stores this spring.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

'Railway Mischief' Walmart DVD gains regular release

Walmart's very own Railway Mischief DVD will return to the United States as a regular release.

The debut Season 17 DVD gave fans the first glimpse of the 2013 season and was available exclusively in the US through the popular retail giant.
It is now scheduled for a wider release in April with amazon.com noting the inclusion of a bonus poster.

Gordon Runs Dry, Kevin's Cranky Friend, Scruff's Makeover, Wayward Winston and Steamie Stafford are the episodes featured with Sodor Hide and Seek Game, All You Need Music Video and Guess Who? as extras.

Railway Mischief from Lionsgate Entertainment hits US DVD shelves on April 15th.