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Thought I'd review this Thomas the tank engine pop up tent as it was dug out of the shed over the weekend. I got this many years ago for my son who at the time was a huge Thomas fan and even though over the last year or two it has been fazed out of his toys a lot this tent has still remained. I believe I got it from Tesco costing approximately £8.
It is a four sided tent exactly as the picture shows with a picture of Thomas on one side and a picture of Thomas Percy and Henry on the other side, at least I think that is their correct names. The remaining two sides are openings with flaps on them. The openings are closed up using a velcro tab so easy for children to open and close. The material is a thick type which is slightly waterproof but the rain would go through it if rained a lot or was left out side in the wet.
It folds away nicely into one triangular shape and it is possible to make it even smaller but I've never got the knack of that and find once it is folded flat it is easy enough to store away. To open it out again you just shake it open and it is ready for use again.
There is no base to this so if placing onto the grass be careful of any stones etc. Now it is quite lightweight so if using when a breeze about it will fall over and be blown across the garden very easily.
We had this out this week as I'd built the kids a den with a blanket and table cloth and this tent was making the way into the den, the kids had great fun with it and sat and ate their snacks inside the tent too.
It can be used indoors or outside and even used on the beach for some shade. It gives the kids a bit of adventure and keeps their minds active with role playing games too.
This has stood the test of time with much use and still in great condition. I would advice though not leaving it flat on the lawn for more then a couple days as when you move it you are left with a triangle shape on the lawn where the grass has died.
WHAT IS IT?
A Thomas the Tank Engine pop up dome tent.
This is a very easy tent to assemble, as soon as you start to lift the top section the tent will pop up and the adult just needs to shape it a little.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
My daughters both enjoy playing in the tent even though neither of them are Thomas viewers. It pops up easily and there is enough room inside for both of my daughters to play at the same time with a few small toys. The tent is made from a thin shiny plastic fabric, I think it would be waterproof to a point but not in heavy rain or bad weather.
The design shows Thomas the Tank Engine as a large picture and the red and blue colour scheme of the tent makes it obvious that it's a Thomas themed product even if you haven't seen the picture, I think it would be most suitable for boys or girls who are already fans of Thomas but my daughters have still had a lot of enjoyment from playing in the tent.
The tent folds up flat when not in use and can be leant against the wall or in a cupboard for storage, it does start to open out if knocked or placed at a certain angle but my husband fitted a small clip to the wall to stop this happening.
This tent is part of a range of Thomas the Tank Engine tents that can be put together to make a larger play area, we only have this one but I am considering buying the large engine shaped tent next as that will add extra fun for the children. This cost about £20 and I seem to recall purchasing it from Asda, I think that's a little too expensive sometimes as the main thing my daughters do with the tent is sit inside it to draw or gossip.
4 Dooyoo Stars.
Thomas The Tank Engine is a cheeky blue engine from the Island Of Sodor. Starting off in story books, he has become more popular through his own television show and his image is used on many toys, clothing and household products.
===Thomas Dome Tent===
There are a few different Thomas tents available including one which is shaped like a tent, one which is like a ticket office and also one which comes with a tunnel attachment! The most basic of tents from this range, is the Thomas the Tank Engine Dome Tent.
This pop up tent is suitable for children over the age of 2 and is suitable for outdoor or indoor use. It requires minimal assembly and measures 36cm x 36cm (height and width with a weight of only 600g. The purpose of the tent is to encourage role play and looks fab especially in a Thomas themed room or toy room.
Once assembled, the fabric tent sits neatly on the floor. The sides are supported by flexible poles inside with a thin roof. The 2 side panels offer colourful designs. One side Thomas, Percy and James with the other being a huge Thomas design. The tent is curved at the bottoms, sides and tops and whilst mainly blue, offers a red trim around the sides. The other 2 panels offer velcro sealed entrances to the tent.
===Availability and Price===
www.tesco.com or certain Tesco stores - £13.33
My son turned 3 at the start of May and although I had bought him lots of bits and pieces, I couldn't resist this tent. I was shopping the night before his party for bits and pieces for the party and spotted this in my local Tesco store. I ummed and ahhed as I couldn't really afford to spend anymore money but thought he would love it so I bought it! It came in a relatively small cardboard box and on arriving home, I set it up ready for him coming over from Grans in the morning.
