In conjunction with the upcoming live-action feature, Carlton Licensing has sealed deals for new THUNDERBIRDS merchandising. The most recent deal is with FOCUS DIY, featuring collectable THUNDERBIRDS rescue vehicles and badges. The promotion will raise funds for the Meningitis Trust. The badges will be available six months before the new movie hits theaters for a minimum donation of £1. The DIY chain has a long running partnership with the charity and hopes that the collectors badges will help raise more than £100,000 for the Meningitis Trust in 2004. All funds raised by FOCUS DIY go toward the Trust's 'Support for Life' appeal, aiming to raise £4 million over the next two years to provide support to people affected by meningitis.
Additional promotion for the film will come from toy merchandising deals with Bandai, Hasbro, MV Sports, Feva and Impact International. Promotional activity is planned with major high street retailers. In the U.K., THUNDERBIRDS promotions will tie-in with Corgis new FAB1 car, Slow Dazzles 2004 calendar and new collectable trading cards from Cards Inc. For Japan, products include Takaras range of radio control vehicles and distribution of Vivids toy line; Bandais new range including fabric and toy lines such as die-cast vehicles and Mega Bloks sets, new publishing for children and adults, and a new biscuits and cakes range. In Australia and New Zealand, Burger King/Hungry Jacks has featured THUNDERBIRDS in their Christmas kids meal promotion, featuring four character bobble-heads.
Carlton Licensing is the licensing arm of the Carlton Communications group, a media rights owner and rights distributor for a range of broadcasters and independent producers, including Carlton Television, Carlton Factual, Carlton America and U.S.-based Carlton Productions LLC. It is one of the largest rights distributors in Europe. For more information, visit www.carltonplc.co.uk.