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HIT Ent. Ramps Up New Apps, Websites For Top Pre-School Brands

HIT Entertainment, one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners, is set to ramp up its digital portfolio with a host of brand-new apps which will launch Autumn/Winter 2011 across some of its most popular pre-school brands.

Press Release from HIT Entertainment

18 OCTOBER 2011, LONDON:  HIT Entertainment, one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners, is set to ramp up its digital portfolio with a host of brand-new apps which will launch Autumn/Winter 2011 across some of its most popular pre-school brands. Both ‘Bob the Builder’ and ‘Fireman Sam’ will launch with their first ever mobile apps and ‘Thomas & Friends’ will expand on its app portfolio with two new releases, including ‘Day of the Diesels’, a story inspired app which follows on the heels of the DVD’s global release, and a ‘Thomas & Friends: Engine Activities’ game app. In addition, HIT plans to launch brand new CGI-look websites for  ‘Bob the Builder’ and  new property ‘Mike the Knight’ which will offer fans a unqiue and immersive online experience through interactive games, video and  content.

New ‘Bob the Builder’ Apps and CGI websiteHIT has teamed up with P2 Games to develop and publish the first ever mobile gaming app for ‘Bob the Builder’ which launches in Apple’s iTunes App stores worldwide for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users in Winter 2011, with the prospect of Android and other mobile platforms to follow. Also in development is a ‘Bob the Builder’ book app being  produced in partnership with  Big Play Company.  Inspired by the CGI episode, ‘Muck’s Train to Trouble’, this universal app is positioned as a global release and will be available for purchase in the iTunes app store this November.

A transformed  ‘Bob the Builder’ website (www.bobthebuilder.com)  is also set to launch in the UK this October with a fresh CGI look. The website, developed by Funny Garbage, will include a new integrated video player, plus enhanced games, projects and activities.

First Ever ‘Fireman Sam’ AppThe first ever ‘Fireman Sam’ mobile gaming app from P2 Games will  launch for the  iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad this Winter with the prospect of Android and other mobile platforms to follow. Inspired by the popular TV show, this new app features 6 ‘Fireman Sam’ games where the players take on the role of a fire cadet in training. New ‘Thomas & Friends™: Day of the Diesels’ AppThe launch of two new ‘Thomas & Friends’ apps continues the award-winning* collaboration between HIT and Callaway Digital Arts. A brand new ‘Day of the Diesels’ book app will launch on  Apple’s iTunes App Store this month and will provide kids and families with an immersive interactive reading experience. Thomas fans can read, watch, listen and play with multi-touch animation, CGI video, painting, puzzles and games.  Tapping into the heart of the brand, Callaway and HIT have also partnered on a new  Thomas & Friends game app ‘Engine Activities’, due for release in December, where users will receive three activity bundles, consisting of animated puzzles, match card games and painting fun.  This game app will also feature in-app purchase, offering users instant access to more Engine fun.

Fans of the website and the new Thomas DVD special ‘Day of the Diesels’ can also look forward to a new online game which is currently being developed by Very Memorable and is set to launch on www.thomasandfriends.com later this year.

Brand-new ‘Mike the Knight™’ WebsiteDeveloped by Primal Screen with Nelvana and HIT, the all-new Mike the Knight website (www.miketheknight.com) will launch globally late October 2011. This innovative website will invite children into Mike’s magical world, offering a range of exciting new content such as animated sequences and a video player which will feature on each of the character’s pages, playing montages and songs created exclusively for the website.   In addition, there will be games, activities, printables and much more for fans to enjoy.

Commenting on this breadth of new digital offerings, Natasha Fishman, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Management & Digital Media at HIT Entertainment said:

“HIT is dedicated to ensuring its preschool brands are fully represented across consumer touchpoints.  We are thrilled to be expanding our Digital portfolio with Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Mike the Knight as well as enhancing our Thomas & Friends offering.    These exciting new apps and websites serve to further enrich and extend the overall brand experience we deliver to our audiences”.

·         In May 2011, HIT and Callaway launched Thomas & Friends™: Hero of the Rails, which raced to the number-one spot on the I Tunes App Store’s Books chart.·         Preceding that, Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue was released in December 2010 to great acclaim, winning Children’s Technology Review’s Editor’s Choice Award as well as being selected as “Best in Show” at Kidscreen’s first iKids App Showdown.·         In June 2011, HIT and Callaway launched Angelina’s New Ballet Teacher, an interactive story app based on the CG animated series, Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps.  This story inspired app was recently featured in the US iTunes App store as “New and Noteworthy”.·         In September 2011 the companies launched a second Angelina app Angelina Ballerina’s Bubble Pop! continuing the award-winning collaboration between HIT and Callaway.

About HIT EntertainmentHIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment’s Fifi and the Flowertots™ and Roary the Racing Car™ in North America, as well as Wallace & Gromit™, Shaun the Sheep™, Timmy Time™ and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations.  HIT also acts as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan.  HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, Sprout®. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

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