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ERTL Thomas and Friends Fat Controllers Car

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1 Review

Manufacturer: ERTL / Type: Cars

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      20.07.2010 17:03
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      A lovely little runner

      Thomas the Tank engine and Friends started out as a wonderful range of books, films and childrens programmes. Children everywhere fell in love with the wonderful characters that were created and many jolly exploits were had by Thomas the Tank Engine and the rest of the talking trains on the island of Sodar. The Fat Controller also known as Sir Topham Hatt and his iconic turquoise blue car were just a couple of the many Ertl items we still have. In 1985 Ertl began to manufacture their first series of die-cast and plastic Thomas engines, cars and characters and continued in the uk up until 2004. There was a time when we seemed to gain at least 1 Thomas Etrl die cast toy per week, as the kids loved them and the more they saw them on tv the more they wanted some of their own to play with. They were so popular and still are, so I was rather surprised to see that they were not listed on Dooyoo. However after a few product suggestions I am pleased to say that I am now able to review some of the lovely characters and models we have and share thoughts on them. You can still pick up the car for between £3 to £5 online and in collectors toys shops. ********************************************************** There are so many reasons why everyone admired and liked the Fat Controller but just as many reasons that they didn't. At times he could be rather unkind and abrupt in his treatment of Thomas and the other engines, but other times he managed to redeem himself with the odd kindness here and there. He certainly cut a dash in his impressive outfit and he always arrived in style in his wonderful Fat Controllers Car. Our Fat Controllers Car came in the same blue and red pack that the majority of the Ertl Thomas range did. It was set behind a see through clear plastic film that kept it in place and showed it off to prospective new car owners. The artwork on the pack showed the car parked on the side of a country road and clearly showed itself to be one of the Thomas the Tank Engine range of products. I have always thought that the packs were well thought out, as they were easily displayed and most often had special stands, where many of the range were displayed together. That meant it was easy for a child to pick out the item that they wanted and see which they already had. The Fat Controllers car is a must have for any Thomas fan, as the Fat Controller cannot get from A to B without it. Our car has been on many an exciting journey and been played with time and time again. ********************************************************** We paid £3.75 at the time for the car and I recall that being the set price for many of the items in the range, although some of the trains were a a little more and some of the trucks etc were a teeny bit less. The car itself is well modelled and I think it has just enough detail for small children to admire and recognise. The car looks very good up close, as do all the Ertl die cast toys from the range. Many of the products used both plastic and metal to produce a good result, but our Fat Controllers Car is mostly made from metal. This means that the car can bang and crash its way around and not suffer any damage. This is especially good as the car was often in a hurry to rescue Thomas and his friends and so would be thrust enthusiastically around till it got to its final destination. ********************************************************** The car has a set of small black wheels with silver trimmed hub caps and matching front and rear silver chrome effect fenders in case of bumps and knocks. The wheel arches of the car curve impressively over the wheels and give the car an elegant retro feel. The small windows on the car are made from tinted plastic and ours have not cracked at all, even after being played with many times. The under body of the car is made from dark plastic and is imprinted with the Ertl trademark. It protects the underbody of the car from damage and also encloses the 4 wheels to hold them safely in place. The wheels are thread through slim metal wires, but again we have not had any damage to those at all, so they must be strong enough to do the job, even though they so look slim to the eye. The car is a nice shade of turquoise blue. Its very bright and happy looking and the enamel used has not chipped or cracked at all. Its perhaps not as fresh as it once was, but it was never a really glossy looking colour and had a slight matt effect to it, so over all it has faired very well indeed. ********************************************************** We used to have a couple of really nice play mats that were like small short pile rugs with printed road and tracks on them, one was mainly a countryside theme and the other was a road and town theme. The Fat Controllers Car used to race across them easily and they formed an important part of the pretend island of Sodar that the children made for themselves. For such a simple little car it gave everyone so much fun and so many happy hours of safe driving! I think that the children were able to reflect upon what they had seen on tv and in film about Thomas and his friends and so when it came to play time they had lots to draw on. This is part of what made the little car so very much a part of the action all the time and increased its charm 10 fold. On its own as just anyones car, it was well modelled but not to the nnth degree. It was always the fact that it was Sir Topham Hatts car that made it the car to have. ********************************************************** Today Thomas the Tank Engine toys are still popular and I see no reason why this little car wouldn't make a wonderful gift as part of a selection of die cast Thomas vehicles. My rating for it is a big 5 stars, as it has stood the test of time and can still bring a happy smile to children young and old, myself included. Would I recommend it? Yes 100% ! NB: Due to small parts the car is not recommended for children under 3 years.

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