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Tomy Thomas & Friends Aqua Draw

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30 Reviews

Brand: Tomy / Type: Drawing / Age: 3 Years+

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    30 Reviews
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      21.03.2012 22:18
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      A good item if on offer

      We brought this for Lauren when she was about 14months old as it was on offer at £10.

      She loved watching Thomas every morning before she went to the childminders so we though this was ideal.

      You get a large mat, a Thomas shaped 'dobber', a pen and a roller. You simply fill then up with water and make marks and patterns on the mat. As the water dries, the marks fade and you can start again.

      To start with, she loved to make patterns and run the roller over the mat and found it quite amazing when the pictures disappeared, saying 'gone' and holding both hands up! (I love it when kids do that!) however it wasn't long until the novelty wore off and it was probably only used about 10 times in total. My childminder does a lot of arts and crafty things with Lauren so I found she would rather use crayons than this.

      I would recommend before you put it away, you let the mat completely dry, we made the mistake of not doing this and the next time we got it out, it smelt quite fusty.

      The RRP is around £30, it can be found on offer for about £15 (Toys R Us have had at this price for around 4months now)

      The product is recommended for ages 3 plus, however by the time Lauren was three, she was more interested in using real pens and keeping her pictures to show grandma etc. The some of the parts are small however if using under supervised play, I think you could give it to children under 3.

      Would I buy again? Yes, but only on offer, I think £30 is a bit steep for a mat and some markers.

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      01.08.2010 13:49
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      Thomas and Friends Aqua Draw

      Thomas and Friends Aqua Draw was a Christmas present to my Son from my Sister in Law. Last December he was 18 months old and a little too young to appreciate it, however now that he is over 2 years old and loves trains he now makes use of this Aqua Draw and enjoys drawing tracks and squiggles.

      Thomas and Friends Aqua Draw is made by the company Tomy and is a large mat measuring 105 x 90 cm which allows children to draw on the mat using water, which means good clean fun as there is no ink, brushes or paint to run. In the box you will find a battery powered Thomas the Tank Engine toy train, a mat, track roller and track pen. Thomas Aqua Draw retails for around £34.99 and is suitable for children of 2 years old and above.

      To use Thomas Aqua Draw simply fill the pen with water and you are ready to draw and create your favourite Thomas characters or scenes. You can also use the roller pen which, when filled with water, draws a train track on the mat. To activate Thomas just turn him 'on' and the water sensors on the bottom of the train follows the track you have drawn. As the train follows the track, Thomas whistles, chuff's and beeps a tune. Then, magically the tracks and any drawings your child has made on the mat will disappear as the water dries and the mat can be used again and again, therefore there is no mess.

      Thomas Aqua Draw is best used on a smooth, hard, flat surface. I have used it on the rug, but it's not as effective as the sensor doesn't pick up the tracks well. Also it's better that you draw the tracks slowly so that it ensures an even impression for Thomas's water sensor to follow.

      Now for my opinion on Thomas Aqua Draw. According to Tomy, as Thomas moves around the mat he should whistle, chuff and play the Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune, however the tune which has a few 'beep beep's' in it doesn't even play the Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune, which is disappointing. There is only one word to describe the tune: Annoying. It is so annoying that it becomes irritating after 10 minutes or so.

      Moving on to Thomas following the tracks. Thomas is supposed to follow the tracks made using the track roller and/or pen but this is where Thomas has a tendency to do his own thing and wanders around the mat all over the place (even if the track has left a good impression on the mat). It doesn't take long for my Son to get frustrated by this and can't seem to understand why Thomas is not going where he should be. When Thomas wanders I tend to draw back over the tracks to ensure they are wet so that the sensor picks up the track, but it makes no difference. It seems that Thomas won't follow the track unless it is a perfectly straight line. In the end it's a case of leaving Thomas to go where he pleases. The Aqua Draw mat is large and after use I fold it away, but before using it again I try to smooth out any kinks in the mat, as this sometimes helps Thomas stay on track.

      The only advantage of the Aqua Draw is that is allows my Son and I to draw pictures using the pen, without getting paint and pens everywhere. Don't get me wrong, we love messy play as it's important for his development but sometimes it's nice to be able to draw without having to do all the cleaning up. Also, if it stops him from being tempted to draw on the walls, then that's a bonus. My Son seems fascinated that the pictures/tracks fade once the water is dry (after 10-15 minutes) and we get to start over again.

      Overall the Tomy Thomas Aqua Draw only gets 2 starts from me. The only real advantage is that my Son is able to draw as much as he likes on the mat and he likes watching the train follow the tracks, even if this is only for a short period of time. As mentioned above, the negatives of the train not following the tracks consistently and the annoying tune reduce the star rating for me.

