Product Type: Fisher Price Soft Toy
Newest Review: ... 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 ... more
Thomas is a Big Softie...
Fisher Price Goodnight Thomas
Member Name: Novabug
Fisher Price Goodnight Thomas
Advantages: Nicely designed and soft. Safe, well themed and with nice sounds too. Low battery use.
Disadvantages: Dodgy stitching after a lot of use. Velroc flaps can become weak. Button sometimes fails to work
--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
Summary: Sleepy Thomas makes bedtime a little bit more fun. Peep Peep!...Shhhhhhhhhh...zzzzzzzz