My children have amassed quite a collection of diecast engines relating to the television show, Chuggington. This is an animated childrens television show made for the bbc and mainly shown on the cbeebies channel. Like Thomas the tank engine, trains do most of the work in the town of Chuggington, and each engine has its own name and personality.
This particular set is a rescue set consisting of a crane for towing and a fire engine with hose. These are both individual carriages, though bought as a set costing around £8. I think this is reasonable value as these diecast engines are usually around £5 each, and here although these trucks are slightly smaller than an engine, they also have more detail on them. At the moment, this set it only £6.25 on amazon.
These are an accessory for the little shunting engine Calley who is often called upon to rescue other engines when they run out of fuel or derail. They feature the unique coupling system used on all the engines in the Chuggington range which is a ball and socket type connection. Although Calley would use the trucks in the show, there is nothing stopping a child attaching these to any other engine from the range. You could use one or both trucks, and the connection is strong enough to lift the trains up by the lead engine and not lose the trucks. It works great pulling the trains along tracks or on smooth floors.
The bases on these trucks are made of a strong plastic. Each truck has 6 wheels compared to the 8 you get on an engine. The wheels all move round freely, and the trucks are the same width as the engines. They are a bit shorter in height as well as length.
The fire truck is a nice bright red like any fire fighting vehicle, and it has a little badge showing a hose putting out a fire on the side of the water tank. There are various features on the diecast moulding which look like storage cupboards, but this is just for decoration and none of them open. The little hose on the top of the tank can rotate round 360 degrees on the base of the truck, though it is a little stiff to move when it is at a right angle to the tank on both sides.
The crane truck has a connector on the end which will fit to the connector on any truck or engine. It is a socket connector, so the front end of any engine or truck would attach to this. The crane arm rotates by 360 degrees on the base, and it is not as stiff as the fire truck is. It also moves up and down so you can line it up with the engine you want to tow. The connection again is a strong one so you won't lose the train you want to tow.
Both vehicles are very colourful, and really suit going with the engine Calley well as she is also quite orange in her appearance. I find that there is minimal wear on these trucks because there is so much plastic detailing with the moving parts, and this seems to have meant the trucks have retained a new appearance for longer, though I think partly they also get played with a bit less frequently than the main engine characters in the show.
These are a nice little set, and are brilliant for helping to create a dramtic game with events like fires, broken down engines, and derailing. The smaller size is brilliant for fitting in a toddlers hand. I think these complement the set well, and are nice accessories to have with the engines.