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The end of Thomas and friends from Plarail?
I have been doing some detective work after hearing rumors that Trackmaster is going global next year (2016), will this be the end of the TOMY/Plarail Thomas and friends line of toys?

In 2012 there was a bidding war over licensing rights for the Thomas and friends brand between TOMY and Mattel, TOMY won the bid. Mattel responded by buying HiT entertainment the company that owns Thomas and Friends. Mattel then seemingly withdrew the licensing for TOMY to make Thomas and friends toys. The wooden line and take along line was made by learning curve who are owned by RC2 who are in turn owned by TOMY. Mattel/Fisher price now makes both of these lines in house and has redesigned both ranges so that they own all the new designs and to reduce costs etc.

So...what is the story with the motorized lines? Is/Was there an agreement in place that Mattel/Fisher price could use all of TOMY's designs to create the Trackmaster line in other world markets? Thus allowing TOMY to continue the motorized line in the Asian market? Now that Mattel has gone "in house" with a new design of Trackmaster trains what is the fate of TOMY/Plarail producing the Thomas and friends motorized trains?

I have a bad feeling that the current wave or next wave could be the last, TOMY/Plarail did spend allot of money redesigning some engines but that means little as so did Mattel just months before switching over.

So does anyone know anything about this? Discuss!
[-] The following 3 users Like Ucwepn's post:
  • thehsvdude, FinnTDKMC,
Well that would certainly be a shame. At least Tomy would still make replica trains right? If this were true and Tomy was out of the Thomas line, then my dream is that Tomy has the time to get into new lines of real replica trains from around the world. I for one would like to see limited runs of F-Units from around the world in their original liveries.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
[-] The following 2 users Like Super's post:
  • plarailfan, thehsvdude

I'm actually quite concerned reading what you may have discovered, @"Ucwepn".

I do not want the TAKARA TOMY Corporation to discontinue their Thomas & Friends Plarail line, as they have quality and over 20 years of putting smiles on everyone's faces with their products.

There would be no market for these "revolution" designs, as most collectors would flock to any auction site in order to snag any TrackMaster 1.0 items-- from cars to engines, the prices would go up, and it could mean the end of collecting for some members here, myself included.
Residential train-afficionado in training, and Thomas & Friends fan.

It would be prudent to stock up so to speak. It really would be sad if this is the case...
Similar " rights " battle going on between Hornby and Bachmann for the 00 stuff . Bachmann assumed that Hornby would let their deal lapse but when they enquired about Uk and other Euro rights they were told in no uncertain terms where to go . It would appear Hornby despite their problems renewed their deal and are set to launch again . Let hope they do a better job this time but I think they will have a long way to go to beat Bachmann .

On the Tomy front the writing was on the cards when the N gauge Tomix range disappeared despite great sales and interest over serious design flaws .
[-] The following 1 user Likes Tootally Thomas's post:
  • Thomasengineandjames67
(05-08-2015, 02:25 AM)Ucwepn Wrote: It would be prudent to stock up so to speak. It really would be sad if this is the case...

It would be a travesty, and tragedy, if the TAKARA TOMY Corporation were to cease production of the Thomas & Friends line; dealers would also lose consumers as well.

Nothing against Fisher-Price but, and this is just my personal opinion, the only time the TAKARA TOMY Corporation had actual competition from a foreign company was during HiT Toys' reign.
Residential train-afficionado in training, and Thomas & Friends fan.

[-] The following 2 users Like HankAmericanEngine's post:
  • Ucwepn, ROCKINATOR
But why was this Bidding started in the beginning ?
Because a license is sold for a set period . Bachmann / Hornby rebid every three years . Mattel don't have the know-how to make the electric ranges but they do have the battery market everywhere except Japan so for them it makes financial sense and when you are haemoraging money like they are new markets make sense.
first signs of madness again .....
Well I am torn...
On one hand, collecting both Plarail & Fisher Price models has become quite a financial burden to remain current...if I could eliminate only one it would undoubtedly be FP!! I would miss the Plarail variations and quality, and at least 1/2 of the fun of collecting would be lostSad
On the other hand, if prices were to go through the roof over this...well, that's where the "investment" in collecting liesSmile

I've accepted that the old FP are really gone now too...
Same as HiT will never shine again eitherSad
If Plairail folds, as with all things that eventually come to an end in life, I will be happy to have known them and cherish thier memory, and relish what I have!!Smile

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!!
Play nice & have fun!!Smile
[-] The following 1 user Likes Muddy Poppins's post:
  • Ucwepn
Are we saying that Plarail is folding? I thought that it was just that they may not be able to renew their license to create the Thomas brand trains. Would be terrible to see them close up shop entirely. One thing I give this new Trackmaster line credit for is that they are putting out new character models very fast. I assume that is because they all have the same chassis.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Super's post:
  • thehsvdude
(05-08-2015, 09:52 AM)Tootally Thomas Wrote: first signs of madness again .....
Two people with no previous form on Ebay bidding against each other. Why why why?
And if you search Murdoch you will find 3 buy it now's ranging from £10 - £39.99 . And a really good website has it for £20 .
[-] The following 1 user Likes Tootally Thomas's post:
  • thehsvdude
If you step back and think, which I had all day to do, you can see that if plarail thomas gets shut down, the huge majority will go to online auctions. And in turn, TM will have to either A) hand over licensing to plarail
B) TM will be shut out due to high costs and Tomy can come scoop up the licensing and restart making plarails.
C) TM will hand over licensing to HIT and will end up back in TM 1 HIT toys.
So if any of these are right, this could be the sign of a start to new, better beginning
Proud owner of Tomy/Plarail trains. Cool
[-] The following 1 user Likes ROCKINATOR's post:
  • thehsvdude
Wishful thinking? Undecided
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Super's post:
  • Muddy Poppins

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