ITV Readies for Thunderbirds’ 50th

ITV Studios Global Entertainment is developing a 360-degree promotional and licensing program to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic “Thunderbirds” TV show in 2015.

“The 50-year history of the Thunderbirds Classic brand and its amazing, enduring heritage brings with it huge retail awareness and confidence, consumer loyalty and demand for new content and products that is genuine, organic and simply cannot be engineered,” says Trudi Hayward, senior vice president, global head of merchandise, ITVS GE. “With our sights set on the milestone anniversary and a new television series in the pipeline for 2015, I’m in no doubt that Thunderbirds presents a compelling long-term commercial opportunity for our partners.”

The celebrations will start at the Glastonbury Festival June 29, where Juwhere Charles Hazlewood’s All Star Collective will perform a special set written by the late British film and television composer Barry Gray, who was responsible for creating much of the music for the original series including the “Thunderbirds” theme song.

ITVS GE is also expanding its Thunderbirds Classic licensing program as the anniversary approaches.

There are now 20 Thunderbirds Classic licensees in the U.K. and another 20-plus internationally across key categories including gifting (Paladone Products, Vibe Centre, Tartan Squirrel), alarm clocks and accessories (Bunkerbound) and figurines (Robert Harrop) as well as the popular Agents’ Technical Manual from Haynes Publishing. A range of special products and limited editions based on new artwork will launch in 2015.

New licensees include:

  • Titan Entertainment for a series of Classic Thunderbirds Titans, manga-style vinyl figures, which will be available worldwide in March 2015.
  • Jumbo Games for adult puzzles in the U.K. and Ireland including two collector’s edition gift boxes and two 1000-piece puzzles that will feature iconic artwork fro the series. The first collector’s gift box will launch January 2015.
  • Modiphiusis for a Thunderbirds co-operative tabletop board game that will launch worldwide in September 2015. The company will use the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter to develop products and drive presales.

All of this activity will be heightened by the arrival in 2015 of the new children’s series “Thunderbirds are Go!” on ITV and CITV.

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