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Thunderbirds products take off

Merchantwise, Sydney, 14 July 2015: Merchantwise, ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s appointed licensing agency in Australia, is delighted to announce strong toy and DVD sales, and a host of new licensing and retail partners for hit TV series Thunderbirds Are Go in Australia.

The reboot of the classic TV series, produced by ITV Studios and New Zealand-based Pukeko Pictures in collaboration with world-famous Weta Workshop (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Avatar) premiered in April and is consistently attracting over 200,000 viewers on Channel 9’s GO! Season 1, consisting of 26 x 22’ minute episodes, is currently airing and Season 2 has been commissioned.

The master toy line, produced by Vivid Imaginations and distributed by HeadStart, launched in Australia in June and has been flying off the shelves at all leading toy retailers including Myer, Toys R Us, Big W, Target and independents. The range includes vehicles, action figures and a deluxe Tracy Island Playset. Roadshow Entertainment is also enjoying strong sales of the first two DVD titles, comprising of the first 13 episodes and bonus school book sticker sheets.

A variety of new partnerships brokered by Merchantwise will see the continued expansion of the brand in all leading categories at retail:

  • Publishing partner Hachette will launch story books, sticker books and activity books from August.
  • Major mass retailer Big W will launch apparel and accessories in September from new licensees Hot Springs and Vimwood. Apparel will include outerwear, sleepwear and swimwear.
  • Kinnerton has been appointed as confectionery partner for everyday and seasonal lines.
  • Bensons Trading has been appointed to produce showbags, Amscan will develop party goods and dress-ups, while Impact Posters will produce posters and canvas prints.
  • Australia Post is releasing a range of stamps inspired by both the classic and new TV series.

These new partnerships will enable a whole new generation of fans to engage with the brand, already deeply loved by parents and grandparents alike.
Merchantwise is a unique brand licensing and creative marketing agency headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with offices in Sydney and Paris. For over 15 years, Merchantwise has supported many of the world’s best loved brands across a sectors including entertainment and attractions, sports and leisure, retail and consumer products.
Merchantwise develops and manages innovative brand licensing and merchandising programs in Australia and New Zealand across the consumer age spectrum from infants to adults. Clients include ABC Commercial, ITV Studios, Studio 100, Moose Toys, SEGA, Twentieth Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Live Nation, Global Merchandising, Mars and Brown Forman.
Visit www.merchantwise.com for more information.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment:
ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) is one of the world’s leading international TV distribution and consumer products businesses. The consumer products division brings together home entertainment, promotions, licensing and publishing under one umbrella, with the merchandise and publishing operation bringing brands to life off screen, working with licensed partners and retailers to bring quality products to consumers. ITVS GE’s successful and diverse portfolio includes ITV Studios brands like the new, groundbreaking reimagining of Thunderbirds, Thunderbirds Are Go, Classic Thunderbirds, Hell’s Kitchen USA and Come Dine With Me and properties such as Super 4, Playmobil®, Cut The Rope, Matt Hatter Chronicles, Digimon Fusion and Village People for which ITVS GE acts as agent.
Part of ITV PLC, which includes the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV Studios Global Entertainment has offices in London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Sydney.
Pukeko Pictures:
Pukeko Pictures is an independent entertainment production company focused on the development and production of excellent quality multi-platform entertainment for a global audience.  Pukeko Pictures was formed in 2008 by Sir Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Martin Baynton, and is located in Wellington, New Zealand. With a connection to the world famous Weta Workshop (Avatar, King Kong, Lord of the Rings), Pukeko Pictures is uniquely positioned in the creation of world-leading entertainment, harnessing the best in global talent and world-class production processes. Weta Workshop is not to be confused with Weta Digital, the VFX company owned by Peter Jackson.

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