      Tomy also sell other versions of the large Aqua Draw including: Rainbow, Disney Cars, Dora the Explorer and In the Night Garden.

      For more information, please visit: www.argos.co.uk

      Thanks for reading xx
      © sweetdaisy 2010

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        31.07.2010 16:49
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        Overall a very nice toy that the boys love.

        Age level:
        Listed for age 3+, but I found it suitable much earlier. I believe the age listing is a precaution on the off chance a child were able to break a wheel or other part off the train and swallow it. As long as there will be supervision I would recommend this toy from 18 months up.

        This toy includes:
        A large plastic backed mat, which I would estimate is a bit over a metre wide. As you can see in the picture it has a Thomas the Tank border and a white drawing area, which develops a bit of greenish tint with age.
        A water filled roller which draws train tracks for Thomas to follow.
        A water filled pen for drawing.
        Battery operated Thomas the Tank engine to follow tracks.

        Our opinion:
        My sons (ages almost 2 and 5) both love this toy. I had read some reviews stating it was hard to draw the tracks properly, even for adults which originally put me off buying this. Finding it for £2 at a boot sale, I decided to chance it. I found the train had no trouble following the tracks laid by my sons. While the littlest sometimes lifted the roller while drawing leaving a blank space, the oldest could easily draw loops for the train to go on continuously. I did find you need to be sure the roller is primed, which is done by adding water directly to the top and pushing the roller or pen tip up and down a couple of times. After that it works perfectly.

        Both boys have enjoyed playing with the train quite a bit, but the youngest also loves just drawing on the mat. You can even use sponge shapes for added fun. It does take awhile to dry unless you can hang it outside, but will dry outdoors in under an hour even if soaked.

        I like the fact that they can have fun painting and playing with this, with no fear of a mess. This was especially good for us as we used it on holiday, while staying in a relatives static caravan. It is also nice in that you are not using up supplies like paper and paints, all you need is a bit of water. The only thing I found awkward about it is that the pen and track roller screw on and off the opposite of normal things so when you think you are tightening the caps you are really loosening them. It does take awhile to get used to.

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        12.12.2009 16:47
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        All in review

        My two daughters love drawing but at the ages (at the time when this product was bought) 1 and 3 years old, you know what it is like pen goes everywhere. My bedding has been drew all on and also the girls bedroom walls. Not very happy at this I thought about buying an Aqua Draw for a little while.



        Due to circumstance in my life I ended up in a woman's refuge me and the children was there through the Christmas period. I was very shocked on Christmas day to walk down stairs to the living room and find a big black bag full or presents for me and the two children. It is was a Thomas the tank Aqua Draw not ideal for little girls at it is more a boys one but the girls loved it and thought that it was great.



        The mat that the children draw on is made out of white plastic material with a border of trains round the edge. It comes with a pen that you can draw whatever you wish and another pen that has got train tracks on it. You roll it over the mat to reveal tracks and you put Thomas the train on top on it and it follows the tracks that you have drawn. It is suitable for ages 3 years and over although my daughters were clearly younger than this but they still had lots of fun with it.



        Thomas requires 2 x AA batteries, I would advice that instead of spending lots of money of batteries that next time you are passing a £ shop that you pop in and but some there. You can get a pack of 12 for £1. Great value and the batteries last for around 8 months.



        The only downside to this is that if the mat has lots of drawing on it poor old Thomas gets confused where he is going and doesn't follow the track which he is meant to. It also takes around half an hour to dry which let's be honest here kids waiting half an hour waiting to dry can be a bit of a headache.



        I would recommend this product as it saves pen going everywhere. With Aqua draw if pen does go everywhere it is only water and that is much easier cleaned. But do bare in mind the down side to the product before buying it.



        You can find this product in the ARGOS catalogue for £29.99. Quite expensive for drawing equipment but then again if like my children, your children have issues with thinking that it is funny to upset mummy or daddy with drawing everywhere it is cheaper than replacing the things that they have ruined.



        I would rate this product 7/10. I would just like to take the opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read my review. I hope that it was of some use to you.

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          13.08.2009 20:20
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          will be keeping this for when my youngest looks like she wants to draw on the walls.

          y review here is on the large Thomas aqua Draw not the mini mats.
          My son received this when he first started to grab my pen and looked like he wanted to start mark making, like other parents we decided if we didn't get something like this then the magnolia would suffer!
          The idea is simple, a large fabric mat and a "pen" that you fill with water. The water acts as a "ink" that reacts when it comes into contact with the matt and hey presto you can draw on the matt but not on the shag pile! The set also contained a roller to make train track marks and a Thomas train that would follow the track the child drew. To be honest we found the train didn't follow the track very well and my son got bored (maybe we had a duff one?) but the pen was great. Really good to fold up small and take to granny's and on holiday without freaking all the time he was going to make a mess.

