* Prices may differ from that shown
The Greendale Rocket is a train engine featured in Postman Pat. There are a few toy variations of this train available but I will be discussing the motorized Greendale Rocket.
This toy is suitable for children over the age of three. This set requires 3 x AA batteries and is approx 22 inches in length. This particular Greendale Rocket has three carriages - the engine itself, a passenger carriage and a Royal Mail carriage. It is motorized to allow it to move itself along the floor when switched on but it also be set into free wheel mode. It also features three character phrases as well as engine and whistle sound effects. Also included with this train is an Ajay figure.
*~Where To Buy~*
Our Greendale Rocket train was purchased from our local B&Ms store priced at £14.99. Prices and designs vary from place to place but variations can be bought from eBay and Amazon.
My son adores Postman Pat as his Daddy is a postie. This Greendale Rocket train had been catching his eye quite a lot in B&Ms last year so Santa (with the help of my sister) decided to buy it as part of his Christmas. B&Ms sell both the three carriage and two carriage engines but my son preferred the three carriage set and was delighted to unwrap it on Christmas Day. The train is neatly presented in an open front, cardboard box and aside from removing it and inserting the batteries, it takes very little time to set up.
The Greendale Rocket is an impressive size and perfect for children who want something a little bigger than Thomas the Tank trains to play with. The quality of the train is okay for the most part but some parts could have been made a little better. Each carriage is made of durable plastic. The entire train looks attractive and eyecatching and the detailing on it is good. It looks exactly as it does in the programme. The parts which aren't quite so well made are small but noticeable.
The handles on the opening doors of the carriages are made of very flexible and thin plastic which looks and feels incredibly flimsy. The parts that connect the passenger carriage and the Royal Mail carriage have become broken and can no longer be used which means the Royal Mail carriage is basically useless now. Within a few weeks of playing with this train, the funnel at the front had snapped off and my Dad had to replace it with superglue. Aside from these small issues, the train looks and feels well built.
My son really enjoys playing with this train set. He finds it easy to turn it on (switch on the underside) and the engine at the front, when set to motor mode, is strong enough to pull the carriages (now just the passenger carriage) along the wooden floor. It doesn't seem so effective on carpet though which isn't ideal if your home is completely carpeted. Luckily we have mainly wooden flooring so Boo can play with it around the house. As with a lot of toys, the Greendale Rocket starts to become lazy when the batteries start to run down. The motorized part starts to stick and become quite noisy as it attempts to drag the passenger engine along the floor. The batteries do run down quickly and will need replaced. It is worth noting that this train can be set to go forwards or backwards.
The various carriages in this set are quite cool. The front engine is well detailed and features enough space for Ajay to drive the train. We use the Ajay that came with the set as some of our other Ajay figures were actually too big to be used in particular set. Ajay is well made and looks the same as he does in the show. He has moving arms and is well jointed. The passenger train has four opening doors and sufficient space inside for several passengers. Boo likes creating his own train stations with waiting passengers (various characters) and will act out scenes from the show whilst his passengers find a seat in the carriage. The Royal Mail carriage was initially a welcome addition to this set but as the couplings have snapped off, it doesn't get much use. It has opening doors at each side and plenty of space for parcels and letters to be put in it. My son occasionally disconnects the passenger carriage and attaches the Royal Mail carriage to the main engine.
This train can be quite noisy especially when in motion and with the sound effects playing. It actually took us a while to figure out how to activate the sound effects. A small button behind the main engine offers the character phrases including 'All aboard the Greendale Rocket' and 'Next stop Greendale!' spoken by Ajay himself - very realistic sounding. There is also a push down button behind the funnel which encourages a whistle and puffing sound effect.
Whilst Boo often makes use of the motorized features of this train, he often switches it to free wheel and moves it around himself whilst making use of the sound effects. He finds it easier to move the train across the carpet himself than rely upon the battery power to do it. The wheels move freely along the carpet and allow Boo to use the Greendale Rocket in different scenarios. He finds it fun to play with and likes to create his own Greendale Village with the different Postman Pat toys that he owns. His imagination shines through.
At under £15.00, this toy was a bargain. There is a decent amount of features to make it fun to play with and it is a toy than my son chooses to play with time and time again. It is certainly far from perfect as some parts are a little flimsy in comparrison to the main body of the train but mostly, it is a good quality toy which is simply fun to play around with. I do wish the train would move more freely across carpets but this is something that I have noticed with a lot of motorized toys. Four stars from us.
Thanks for reading :)