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I wanted my twins to have a new table and chairs for Christmas, they already had a plastic, garden table and chairs which they'd managed to snap neatly in half near enough so I wanted something that they would like, was strong and sturdy. So whilst writing my reviews and saving my miles I browsed on amazon and found myself, well my twins, a brightly coloured Thomas the Tank table and chairs. Perfect! Then I seen the price, over £40 !!! good job I was writing alot of reviews to purchase this and it was going to be off Santa afterall lol.
The table comes flat packed in a recyclable cardboard box, a large, quite thinly packed but weighty box. There is a photo of the table and stools on the box so you can see quite clearly what it's meant to look like. I was dreading putting the table and stools together to be honest, so with my screwdriver at the ready I opened the box to find a large, baby blue, wooden piece with a hole in the middle and a net hanging down from it. This was quite a heavy piece to hold, but don't fret about putting it together on your own as this has to be the easiest thing my twins had for Christmas to put together. As for the hole in the middle, don't worry your tables not broke, I'll explain why in a moment! I then pulled out two small, wooden circles, again a baby blue decorated in a yellow, and bright red with trains trailing across them. Next to pull out were the many wooden legs which were a cylinder shape, quite thick yet not overly heavy. Last but not least was my little bag of foam pads and a small sheet of instructions! Um, where were my many screws??
Well to my pleasure, I found that the table doesn't need screws, instead each leg of the table and the stool has it's own sticky out screwy thing on one end. This sticky out screw, attached securely to the leg, simply screws into the hole provided on the base of the table top and the base of the stool seats. Placing the stool seats and the table top flat onto my floor so the bottom was facing me I screwed each of the legs in the available holes, ensuring they could no longer turn and were screwed in tightly. I then opened my bag of foam pads, peeled off the sticker on the bottom and placed the sticky side on the bottom of each leg on both the table and the stools. The foam pads are to provide safe seating, and also to prevent marks on flooring. Once each leg was firmly in place I turned the table and the stools the right way around and they were ready to use.
They were strong, sturdy and can take alot of weight, I know I've sat on each of them for a few minutes lol so I knew my 2 year old twins would be fine on them.
Oh but we've still got this hole in the middle of the table right? Don't worry there is also another small, wooden circle with two holes in the middle of it, this sits neatly onto the hole in the middle of the table top and the two holes in the middle act as grips for fingers to lift it on and off to get to the net in the middle. You see the net is meant to act as a 'secret compartment' storing crayongs, toys etc. It's not a very big compartment but it does come in handy and the hole in the middle does make it 'secret'.
The table looks stunning put together, all decorated in brightly coloured Thomas the Tank characters, it would be really appealing and eyecatching for any child.
The fact it comes with stools has come as a bit of a problem as my twins are used to sitting on chairs with back rests and I'm forever telling them to be careful as they are trying to lean back onto thin air! This is a thought to take in if looking to purchase this table and stools.
Just recently the twins have actually broke one of the chairs completely by snapping off one of the legs. They managed to snap it so hard that the holes where the screw is meant to screw in was totally ripped so I only had one option to help fix it and that was to use no nails to stick it together, which probably lasted around two minutes and it was broke again. So from experience I know alot of heavy handed'ness and rough play can result in the wood breaking, which is a shame as it's such a lot of money. Maybe it would be suitable for children a little older, say 4 plus, when they know how to sit on them properly and appreciate a table and chairs for activities. Apart from this one problem though I'd definitely reccomend it, despite it breaking it is strong and sturdy and it looks lovely and would be perfect for any Thomas fan!