“ Brand: Fisher Price / Theme: Thomas and Friends / Type: Talking plush toy „
As I have written about before, my eldest daughter is a big Thomes and Friends fan, and has a vast selection of Thomas related bits and bobs. One thing last Christmas which I thought would be nice would be a cuddly version of Mr Tank Engine for her to take to bed. Not surprisingly, I found they make several of these, and choose the Fisher Price Goodnight Thomas Toy. Here here my thoughts on this hugely alternative bedtime teddy bear.
--Sodor Sleepytime Softness--
In the world of merchandising, the Thomas and Friends brand has grown to huge proportions, a mixture of quality goods and predictable tat that would fill up the Island of Soder and have The Fat Controller ordering the engines to shift it all out. The Reverend W. V. Awdry more than likely had no idea his stories about little steam engines would expand in such an epic way.
Soft toys generally are based around creatures and characters that, in reality would be rather soft to the touch anyway, so a bedtime huggie shaped like metal steam engine is a odd thing to behold. Thomas's friendly face and popularity shines through however, and his image it seems can be adapted to any kind of toy. My daughter was thrilled to have her very own Thomas to hug at night, and with the small selection of words and tunes the toys plays enhances this for her. The sounds it emits are in a soft tone, with comforting words like "After a busy day, It's time to get some rest..." and "I've run out of steam". It's pleasant and sometimes a little comical, and the peaceful tunes are correct and fitting for drifting off to sleep.
--Price and Packaging--
Goodnight Thomas comes to you with a rather hefty price tag of just under £20, but this is a high-end retail price and you can find it much cheaper with the usual shopping around. I think we bought ours at a discounted price of £12.99 from Argos, but it can be found on the on-line stores for as low as £8. This is more of a reasonable price taking into account the quality of the toy.
If my memory serves me correctly, our Goodnight Thomas was packaged in a light card half-box with a few ties holding it in place. This is recyclable of course, but I also believe that it can be purchased with no packaging whatsoever, with just card tags to remove before use.
--Design and Durability--
Firstly, it does look like our favourite lovable blue steam engine, but of course because of it's soft plush nature it's a little miss-shaped and gives the impression Thomas has overdone it on the coal and is a little overweight. This is not of importance however, as all the recognisable aspects of the little blue engine are present. His smiling cheeky face, his red and yellow detailing and his proud Number 1 on his sides. The colours are bright and bold, and it is nice and light too, weighing less than 450g. It's got a soft stuffing, and the feel of the polyester fabric is not rough in the slightest. Mostly soft and smooth all over, apart from the velcro access point located where his coal store is, and his face, which is hard plastic underneath the material. This houses the loudspeaker for it's vocal and musical functions, but is still well cushioned. It needs 2 AA batteries to operate, and this compartment, which includes the on/off switch is under the velcro flap.
On the robustness, it's fairly well put together, but not first rate in my book. The stitching is fine for the most part, but after many hours of hugging and being thrown around, threads can come away, particularly around the base and battery access point. The internal workings are well embedded inside, and the velcro part is strong and will tolerate the meddling of an under 2 year old without coming apart. Even though the small amount of electrics inside are well protected, the button concealed inside Thomas's cab roof can fail to operate on occasion after a fair amount of use. This is disappointing, but something I have found frequent with this kind of toy having switches underneath the material covering.
--Quality and Safety--
This toy is aimed at children from 18 months and up, but I can't see any big problems with giving to a younger child. There are no little bits to rip off to become a chewy treat for little mouths, even the label is attached very securely and will not come away without the heavy force of adult hands. The button to operate the sounds is easy to press for small hands, and can activate when grasped in a hug too. Again, it's all safe and what you would expect from such a toy. As said before, the filling is very spongy, and makes the whole toy soft and safe. Even the slightly harder parts like the face will not cause any harm if accidental dropped on a child, or in my case, if your youngest throws it at your eldest right in the face!
Although it's not machine washable because of the internal electrics, it can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and left to dry naturally. The lighter coloured parts can show up a little grime after a while, but this is mainly only on the face of Thomas. My small concerns are mostly about the opening to the battery pack. Older children can get curious, and this can be pulled out and possible ripped out, leaving wires exposed. Thankfully, the batteries are held in with a screwed panel, so they couldn't get access to anything inside that may cause harm. The velcro flaps themselves also seem a little fragile and less well stitched to any consistent manipulation, and may start to tear away under the use of an older child.