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            10.08.2009 14:20
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            A good purchase for Thomas fans but dries out quickly

            We bought this mat when it was on offer on Amazon last Xmas at £15.99. (a great way to use your dooyoo vouchers)
            My 3 children all love Thomas (even though my oldest claims he is to old for it) so when I seen this I thought it would be great for the 3 of them to play with. We have the small Aquadraw Princess mats that we keep in the car and they have always been a favourite.
            This Thomas mat is really big and the 3 of them can easily fit round it. It has a nice bright Thomas dessign around the outside and comes with a roller which produces a track print and a pen. Simply fill each with water and as the water hits the mat surface its like they are drawing but as the water dries out the marks disappear as if by magic, meaning they can draw again and again and again. When you pull the roller and it makes the track print Thomas magically follows it where ever it leads to. This can work well but the track cant have any sudden corners or Thomas gets a bit lost.
            The Thomas theme tune that it plays can be annoying but the kids like it and they copy the train noises that it makes.
            My kids give this a thumbs up but unfortunately it only comes with 1 pen and 1 roller so children tend to fight over then. We have spare pens from previous mats so we use them too.

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            30.06.2009 03:33
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            Brilliant! A well recommended present for all parents/grandparents!!

            This product really is every parents dream. Who ever invented the aqua draw deserves a nobel prize.

            The concept is simple, yet ingenius, there is a matt, which measures approximately 41" by 35", so it is a decent size. There are also 2 pens provided, one 'normal' pen and another which makes a 'track'.
            And did I mention A thomas the tank, that magically follows the track lines that your child draws??

            The pens are simple to use, you just unscrew (and it is clearly labelled on each pen which way to open and close them!!) then top up with water and pop the lids back on and you child is ready to draw on the matt. Because the product uses only water there is NO mess. The water reacts to the matt to create a green colour, its a bit similar to the magic painting books that only used water. This is handy because chilren cant hurt themselves by eatin them, and they cant 'decorate' you walls for you!

            I bought this product for my sons 2nd birthday, depsite the age being 3+ he managed with it fine.

            Your child can spend hours drawing train tracks for thomas, flowers, trees birds, funny faces, they could even practice their writing using the pens, and because of the special formula in the matt, the drawings just fade away.

            There are a couple of down sides though, the first being that if your child draws a picture that they are particuarly proud of, (or something you especially like) you had better get the camera out quickly! The other down side, well actually its more like advice, DONT spill water on it, it can take ages to dry out, (it does eventually). Also the thomas train does not move as well when the matt is on a carpet, a flat surface is much better.

            The thomas figure requires 2 x AA batteries, and it plays the theme tune whilst it moves around the track.

            All things considered, this is a great choice for any parent, especially those with budding artists and would like a safer option as opposed to crayons /felt tip pens.

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              14.06.2009 22:19
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              good idea needs a little work on the pen and price

              Tomy Thomas & Friends Aqua Draw

              I brought my daughter this for Christmas when she was two I thought if got her the Thomas one I dad would play with her with it he a not a big drawing fan but a really big train fan. The mat retails at around £30

              The idea of the product

              The aqua draw mat is good clean fun, aqua draw has no ink, or paint to run get get all over the house.

              You fill the pen with water and you're a good to draw. You can draw a master piece with the pen and the picture will disappear when the water dries for your little artist to start all over again.

              With the Thomas & Friends Aqua draw you get a special roller that you fill with water and you can draw a train track on the mat in any shape you like. The then you have a magic Thomas train that will follow the track you have drawn while playing the Thomas theme tune.

              My little girl and husband loved drawing the track and letting the train follow the track, tho I did find the mat took a long time to dry.

              When using the pen I did not find it easy to get the pen to write on the mat the water just really didn't flow out nicely and when I did get it move it came out two fast so I was not impressed with the pen.

              Over all I would say it's a good idea, the pen needs a little work and maybe the price is a bit high

              Also my top tip for any one buying this if make sure you bring the train in from the garden at night, without me know my daughter left the train on the patio one night and it started to rain. At 3am we were woken to the Thomas theme tune out the garden where the train was following the rain water around the garden

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                10.05.2009 15:58
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                A lovely way to encourage your child's creativity

                I'm all for encouraging my toddler's creative streak. I'd just rather it didn't extend to redecorating my living room walls with his crayons (unfortunately a frequent occurrence in our house - those bath crayons were a BAD buy), or involve me spending three times as long setting up a painting activity and cleaning everything afterwards, than he actually spends painting. Therefore, the Aquadraw concept has been perfect for meeting his needs to express his creativity. We have a range of Aquadraw products - from the little Peppa Pig and Teletubbies mini mats where scribbling over them with a water-filled pen brings a faded picture into vivid colour, through a portable folding set which is perfect for travelling, and finishing with the large Thomas the Tank Engine Aquadraw which he received as a Christmas present.

