I was contacted a few weeks ago to see if I would review a licensed children’s toy. Winston being a massive Thomas & Friends fan meant that it was a no-brainer. I’m not really sure how he became such a fan – I blame my Dad for buying him a Thomas jumper which he instantly loved. He will often walk around the house saying: ‘Thomas…and friends’.
I have a huge aversion to plastic toys and all things battery powered – they make me cringe for some reason – so I was really happy to discover that a wooden range of Thomas the Tank Engine toys is also available. We were sent the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Coal Hopper set to review and eagerly awaited its arrival. I knew he would love it.
- Thomas with one carriage
- 1 x coal hopper and 1 x piece of coal
- 2 x ramp sections
- 3 x straight sections
- 12 x curved sections
- The great thing about this particular set that although it looks quite small and simple it challenges a child’s motor skills in lots of different ways:
- There is working out how to put the pieces together at all.
- Working out how to build a formation that actually joins.
- Negotiating the building of the ramp section.
- Taking Thomas through the tunnel.
- Putting the coal in the hopper.
- Lining up Thomas’ freight carriage to receive it.
- The toy is meant for 3+ years but it is definitely the type of toy that younger children will love too. Winston couldn’t work out how to make the track join – he was getting quite frustrated and needed some reassurance along the way…but he has still played with it for ages every day since we received it. I’m sure it won’t be long until he has worked out how to join the track, which then means we can move on to creating the suggested figure of 8 formation.
- He loves putting the coal in the hopper and pressing the button to make it land in the carriage.
- He loves taking Thomas through the tunnel too.
- It doesn’t take up too much room – which is great if you’re like me and hate looking at toys once your little one is in bed.
- It is easy to expand if you want to buy some more track pieces.
Not so much…
Like I said I knew Winston would love it and from a child’s perspective there is absolutely nothing to fault. He plays with it for ages and tries and tries again to get the pieces to fit together. He loves the coal hopper and the added excitement of the tunnel. My one grumble is a very boring adult one:
- I was slightly disappointed that the ramp section of the track was plastic. I really didn’t expect it to be in there as the picture on the Argos website shows a wooden ramp section, which is misleading. It makes the set look a bit random and will affect the overall longevity of the toy.
Playing with trains obviously warrants the wearing of wellington boots! Why do kids love them so much?
This Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Coal Hopper is available from Argos for £44.99 which includes free delivery.
Disclaimer: We were sent the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway & Hopper train set free of charge for the purpose of this review. All of the words and opinions are my own.