The AFL has launched a second series of the Thomas & Friends collaboration, featuring a special guest appearance by Geelong’s Gary Ablett Jr. He is the voice of Gary the Ute.
This year, three episodes have been produced and centre around Thomas the Tank Engine returning to Australia to help find the missing AFL Premiership Cup alongside his friend Shane the Train, voiced by Richmond great Matthew Richardson. During his search, Thomas reunites with his friend Tracy the Tram who is now working in Adelaide and voiced again by Brisbane Lions AFL Women’s star Sabrina Frederick-Traub.
Series one, released in 2017, was an international first collaboration between the two brands.
AFL general manager for digital, growth and audience Darren Birch said: “We’re excited to release the second series of our collaboration with Thomas & Friends as the first saw over one million views of the four episodes. The partnership opened the AFL up to a whole new audience in Australia as well as internationally through the Mattel network.”
“The reception to having two familiar footy voices, in Richo and Sabrina, involved in the project was great, and we hope the addition of Gary Ablett Jr in series two excites fans both young and old.”
Mattel Australia and NZ MD Chedney Rodgers said: “It has been a pleasure for Thomas & Friends to partner with the AFL for the second year running. Together, the brands share mutual values of teamwork, respect and discovery, which we appreciate are of great importance to parents as well.”
The first series of Thomas & Friends’ AFL Adventure can still be seen on the AFL Kids channel on YouTube.