DVD/Blu Ray (199) Toys/Games (160) TV Series (126) Movies (123) Broadcasting (82) Events (72) Books (67) Websites (53) Cast (42) Interviews (41) Crew (36) Features (36) Worldwide (35) iTunes (28) Music (25) Railway Series (23) Media (17) YouTube (15)

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Exclusive: Hit Entertainment on Railway Stories return

Hit Entertainment have discussed candidly the renewal of The Railway Stories audiobooks.

The seventh volume in the Rev. W. Awdry adapted audios is in the planning stages under new owners Random House Audio.
Speaking to Roll Along Thomas in April, a spokesperson for Hit expressed their enthusiasm for the continuation.

We are very excited about the return of the Thomas & Friends Railway Stories. However, we are still in discussions with other audible partners and therefore unable to share more at this time.

In October 2013, the series' future encountered a bleak phase when former producers AudioGO entered administration before Random House's subsidiary took over the BBC arm a few months later.

The next volume, chronologically, will have Mountain Engines, Very Old Engines and Main Line Engines being told.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

nickjr. to show 'King of the Railway' on UK television

2013 special King of the Railway is set to be broadcast on nickjr. in the United Kingdom.

The movie preceding Tale of the Brave will appear on the digital channel this week for the end of May.
It introduced The Earl with Millie, Stephen and Mainland engines Connor and Caitlin to the series.

New Years Day saw King's terrestrial premiere first seen on Channel 5's milkshake! block.

King of the Railway: The Movie airs on nickjr. in the UK on May 31st at 10am.

Thanks to Hawk01 for the alert.

Season 13 and 14 stories in fifth Awesome Adventures

Two episodes from the modern era are to appear on Hit Entertainment's next brands DVD.

For the UK, Mighty Messes is the fifth volume in the Awesome Adventures collection.

Four of Hit's shows including Thomas and two episodes from the 13th and 14th Seasons fill the 84 minute feature.
Episodes include;
Thomas & Friends in
Thomas and Scruff and Splish Splash Splosh.
Fireman Sam in
To Outfox a Fox and Stuck in the Muck.
Bob the Builder in
Start from Scratch and Super Scrambler.
Mike the Knight in
The Flying Corgis and The Big Swap.

It follows a similar version seen on US DVD in June 2013 instead opting for two Season 13 episodes.

Awesome Adventures: Mighty Messes from Hit Entertainment hits UK DVD shelves on July 21st.

Thanks to Hawk01 for the alert.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Arthur and new Talking engines join Take-n-Play range

Arthur is to come back in die-cast form under Fisher Price's Take-n-Play line.

The large tank engine first introduced in the Seventh Series is new to the merchandising series. He sports a brighter running board and specially designed artwork on his packaging.
Logging Loco Ferdinand is too re-introduced after companions Bash and Dash and a Misty Island Spills & Thrills themed pack.

As part of the franchise, the Talking characters range has been gradually increased, bringing in classics Edward, the Troublesome Trucks, Spencer and Diesel 10.

Modern engines Belle, fiery Flynn and Paxton are also applied with fresh additions Hiro and Den incoming.

The Take-n-Play products from Fisher Price hit UK, US and Australian toy shelves now.

Thanks to Bass Tbone and Lightninging63 for the alerts.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Bachmann responds to Hornby Thomas franchise state

The Thomas & Friends model rail products in the UK are still owned by Hornby, it has been reported.

The HO and further gauge line was thought to have been axed in the new year when chuFFers.com divulged on its apparent demise, leading to Hornby responding in February.
In a post by The SiF Blog, an update has been issued concerning possible involvement from Bachmann, with Hornby appearing to still hold the rights.

Bachmann, holding a licence to produce G scale products within the UK, have approached the licence owners to see if they could supply the OO/HO products into the UK as the current licence was expiring on 01 April 2014.

They have been advised that the licence for that remains exclusively with another manufacturer.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Season 18 episodes and new character teased for book

Two new stories due to appear in a US book title have been teased for the 18th Series.