Overall, this is a nice toy that fits in well with the Thomas theme and will certainly put a smile onto the faces of many an infant Thomas and Friends fan. It's not a perfect example of a plush bedtime toy, but it mostly ticks the boxes in terms of safely, interaction and durability. A little bit more quality with the stitching and a little more hardiness to the electrics and it would be top notch and worth the higher price tag, but if the discounted price is achievable, than I think that fair enough for what you get. A nice addition to the bedtime collection of soft toys, and something a child will like for a good amount of time.
Thanks for Reading. © Novabug
Both my boys are Thomas mad Connor has been well over 2 years now Logan is only 10 months old but already loves Thomas the tank engine and friends. When we saw this on sale at Argos for just £8 we decided to pick it up originally for Connors Christmas presents.
The goodnight Thomas is a medium size teddy that is identical to the character from the famous TV show. The main body is made up of very soft material and the insides are also lovely and soft so it can be cuddled.The design is very well detailed features sown in to make it easily recognizable to the character Thomas. The only places the teddy has any hard parts is underneath the soft material at the from face of Thomas and also in the back end which is where the battery pack is and it is directly underneath the button on Thomas's back roof.The button is easy to find and even my little man at 9 months was able to locate how to make Thomas talk .
You press the button by pressing Thomas's roof he says different phrases and plays a tune. The voice is the same from the Thomas the tank engine series on TV. I have been really useful today, its time to get some sleep and goodnight are a few of 5 saying Thomas speaks. When you press it for a 6th time in the series in plays a lullaby version of Thomas the tank engine theme tune.
There is a Velcro fasten in the back for you to change batteries they are provided and so far have lasted 4 months and still going strong.There is also an on/off button located on the battery pack so it can be turned off completely but this is not prone to random outbursts like some toys if left on.
My only downside to this toy is some of threads are coming away making it look a little scruffy and although it has had allot of use by my youngest child not excessive so not ware i would expect after 4 months occasional use. RRP is £19.99 I am not sure I would pay that for it but it is often on offer so shop about a little.
It is suggested for ages 18months plus but in my opinion a child younger than this can also use Thomas goodnight as there are no small parts or anything that can harm them. The only downside with it being used with a smaller child is the teddy is a little big for them to hold but its not impossible my son loves it to be sat on his lap while he finds and presses the button to hear the phrases. On the other hand my son who is 3 was interested at first until he found it only had 1 function and 6 differences in phrases so he soon became bored.
Fisher Price is a worldwide US based company producing toys for children and infants. They offer various character branded toys such as Winnie the Pooh and Waybuloo. They also offer various toys with that cheeky blue engine..yes I mean Thomas the Tank - and perhaps his friends too from the Island of Sodor!
Fisher Prices involvement with Thomas the Tank includes the creation of train sets, card games and other toys. One toy they offer is the Goodnight Thomas which is promoted as being a bedtime plush soft toy. Suitable for 18months and up, this Thomas is aimed at bedtime. It is battery operated using 2 x AA batteries which are included. Not only is this the ideal bedtime buddy for your child, it also plays 5 different phrases/tunes.
Weighing in at only 440g, this is aimed at being a soft toy. A rather tubby but well proportioned soft Thomas greets us. Every detail is accounted for from Thomas' cheeky but slightly stiff face to his black funnel and from the red base and blue wheels to the small details such as his stripes and windows.The base is wavy and soft and the soft toy is made of polyester fibres and raw materials.
Being battery operated, Thomas needs to have a compartment. Cleverly concealed under velcro towards the back of the toy, a white box is tucked away so as to not be detected on the outside. It will need to be opened by a screwdriver when you need to replace batteries. Thomas is activated by pressing down on a slightly raised knob on the top of the train.
*~*Availability and Price*~*
Goodnight Thomas can be purchased from Amazon for £19.50. Alternatively nip to Argos where you will currently find this reduced to £7.99 from £19.99.
