www.ThomasAndFriends.com (previous URLs: www.ThomasTheTankEngine.com and www.ThomasTheTankEngineAndFriends.com) is the official website of Thomas & Friends. The English website was launched in 1996 by The Britt Allcroft Company.
The first version of the site was created by NetSite Productions Limited.
In 2013, an official PBS Kids website of Thomas & Friends was created when the show started to air in the USA more often. The website was shut down on 31 December 2017 due to PBS no longer having the broadcasting rights to the show.
In 2015, the main website underwent a major overhaul. It now has two separate home pages for children and parents created by Moving Interactive, which had later been nominated for "Best Website for a TV Series" alongside its minisite for the special Tale of the Brave games and applications.
On November 19, 2020, the site underwent another major overhaul. More characters were given pages, whilst special animations for specific characters and voice clips were removed.
HiT Entertainment had also launched official Thomas & Friends websites in other languages.
List of all the official websites around the world
- United States of America
- United Kingdom (Parents)
- United Kingdom (Kids)
- Australia (defunct)
- New Zealand (defunct)
- Latin countries
- Japan (mobile, blog, online store)
- According to HiT Entertainment, the site has circa 23 million hits and 1.7 million visitors every month.
- Each official website was different at one point:
- The UK, USA and AUS sites featured special homepages for Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Carnival Capers, The Great Discovery, Hero of the Rails, Misty Island Rescue, Day of the Diesels, Blue Mountain Mystery, King of the Railway, Spills and Thrills, Tale of the Brave, Dinos and Discoveries, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure and The Great Race.
- The PBS site has featured instrumental versions of Streamlining, The Best Friends Express, and It's Christmas Time.
- On the US and UK Kids version of the website, an instrumental version of Never Overlook A Little Engine is played on the homepage.
- The Japanese website was launched in 1999 by Sony Creative Products Inc. Also, the official blog was launched in 2007 and is updated frequently.
- Recently, the Nickelodeon Logo is seen on the UK Parents site.
- Railway Series characters, including Wilbert and Culdee were also given their own pages, but are now no longer accessible.
- Sir Robert Norramby was originally titled Earl Robert. He is now currently titled simply The Earl.
- Because some characters share the same name, they go by a different name since the 2015 overhaul:
- For a short time, Smudger's picture was represented by Stuart, but was corrected to have an image of himself.
- Some of the voice clips on certain characters from the 2010 update are absent since the 2015 update. These include:
- On the Dutch website, Colin, Flora and Hank are listed in the Engine Depot. But because the twelfth series, the only season these characters appeared in, was never broadcast in the Netherlands, they may not be familiar to Dutch visitors.
- Molly's page shows her with her larger prototype face.
- In 2005, a two-minute clip from the beginning of Too Hot for Thomas was used on the website to promote the eighth series.
- In the 2010 update, Mavis' model series image from Toby's Afternoon Off was used in the Engine Depot instead of her CGI image.
- On 2 October 2013, Porter's photo was first published in an article introducing new characters posted on the Japanese official blog.
- Starting with Journey Beyond Sodor, the promos for all new characters onwards are no longer transparent and include the standard CGI countryside background.
- In 2017, Rosie's promos were updated to feature her new livery. So far, she is the only character to receive an updated promo after her pre-existing one.
- Captain's image is stretched.
- In 2019, Edward and Henry were shifted down with the rest of the characters due to no longer being part of the Steam Team (US website only).
- On the 1999-2000 website, Thomas drawn by Owen Bell has a running board that looks like a side plate.
- In 2003, HiT purchased www.thomasandfriends.com and the site was redirected to www.thomasthetankengine.com, but it did not function correctly due to a typo in www. It was resolved in November 2003 by redirecting to Thomas site within HiT.
- Most recently, when the mouse moves over the "Home" and "Engines" icons, Sir Topham Hatt says them with his original US voice, while his current UK/US voice is heard on the "Games" and "Videos" options. This is the case with both the UK and the US websites.
- On the current UK/US home page, Thomas and James are missing their side rods.
- On the UK website, when the "Meet the Earl" video clip was released on the King of the Railway minisite, the US version was shown. The same errors also occur on the video clips on the UK Spills and Thrills site.
- Mavis used the American term "cars" on the UK website before its recent update.
- The current "What's New" UK page shows a Thomas & Friends Live advert for Singapore, although Singapore is not part of the UK.
- For unknown reasons, the official French, Chinese and Korean websites were never shown on the flags page.
- Several characters are missing from the Japanese site, such as Bash, Luke, Winston, Owen and Merrick.
- On the Dutch Tale of the Brave minisite, in the activity to find Timothy, it says to remove the "autos" (the trucks) to see which engine is hiding. However, "auto" is Dutch for "automobile".
- The site title of the UK News page is incorrectly titled "Thomas de Stoomlocomotief: Nieuw". This is actually Dutch for "Thomas the Tank Engine: New".
- On the US website's front page, the Tale of the Brave clip of Percy rescuing James from the landslide was from the UK dub, as James had his UK voice.