Now, the Tesco website states that you need to inserts the poles to set the tent up..the reality is different. Inside the box, a circular st+le piece of kit was present and tightly fastened with velcro tabs. I regretted popping this up in my rather small kitchen as I nearly got knocked out the way! As it turns out, the poles (which are very flexible and concealed) were already in place and the tent popped up extremely quickly requiring only a small bit of manouevering to get it into place.
===A Surprise From Mummy and Daddy!===
I found this very easy to set up and within a matter of a minute, we were good to go. The intention was to have this in the livingroom but the overall size made it a little on the big side. It looked a little overbearing in Ryans room but having recently done up the spare room to reflect a toy room, we moved alot in there and this now fits nicely into a corner in his Thomas room.
The design is really cool and although not as fancy as the other tents, fits in better with the decoration in Ryans room and also space wise. The colours are vibrant and the material although not the thickest, is durable. The detailing is quite fine with steam and clouds clearly displayed on the material. Although dome like, inside, there is no floor and basically your child will be sitting on whatever flooring you have. In Ryans room, it is carpet so that is fine with me. Having 2 entrances is ideal as the tent doesn't have to sit in one place and can be moved around. The fabric doors can be pulled open at 2 sides but cannot stay open and don't open all the way down to the floor which is annoying.
The poles inside the material allow for flexible folding. Although the tent remains fully open in his room most of the time, if I am moving furniture about or hoovering, I can easily fold this down without hassle. It folds over one way then another and ends up rather thin and easy to slip behind the wardrobe or bed without popping open. I have never been able to get it folded back up into a circle no matter how much I have tried! The tent is very light though Ryan finds it awkward to move around as he cannot see where he is going! Mummy can move it freely though to where ever his Lordship wants his tent! Being so light does mean it is rather flimsy and the slightest knock sends this flying. We don't have a garden so our experience is based around indoor play as I don't think this would hold up against wind and the elements.
The day of Ryans party and all his presents were hidden inside this tent ready for him to discover. Being big and bright, this was the first thing he noticed on arrival and got really excited and couldn't wait to explore. To hang with the presents, they were moved out and Ryan moved in! During his party, he often disappeared into the bedroom and would be found with his cousin chilling in his new tent with some crisps.
Inside the tent is spacious enough and Ryan and Ayrton (younger but bigger cousin) can enter at each end and sit without falling into each other. The space isn't massive and anymore than 1 child and it would become claustrophobic after a while. Ryan can comfortably stand up inside but needs to duck to get in the tent. I can fit in the tent but struggle to move around which Ryan finds hilarious and even moreso when I stand up with it on my head and run around making Choo Choo noises!
Anyway, this tent has proved fun and entertaining despite being nothing more than material and poles! When his cousins visit, the tent is dragged through and the toy trains come out and they play making the trains go through the tent and out the other end. When Ryan is alone, he is more chilled out as he knows he has the space all to himself.
Often I have gone into his room expecting him to be playing with toys and hes sitting in the tent zooming his trains around and basically using his imagination to make up little stories. At night time, he goes into bed to watch an episode of Thomas or In the Night Garden but sometimes he gets bored. This is when you find him in the tent. He usually drags his cover and pillow down and makes himself comfortably. The tent isn't wide enough to go over his entire body when lying down so his little toes are usually poking out.
Ryan makes it cosy and like a second bed most of the time. He can close the doors, switch on his torch and chill out with a book and custard cream. Thats the life isn't it? He has been known to fall asleep in there and its just a case of gently lifting the tent up, picking him up and popping him into bed. He loves his tent..its his haven away from the stresses of potty training, thinking about nursery and general day to day life..can I have one please?
===Conclusion and Recommendation===
This dome tent is big hit with Ryan. Despite its rather flimsy nature and that its only 1 month old, it has been subject to various children forcing in and out it and its stood up to this. It is easy to clean with a damp cloth after chocolate mitts make contact and no stitching or material has came loose. It isn't the best tent but it suits Ryan and his Thomas obsession perfectly.
The price isn't too bad considering the quality and it has provided hours of fun so I am happy that I bought this for Ryan so well worth it and a fab present. If you are fairly limited on space though, avoid!
Thanks for reading :)