                For those who are unfamiliar with the basic concept of the Aquadraw range, it involves filling a chunky pen with water and using the spongey tip of the pen to draw on the special plastic mats. It is an activity which requires a minimal amount of setting up (i.e. unfolding the mat and filling the pen with water), creates no mess and can be tidied up quickly. In my opinion, this makes it a fantastic concept - after all, I'm always looking for a creative way to entertain my toddler which doesn't result in a trashed living room.

                The Thomas the Tank Engine Aquadraw comes in a large blue box, containing the folded up mat, a Thomas train, a roller which is used to make the train tracks and a normal Aquadraw pen for drawing with. The box itself is fairly large, but you can easily take out the contents and store then somewhere which doesn't take up so much space.

                To play with the toy, the first things you need to do are to unfold the mat and lay it out on a flat surface (usually the floor), and fill both the pen and the track roller with water. You can then start to draw. There are two ways of using the Thomas Aquadraw. The first is simply as a large blank canvas for drawing on - you can draw using the water-filled pen and it will leave blue lines on the mat. When the mat dries, it will return to it's original white colour and your child can start drawing all over again.

                The second way is the most exciting - especially for children as obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine as my son. Using the track roller, you can design your own train track on the Aquadraw mat and put the special Thomas train down on this track. Once switched on, Thomas will follow the track line that you have drawn while playing the Thomas theme song. My son has been playing with this toy for months now and never fails to be amazed by the fact that Thomas is following the track that we have drawn - once the track dries, the Thomas train will become confused so you need to draw a replacement track to set him off again. The way in which Thomas follows the track is magical - I can't work out how he does it although I'm assuming it's some kind of inbuilt sensor - but for a small child it is amazing to watch.

                Although I think overall this is a great toy, there are a couple of definite drawbacks with it. The first is that my little boy finds it difficult to draw the track himself - he gets very frustrated trying to make tracks with the roller and I end up having to do it for him. Obviously, this is good in that it makes us spend time playing together, but he would love to be able to do it by himself having a strong independent streak. However, the toy is labelled as suitable for 3+ and my little boy is only 2 and a half, so maybe he will gtow into being able to do that. The second issue is that it is harder to draw the track on a carpeted surface - I've noticed that it works much better on the laminate in our conservatory than the living room carpet, so if you don't have anything other than carpeted floors, it might be worth bearing that in mind.

                The recommended retail price for this product is £29.99 but it is currently available on Amazon for £22.00. I think it is worth the money as it is a toy that my son comes back to time and time again.

                Overall, I would highly recommend this product alongside others in the Aquadraw range. There is also a girly equivalent which is the Cinderella Aquadraw where Cinderella and her Prince dance along a pathway of stars, but for a small, Thomas the Tank Engine fan, I think the Thomas Aquadraw is a great buy. It's worth it just to see his face as Thomas heads off round the track seemingly by magic.

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                  12.01.2009 22:12
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                  good for little ones and also babies

                  I must confess that I didnt buy this toy brand new but rather second hand through a childs toy fair. The reason for this was that it was a bit of an experiment as my little girl is only 13 months old and I think the aqua draw is marketed at 2/3 year olds. Brand new I believe this toy cost in the region of £25/30. I paid a fiver for it so a lovely bargain and like I said a bit of a gamble as my baby is really a bit young for it.

                  The reason I bought it was that my daughter absolutley loves painting and has done from a really early age. I love painting with her but it is a bit of a messy activity and I just wanted something that achieved a similar creative effect but that you could pop out and put away easily when full blown painting was not practical. I was also attracted by the "no mess" it offers.

                  The concept is easy. The box contains a large flat plasticky mat which has Thomas pictures around the edge and is white in the middle. You have a large quite chunky pen which you unscrew and fill with water. The nib is white. You also have a roller that is also filled with water. The idea is the child pushes the roller over the mat and uses the pen in a usual way on the mat and the water reacts with the mat producing a coloured line....like painting. There is no mess becasue its only water and it doesnt even get really damp. In fact whatever your child has drawn disappears after a few minutes so they can draw over the area again and again. The box also contained a little thomas train that requires batteries but that moves along following the track that has been drawn, very cute.

