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HIT Launches New Licensing Strategy

At British Toy Fair in London, HIT Ent. unveiled 'HIT Favourites," a multi-brand licensing strategy to create a new range of products across all categories including toys and games, DVDs and books, based on the collection of HIT's popular brands.

The new premium product range will be branded under a new "HIT Favourites" logo. All products will feature a minimum four characters from HIT's core properties including BOB THE BUILDER, BARNEY, ANGELINA BALLERINA, KIPPER, THOMAS & FRIENDS, FIREMAN SAM, RUBBADUBBERS and PINGU.

HIT has already signed several new licensing partners for the new branded range with product expected to be in market throughout 2007. In the U.K., Tomy Yujin has developed toy capsules in prominent HIT branded cubes in counter display units and character options has developed puzzles, board and action games and card games.

Also in the U.K., Kinnerton Confectionery will be launching a seasonal range of confectionery for Easter 2007 which will include THOMAS, FIREMAN SAM, BOB and PINGU. Green's will be launching a cake mix under the "HIT Favourites" branding this year in all leading retailers.

Katie Rollings, vp consumer products and international marketing HIT Ent., commented, "'HIT Favourites' is a premium licensed brand. This umbrella strategy offers existing and new licensing partners an exciting way of working with our world class portfolio of brands. 'HIT Favourites' will ultimately secure greater on shelf visibility across the portfolio and drive awareness of the HIT brands to the consumer."

Additionally, HIT Ent. has strengthened its long-standing partnership with MV Sports with the renewal of two key wheeled toy licensing contracts for children's favorites BOB THE BUILDER and THOMAS & FRIENDS.

Rollings said, "MV Sports is a valued partner for HIT's premium brands BOB THE BUILDER and THOMAS & FRIENDS. For many years, the company has demonstrated innovation and fresh thinking with their range of consumer products. We look forward to further strengthening the product range in 2007."

MV's wheeled toy ranges based on the #1 and #2 boys preschool properties are available with authentic sounds and music from both hit programs.

Steve Grant, md at MV, commented, "HIT is a great organization to work with. They have a clearly defined strategy mapped out for all their properties, which helps licensees in terms of their long term product development programmes and sales presentations. We are proud to be associated with HIT on several of their key brands."

In addition to BOB and THOMAS, MV also have agreements in place for both FIREMAN SAM (wheeled toys) and PINGU (outdoor inflatable water play and tents), both of which are attracting strong interest from major retailers.

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Rick DeMott
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