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Upper Deck Debuts Thomas & Friends Trading Cards

The Upper Deck Company, in conjunction with HIT Entertainment, is pleased to announce that it has just released the first trading cards of the #1 preschool property and long-running television show Thomas & Friends.

Thomas the Tank Engine

Press Release from The Upper Deck Company

Carlsbad, CA – The Upper Deck Company, in conjunction with HIT Entertainment, is pleased to announce that it has just released the first trading cards of the #1 preschool property and long-running television show Thomas & Friends. Entitled “Thomas & Friends Sodor Adventures Collectipak,” the 18-card set includes cool stickers, tattoos and pop-up cards of the most lovable characters from Thomas & Friends including Thomas, Percy, James, Emily, Sir Topham Hatt and more.

“Upper Deck is thrilled to be releasing this set of cards featuring Thomas & Friends,” said Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s Thomas & Friends brand manager. “It’s our pleasure to join in on all the fun that this No. 1 preschool property brings to the table for youngsters around the globe."

Targeted to kids between the ages of three and six, the fun, collectible trading cards from Upper Deck will appeal to Thomas & Friends fans of all ages. The premiere installment of Thomas & Friends Collectipak™ is an easy-to-learn activity based on the travels of Thomas and his engine friends on the Island of Sodor. Youngsters will journey around the island with Thomas & Friends and help their favorite engines get back to Tidmouth Sheds.

In future releases of Thomas & Friends trading cards, Upper Deck will launch additional products including stand-up trading cards and sticker trading cards based on the popular preschool property* which is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. The second Thomas & Friends trading card release from Upper Deck is scheduled to hit the market in November 2010.

Thomas the Tank Engine was created by a father for his son in 1945 and today is enjoyed by families in more than 185 territories in over 30 languages through books, DVDs, live family events, on TV, online and in toys. Later this year, Thomas is moving full steam ahead with the debut of an all-new CG animated television series in the U.S. with new friends and new adventures.

“The distinctive engine characters of Thomas & Friends lend themselves perfectly to trading cards, and Upper Deck is the perfect partner to launch this new line,” said Gabriela Arenas, Vice President, U.S. Consumer Products – Thomas Division, HIT Entertainment. “This is a fun way for kids to collect their favorite engine friends, and we look forward to working with Upper Deck to expand the Thomas & Friends world in this category.”

About Upper DeckUpper Deck is the leading sports and entertainment trading card and collectibles company. For more information on Upper Deck and its products please visit www.upperdeck.com.

About HIT EntertainmentHIT Entertainment is one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights-owner. 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 and Japan, 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 Sprout, and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

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