                  Now I really want to make a plea for babies here. My daughter loved this and I mean loved it. She is able to hold the pen and roller easily and makes squiggles and all sorts over and again crawling over the mat to her hearts content. The great thing is if she happens to catch the pen on the sofa etc there is no mark as its only water. My daughter will play happily with aqua draw for about 15 minutes which in a 13months attentionspan is pretty long and its one of her staple toys that she drags out. So I think this toy should not be limited just to 2/3 year olds although they can obviously have more advanced use of it. It gets baby creating and develops fine motor skills. Best £5 ive spent in a while.

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                    06.01.2009 10:53
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                    great product

                    My son was given these as a gift for his first birthday so was put in the cupboard for a while.
                    They come in a pack of 4 with different images of Thomas and his friends. There are areas that are brightly coloured and faint picture that is the bit that is coloured in. It comes with a pen that is filled with water and works like a sponge. As it is water even if they draw where they shouldn't it just dries.
                    I gave my son these to play with once he started creating a scribble patch on my wallpaper. I was surprised how much he managed to colour in and seemed to do much better than with a crayon. My son is very proud of his creations. He does suck the pen to get the water out and he has crumples up a couple of the pictures. The other thing is my son has a habit of hiding things so without the pen is useless and I have had to hide them for a few days till the pen has turned up
                    I would say these have helped improve his drawing and therefore would recommend them.

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                      07.12.2008 16:25
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                      Chou Chou Brilliant

                      Thomas & Friends Aqua Draw Mat

                      This special drawing mat is made by toy company Tomy.

                      Age - 3+

                      Price - Around £30

                      Description
                      --------------

                      The mat is fairly large insize and measures approximately a metre square. The material has a plastic feal and can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth. The mat has about a 3 inch border which has lots of Thomas pictures on it for children to look at. The inside of the mat is plain white ready for drawing

                      Function
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                      The function of this toy is magical! You get a pen and a train roller which you fill up with cold water. They then can be used by children to write and draw pictures on the mat.

                      My Opinion
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                      My child used to draw on my paint work so to be able to find this toy has been brilliant for me. It saves mess and is easy to use and pack away. My child loves playing with it, and has spent hours drawing and writing. We even take it out into the garden on sunny days

                      Overall 9/10

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                        05.12.2008 11:37
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                        Avoid like the plague!

                        Thomas Aquadraw, what a load of crap! My son got this for his 2nd birthday a week ago as he is a big thomas fan. It all seemed great to start with, until i took it out the box. The casing on the train itself was so loose that when i picked it up the bottom fell off & crashed to the floor! Then i put some cardboard on either side to hold it together & all seemed fine until we put it on the tracks my son had so creatively made. The train went everywhere except follow the tracks which was a big disappointment as this is what its supposed to do. Then if things couldnt get any worse there is now a big watermark covering almost half the mat even though its been laid out flat for the last week. I knew it was too good to be true, i wouldnt mind if he'd had it for a year or so but hes only really used it twice. Not happy at all!! Avoid like the plague!!

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                          20.10.2008 22:03

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                          Expensive

                          Thomas & Friends Aqua Draw, I brought this for my daughter when she was 2 years old. For the first few times that she played with this she was entertained. However the novelty of a new toy soon wore off. Great that this product just works with water for minimal mess. Fill the pen with water and draw on the mat then turn thomas on and watch him follow the water trail. Thomas comes with an off and on button but you cannot turn the music off. After five minutes this was going out the window. Only keeps little ones entertained for 15 minutes maximum. My daughters Thomas Aqua Draw ended up on ebay as it was another toy that seemed a good idea but ended up sat in the cupboard for months. Unless you buy this item second hand I dont think that the price can be justified no matter how big the Thomas fan.

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                          15.10.2008 16:42

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                          Keeps them happy

                          I brought this for my son last christmas from tesco for £19.99 other shops were selling it for £25.99. So it was a good bargain as it was a popular toy then and still is.The age range says for 3+ but my son was 2yrs.It's a mat that they can write on comes with a pen so no ink and no mess.So you just fill with water and when they draw on the mat of which the size is 150x90 cms. It magically appears it also comes with a thomas which requires 2xaa batteries and a roller pen you can draw real train tracks with and then thomas will follow it making thomas theme sounds,whistles and chuffs.Then when they have finished you leave it to dry for all over drawing again.Keeps them occupied for hours.You can also buy the extra pens from the tomy website or you do is order them

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                      • Product Details

                        This paint free activity uses water-filled pens and a roller to draw train tracks and scenery on the mat. Thomas train magically follows the line!