The AFL teams up with Thomas the Tank Engine

The Australian Football League has brought Thomas & Friends to Melbourne as part of a drive to attract more five to 12 year olds to the game.

The four-part series which will be shown on YouTube and Mattel’s and the AFL’s online channels follows Thomas and his friends on their Australian adventures with the first episode launched yesterday in Melbourne.

Thomas the Tank Engine teams up with the AFL

In the first episode, Thomas arrives at Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station where he meets his friend Shane the Train, who needs Thomas to help him transport some stranded Western Bulldog players from Footscray Station to the iconic MCG for a match.

Thomas quickly learns the local lingo and gets immersed in the AFL way of life.

Former Richmond Tiger Matthew Richardson voices Shane the Train, an Australian character introduced in the last Thomas & Friends movie The Great Race and Brisbane Lions AFLW player Sabrina Frederick-Traub is Tracy the Melbourne Tram.

AFL general manager of digital, growth and audience Darren Birch said this collaboration was the first of its kind for the AFL: “It’s so pleasing that Thomas and his friends will embark on adventures with Australian Football over four specially produced episodes.

“The creative development of the episodes with Mattel has truly been collaborative and we were so excited to have the opportunity to add two of our own voices, in Matthew Richardson and Sabrina Frederick-Traub, to characters,” Birch concluded.

Mattel/Thomas & Friends director of marketing in Australia, Chedney Rodgers said the collaboration was an exciting one for the brand: “We are incredibly excited about the multiyear partnership we are embarking on with AFL.”

The other three Thomas episodes will be released in August and September 2017 and an AFL spokesperson indicated to Mumbrella that the organisation is working on a number of other partnerships with major brands.


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