My son first spotted this Goodnight Thomas in Hamleys just before Christmas. As I had already bought him the Goodnight Iggle Piggle, I couldn't afford another bedtime bud for Ryan! So how did he become the owner of this soft toy? Well we regularly go long walks around a local country park which has a prize bingo in a theme park half way round..one win any prize sort of thing and £3 later I had won. This was 2months ago and Ryan wasn't feeling his best so when I spotted this Goodnight Thomas on the shelves, I used my winning voucher for it and Ryan was over the moon.
Ryan loves Thomas as you all know and has a big collection of trains and other merchandise. This came partially boxed with Thomas being visible in all his glory. A few wires to untangle and he could be safely given to Ryan. Thomas looks life like which Ryan loved as he could identify him. His outer is soft and slightly fluffy to the touch. His colour is bright and bold like Thomas himself and with the exception of a firm face, the whole toy is squishy and cuddly which is ideal considering when it is expected to be used.
*~*Off To Bed*~*
With no assembly or on/off switch requiring pushed in, Thomas is in his pyjamas and ready to go to bed. Ryan likes to watch a DVD in bed (his Thomas bed) before falling asleep. His bed his usually home to various teddies and soft toys including Iggle Piggle and this Goodnight Thomas. Being the size of a medium sized teddy bear, Ryan can comfortably lie in bed with his arm around him and be able to reach the button.
The button to activate Thomas' voice is easy to push in but won't go off if you just get close, you do need to push it in to activate it. The voice that transmits through a little speaker in Thomas face giving the illusion that Thomas if talking himself! The voice is actually quite loud for what is concerned a bed time soothing toy. Ryan was quite impressed that the voice did actually sound like Thomas does in his DVDs
There isn't any fancy lights flashing or movement from this Thomas. Its aim is to provide sound to apparently soothe and relax a child at bedtime. I can tell when Ryan is wide awake from the other room as he will constantly press the button in. Once pressed, the sound will activate and if pressed again, it changes to the next sound which is incredibly annoying if pressed over and over again as everything sounds muddled up.
There are 5 sounds to be heard with each coming through in a specific order. There is quite a variation giving Ryan more choice of what he wants to hear.
An introduction of Thomas commenting it has been a busy day and time for some rest. This is followed by :
*Sound 1 - a train ssssshhhhh and Thomas stating he has run out of steam.
*Sound 2 - Thomas commenting that has been really useful today.
*Sound 3 - Thomas telling Ryan that its time to get some sleep.
*Sound 4 - Goodnight - short and sweet.
*Sound 5 - a Thomas lullaby
When Ryan is feeling playful in bed, he will press the buttons to hear what Thomas has to say and he can be heard repeating what has been said. He will ask Thomas if its time for bed and once he is ready to (finally) to go sleep, he will jump the sounds forward to sound 5. The lullaby is a slowed down, softer version of the song that includes "all with different roles to play etc* and only lasts around 10seconds or so before finishing with a high yet soothing note.
Now I am not saying this gets Ryan to sleep as it doesn't. What it does do though, is help keep Ryan in his bed. We insist Goodnight Thomas is kept cosy in the big Thomas bed which convinces Ryan to stay in there at bedtime and interact and change between Thomas and Iggle Piggle whilst watching his DVD. When Ryan is really tired and listening to the lullaby, he will tuck his teddies including Thomas under the duvet for cuddles and fall asleep.
There have been nights where Thomas has been rolled on and accidently activated. This is where I feel an on/off switch would be highly appreciated as the volume is quite high and wakes everyone up. If it could be switched off, I could sneak in and turn it off so that Ryan could still cuddle Thomas without risk of being waken by him during the night.
*~*Durability and Keeping Thomas Clean*~*
Thomas doesn't get thrown about much but I could imagine him taking any pressure well as despite being soft and squishy, he is tough and well made. He cannot be washed in the machine due to his battery compartment but Ryan is always clean in bed so no messy fingers make contact with him.
*~*Is It Worth The Money?*~*
No way would I have been happy to pay £20 for a soft toy which has very limited phrases. It isn't the sort of toy that would educate or keep Ryan or any other child occupied for any great length of time. It is however well made and well loved by Ryan and had I not won it and seen it in Argos, I would have been happy to pay the £7.99 for this bedtime buddy.
I recommend this if you can purchase it for under the £10 mark and if your child loves Thomas the Tank.
Thanks for reading :)