- While Oliver's bio page features a picture and information on the engine of that name, it is incorrectly titled "Oliver the Excavator".
- Despite being made in full CGI, Donald, Douglas and Bulgy's pictures still show them in their model series forms.
- On the US website, Sam's bio section originally incorrectly listed Spencer's information instead of his own, but has since been updated with his correct information.
- In the 2005 website, Elizabeth is misspelt Elisabeth.
- Ryan, Skarloey, Rheneas, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Rusty, Skiff, Mike, Rex and Bert's promos show them off the rails. Duck's promo shows his right (viewer perspective left) wheels on the rails, but his left wheels are not. However, Skiff, Mike, Rex and Bert's promos were later updated so they were positioned onto the tracks.
- On the "Engines" page, Bertie, Butch and Jack are posed on railway tracks, although they are not rail vehicles. Sailor John was also originally posed on railway tracks, but the tracks have since been removed.
- On the "Engines" page, Mike, Rex and Bert are posed on narrow gauge tracks that are laid on top of standard gauge tracks, as the sleepers of the latter can be seen protruding from the sides of the former's ballast.
- Skiff is on his rail wheels, but he was originally not positioned on the rails in his bio section. He has since been moved onto the track.
- Diesel 10, Norman, Paxton, Sidney, Stafford and Toad are not on the rails.
- On the US website, 'Arry and Stephen's pages are not featured on some engine pages or the main engine depot but can still be accessed.
- Toad's bio incorrectly states that he is a 20-ton brake van.
- Despite not properly being on the website, Stephen's page, which can be found by changing the web address, mistakenly has Stepney's bio.
- Annie and Clarabel's promos have a few goofs:
- Clarabel is missing her guard's compartment.
- Both coaches are shown with their coupling chains sticking forward, but another chain can be seen hanging down.
- The 2015 website states that Henrietta is listed as one of the few characters without a face, but her promo shows her with her face as she gained one in the eighteenth series.
- The new King of the Railway characters, Porter and Alfie were on the site but since its most recent update, they have been removed for unknown reasons. Gator was also absent from the site since its most recent update, but was later added in an update in 2016.
- Characters who have been removed from the site such as Connor and Caitlin redirect back to Annie's page.
- Philip is incorrectly spelled as "Phillip" in his bio, but this was later corrected.
- A white line can be seen behind Emily in the 2015 update.
- Engines such as Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Emily, Whiff, Stanley, Spencer, Scruff, Salty, Mavis, Dart and Diesel have not had updated promos with their lamps.
- Thomas, Gordon, James, Percy, Emily, Bertie and Bulgy have not had updated promos with their Series 23 onwards details.
- Skiff is still in his brown livery.
- Gordon's bio describes him as the senior member of the engine family, when Edward is really the oldest.
- On the German website, Bulgy, Mighty Mac, Sailor John, the Troublesome Trucks, and Whiff have their English names and Philip's bio is not translated. Also, Rosie is still in her original lavender livery instead of her new red livery.
- Ivan and Etienne are emitting steam on the "Engines" page despite the two not being steam engines.
- On the Many Moods game on the PBS website when Toby blows his new whistle to warn Gordon to stop, he has James' whistle sound.
- During an update on the UK website, Emily incorrectly has her US voice.
- Spencer and Sam are incorrectly listed as belonging to a railway on Sodor.
- Beppe's page also previously had this problem, however it has since been fixed.
- In the Whistle and Peep game, Percy has Thomas' whistle sound and Molly has Stanley's. In that same game, Thomas and James' whistle sounds are different low pitched versions of Thomas'.
- In the Decorate Tidmouth Sheds game, Gordon has Edward's whistle sound.
- Newer characters are shifted to the top of the engine depot with the Steam Team. Despite this, characters introduced in 2015 such as Mike, Rex, Bert, Ryan, Skiff, Sailor John, and Sam, and Reg who was introduced in 2014 are still at the top as of 2019, despite other characters such as those introduced in Journey Beyond Sodor have since been moved down.
- Toby has Flora/Lady's bell sound in the 2015 update.
- When Beppe was first added to the Engine Depot, his link would redirect to Annie's page. This has since been fixed.
- As of 2019, Thomas, Percy and James still have their voice clips from when they were voiced by Martin Sherman and Kerry Shale respectively on the US site.
- On the Japanese website, Dowager Hatt is featured twice on the character page.
- The NHK website in Japan was introduced as "James the Blue Engine" in the March 2019 update, but it was immediately modified.
- On the updated 2020 website, Big Mickey's page uses an unofficial render of him from a modification of a Trainz game. Possibly for this reason, the Big Mickey page on the website has been removed as of late 2020.
https://web.archive.org/web/19980117091747/http://www.thomasthetankengine.com:80/ https://web.archive.org/web/19970704033611/http://www.thomasthetankengine.com:80/home.htm https://web.archive.org/web/19980629025051/http://www.thomasthetankengine.com/index.html