HiT Entertainment is the owner and production company of Thomas & Friendsfrom the eighth to the twentieth seasons. They also helped to finish the seventh season.
HiT was originally formed as Henson International Television (hit!) in 1983 as a branch of the Jim Henson Company in order to coordinate the co-production of Fraggle Rock in London, England, United Kingdom. This subsidiary was later sold and retains none of the original Henson company architecture except for the name. It later re-branded itself as "HiT Entertainment".
They aquired Gullane Entertainment in 2002. Then, Gullane was purchased and went defunct in 2003. After Hit purchased Gullane, it produced their own series of Thomas episodes and merchandise. HiT acquired the television rights for Thomas and Friends in 2002, during the airing of the sixth season and the filming of the seventh.
On 1 February 2012, it was announced that Mattel purchased HiT Entertainment from Apax Partners for $680 million (US).
In May 2017, HiT Entertainment merged with Mattel Playground Productions, forming Mattel Creations. As of mid-2018, Mattel no longer uses the HiT Entertainment brand name for shows and their website redirects to Mattel's website. 9 Story Media Group took their role of their distribution for some of the DVDs. HiT Entertainment still, however, exists as a copyright holder for shows and merchandise.