Thunderbirds Are Go!

by Jay Cochran
December 23, 2003

Bandai Acquires Worldwide Master Toy License for Upcoming Film from Universal Pictures and Working Title Films

October 27, 2003 - Bandai Co., Ltd announced today that they have signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group (USCPG) as the master toy licensee for the upcoming theatrical presentation, Thunderbirds. From Universal Pictures and Working Title Films, Thunderbirds is a live-action feature film based on the hit British television series of the 1960s, which followed the perilous exploits of the Tracy family. Thunderbirds, starring Bill Paxton and Sir Ben Kingsley, is slated for release on August 6, 2004.

Under the agreement, Bandai Co, Ltd. will develop articulated action figures (3” - 12”) with related accessories including toy weapons, playsets, dioramas, roleplay gadgets and vehicles, as well as candy toys, plastic model kits and capsule toys. Additionally, Bandai is licensed to produce stationary items, die cast toys, block toys and prize toys for Japan and Asia Pacific. The products are scheduled to hit shelves by June 2004.

About Thunderbirds

When dangerous situations exceed the limitations or ordinary military and international security forces, the world calls upon the high-tech assistance of International Rescue-a mysterious band of fearless adventurers and their fleet of awesome, imaginatively-engineered vehicles known as: Thunderbirds!

Hidden from the world, Tracy Island, a lush patch of land situated in the remote waters of the South Pacific, is home to brilliant entrepreneur and former astronaut Jeff Tracy (Bill Paxton) and his five sons. It is also the headquarters of Tracy’s top-secret organization, International Rescue - and it is under siege. Master criminal The Hood (Sir Ben Kingsley) has breached island security, intent on commandeering International Rescue’s fleet of five highly-advanced rescue vehicles, each designed to accomplish a specific task. Deploying Jeff and his four eldest sons on a mission, The Hood finds his plans obstructed by Jeff’s youngest son, Alan (Brady Corbet), who will do anything to save the Tracy family and the Thunderbirds.

Directed by Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: First Contact, Clockstoppers) from a script by William Osborne (The Scorpion King) and Michael McCullers (Austin Powers in Goldmember, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me), Thunderbirds was filmed on location in The Seychelles and the UK.

Working Title Films has a long-term agreement with Universal Pictures. Universal Pictures in turn has an agreement with StudioCanal, whereby films produced by Working Title are distributed in the United States through Universal Pictures and internationally through Universal and StudioCanal.

Universal Studios Consumer Products Group has all associated consumer products rrepresentation worldwide for Thunderbirds, while Carlton Licensing, the classic rights holder to the original television series, represents USCPG in the UK and Ireland.

About Universal Studios Consumer Products Group

Universal Studios Consumer Products Group (USCPG) is responsible for global licensing and retail strategies as well as building brand recognition of the extensive catalog of Universal properties. USCPG is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Vivendi UNIVERSAL Entertainment (VUE) (, the U.S.-based film, television and recreation entity of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.

About Bandai Co., Ltd

Bandai Co., Ltd. ( is comprised of 27 subsidiaries in 8 countries. In addition to toys and children's entertainment, Bandai Co.'s global interests include video game software, multimedia, music and full-length feature films, vending machines, trading cards, candies and licensed apparel. Bandai recognized Consolidated Annual Sales of approximately 2 billion US dollars in Fiscal Year 2003.


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