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Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends product design documents

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 112.6095
The Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends product design documents contain archival materials which accompanied a donation of prototypes and completed Fisher-Price Thomas the Tank Engine toys, created in 2010 and 2011. Additional scope and content information can be found in the “Contents List” section of this finding aid.

The Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends product design documents are arranged into one series. These materials are housed in one archival document box.


  • 2010-2011


Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, he has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 box)


The Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends product design documents contain drawings and notes corresponding to three Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends products. These materials are dated between 2010 and 2011.

Historical Note

Thomas the Tank Engine made his literary debut in 1946 in Reverend W. V. Awdry’s The Railway Series. Awdry, an Anglican clergyman, created the series (and a wooden toy) to entertain his son, Christopher. The long-running success of the books resulted in a television adaptation entitled Thomas & Friends, which premiered in the U.K. in 1984. (An American show called Shining Time Station, began in 1989 with borrowed sequences from the British Thomas & Friends.) The first seasons were filmed using live action models of toy trains; later seasons were animated. Thomas, a tank engine painted blue with red lining, has been featured in additional books, movies, television programs, licensed toys, and other merchandise, along with his many transportation-focused friends from the Island of Sodor.

In 2010, Mattel acquired the license for Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends-related toys, now distributed under the Fisher-Price line. Fisher-Price also renamed the old Ertl “Take Along” line of die-cast train models to “Take-n-Play.” This toy series re-released old character train models with improved appearances, in addition to introducing new train play sets.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Thomas & Friends product design documents, 2010-2011

Custodial History

The Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends product design documents were donated to The Strong in September 2012 as a gift from Thomas Maguire. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 112.6095 [Activity ID 11455], as part of a donation of completed Thomas the Tank Engine products and prototypes.



Finding Aid to the Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Product Design Documents
Julia Novakovic
18 December 2013
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)