A 2 in 1 release called Dinos & Discoveries/Emily Saves the World is being published by Random House for January 2015.
The latter cover depicting Emily pulling a flatbed of a prop globe of the earth appears to form a new still.

Thomas however is seen with an unknown green engine behind a prehistoric landscape for a Dinos promo shot.

A previous double book installment of Spills & Thrills/No More Mr. Nice Engine for Season 17 was made available earlier this year.

Season 18 meanwhile is on course for an autumn broadcast in the US and in fall 2014 for the UK.

Dinos & Discoveries/Emily Saves the World from Random House hits US book shelves on January 6th 2015.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Railway Series illustrator Gunvor Edwards dies at 80

The Railway Series alumni Gunvor Edwards has passed away at the age of 80, it has emerged.

One half of the Edwards, Gunvor and her husband Peter were responsible for the illustrations of some of the Wilbert Awdry books, starting with Stepney the Bluebell Engine through to Tramway Engines.
Gunvor died earlier this year on April 23rd losing a battle with dementia. Her daughter Martina wrote a eulogy on her mother's website earlier this month taking a trip down memory lane. 

Born in Sweden in 1934, Gunvor went on to design artwork for childrens books Tiger-nanny, Cat Samson and Mrs. Pepperpot's Outing.

Her contributions to Books 18 to 26 of The Railway Series were most notable for her and Peter's impressionistic style. She leaves behind her husband and six children.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Exclusive: Hit explains UK and US DVD format changes

Hit Entertainment have revealed the reasons behind format changes to recent DVD releases.

2014 saw a shift in focus with the brand's DVDs, reflecting the TV series' fresh continuation in Season 17.

In late January in the UK, The Thomas Way's associating credits were removed in between episodes, allowing a better flow through its feature.
In March, rumours proved true when Spills & Thrills became the first regular US DVD to be presented in widescreen, continuing with Trouble on the Tracks.

On the now popular changes, Hit spoke with Roll Along Thomas about the initiatives, starting with the US.

As most TV households have televisions that show programing optimally in widescreen, we are pleased to offer Thomas & Friends in a widescreen format that best showcases our content.

Their answer also applied to the UK market; We work closely with our distributor to release content in formats that best suit the needs of our fans and consumers.

Last week saw Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced as the successors to Lionsgate Entertainment, distributing future US DVD releases beginning in October. 

Friday, 2 May 2014

'The Complete Series 15' UK DVD receives front cover

The Complete Series 15's cover for UK DVD has been published by amazon.co.uk.

Coming three years after its first broadcast, the full 2011 season will arrive as a single disc release in July.
The cover takes a step back from Series 14's instead opting for an orange colour as opposed to a blue cloudy sky background.

A shot of Thomas, used for this May's Really Useful Collection, is placed on the artwork.

An approximate 200 minute duration is applied featuring all 20 episodes. A Complete Series 16 is confirmed to follow.

The Complete Series 15 from Hit Entertainment hits UK DVD shelves on July 7th

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Universal Home Entertainment takeover US DVD range

Universal Studios Home Entertainment have been announced as the new distributors for future US DVDs.

The deal, announced today, with Hit Entertainment will oversee new releases made by Universal taking into effect from October 1st.
Tale of the Brave's DVD is among the new titles to be helmed by the studio, set for a fall 2014 dating

The takeover ends Lionsgate Entertainment's tenure as distributors after an eventual six year stint. Hit's other brands such as Barney & Friends, Pingu and Kipper are part of the move. 

Universal Home Entertainment's President, Eddie Cunningham, spoke of the initiative.

Pairing Hit's superior entertainment properties with Universal's formidable home sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure effectively positions our companies for an enduring and prosperous collaboration.

Hit's Vice President of The Americas, Sid Marthur, gave his thoughts; With its strong expertise in content distribution, we are thrilled to partner with Universal to distribute and market Hit's preschool franchises in North America.