Thomas and Friends kicking goals with the AFL
The Bellarine Railway’s Tho-mas the Tank Engine and the AFL recently collaborated in an international first by creating four short cartoons following Thomas and his friends on their Australian adventures.
AFL superstars gave voice to the characters. Former Richmond Tiger Matthew Richardson as Shane the Train, an Australian character introduced in the last Thomas & Friends movie ‘The Great Race’ and Brisbane Lions AFLW player Sabrina Frederick-Traub as 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 as it embarked on content creation with a high-profile international pre-school brand.
Mattel/Thomas & Friends Director of Marketing in Australia, Chedney Rodgers said it was a fun opportunity to bring Thomas to Australia while partnering with an iconic brand sharing the same values of friendship, teamwork and participation.
In the first episode released in July, Thomas arrived at the historical Flinders St Station and was met by his friend, Shane the Train, who needed 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 into the AFL way of life.
Episodes can be viewed on YouTube and across AFL and Thomas & Friends channels. The other three episodes will be released in August and September.