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'Thomas & Friends' adds character with autism

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Posted at 2:11 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 14:11:38-04

The iconic Thomas & Friends franchise is getting a new character.

Bruno is the first character to be featured with autism. Mattel Television says Bruno was developed in collaboration with organizations, as well as writers and spokespeople with autism.

"Bruno rolls in reverse at the end of the train, which gives him a unique perspective on the world," Mattel said in a press release.

Bruno has several character traits, including being detail-oriented and enjoying a routine.

“Bruno’s introduction organically embraces a global audience that is underrepresented and deserves to be celebrated in children’s programming,” said Christopher Keenan, an executive at Mattel. “So much care and thought went into the development of his character, and we can’t wait for audiences to meet and love Bruno as much as we do.”

Bruno will make his debut when season 26 of "Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go" premieres on Sept. 12.