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Thomas & Friends Pull Into iPad in Time for the Holidays

Callaway Digital Arts (www.callaway.com), interactive publisher of premium children’s and lifestyle applications for the iPad, today announced a partnership with HIT Entertainment that brings Thomas the Tank Engine to life on the iPad.

Press Release from Callaway Digital Arts

New York, NY – December 15, 2010 – Callaway Digital Arts (www.callaway.com), interactive publisher of premium children’s and lifestyle applications for the iPad, today announced a partnership with HIT Entertainment that brings Thomas the Tank Engine to life on the iPad. Misty Island Rescue, the first and only Thomas & Friends application designed specifically for the iPad, is available today in Apple’s App Store. This visually stunning, story-inspired interactive app is just the first in a series of applications the two companies will be creating together for the Thomas & Friends brand.

Based on the animated feature-length movie, Misty Island Rescue for iPad ushers the iconic blue engine into the multimedia era with a unique, dynamic iPad app where children can experience Thomas like never before. The app tells the popular story with vibrant multi-touch animation and narration and also includes engine and story-related sound effects, games, CG animated video and art activities, enabling children and families to engage in the story via multiple touchpoints.

“This is truly the ultimate Thomas experience,” said Callaway Digital Arts Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Nicholas Callaway. “The iPad is an entirely new medium. We’ve taken advantage of its breakthrough capabilities to create an immersive experience for play and learning. Our app tells the Misty Island Rescue story children already love and builds on it with interactive games, puzzles, video animation, and narration.”

Features of the app include:-          Vibrant CGI animation-          Interactive multimedia surprises-          Dynamic narration-          Engine games-          Animated puzzles-          Painting activities

“Thomas is an experiential brand, and Misty Island Rescue for iPad provides a unique and immersive experience that children and families will find completely new,” said Natasha Fishman, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Management and Digital Media, HIT Entertainment. “Combining the iPad’s advanced technology and Callaway’s creative and development sensibility, this app is a must-have for every Thomas fan.”

In Misty Island Rescue, Thomas leaves the Island of Sodor for the very first time to build a new Search and Rescue Center. When Thomas helps a friend in need, he is rewarded with an exciting trip to the mainland. Along the way, he gets lost at sea and finds himself on the mysterious Misty Island, where he meets new friends Bash, Dash, and Ferdinand. Together they discover the secrets of Misty Island and help Thomas find his way home.

Callaway Digital Arts recently announced a partnership with Martha Stewart and launched the Martha Stewart Makes Cookies for iPad. It is also known for its enormously successful applications based on the Miss Spider series of children’s books, Miss Spider’s Tea Party (for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) and Miss Spider’s Bedtime Story (for the iPad). Callaway’s in-house production studio brings talented storytellers, digital artists, and interactive designers together to create unforgettable apps for people of all ages.

Launched for the first time in 2010, Thomas & Friends mobile apps are extremely popular. In its first week of launch in the iTunes store worldwide, the Thomas Tilt and Go app charted as the #1 paid app for children in the UK and the #7 paid app for children in the US. In addition, the Thomas & Friends Game Pack, which was recommended by the Parents’ Choice Foundation, charted in the Top 10 paid apps for kids in the UK and the Top 25 paid apps for kids in the US.

Misty Island Rescue for iPad is available at a special introductory price of $4.99 from the App Store on iPad or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.  Callaway and HIT Entertainment will also be releasing Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue for the iPhone and iPod Touch in 2011.

About Callaway Digital ArtsCallaway Digital Arts (CDA) publishes premium lifestyle and children’s applications for Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod family of products. CDA’s in-house studio brings talented storytellers and digital artists together to create high-quality applications that leave a lasting impression on people of all ages. Funded by the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers iFund, CDA’s apps include Martha Stewart Makes Cookies, Miss Spider’s Tea Party, Miss Spider’s Bedtime Story, and (RED): The Lazarus Effect. For more information about CDA, visit www.callaway.com.

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, PBS KIDS SproutSM, and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

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