“ Brand: Learning Curve „
My children are fans of the cbeebies show, Chuggington, and as a result of this, my mum bought them a large collection of chuggington character trains for Christmas two years ago.
One of these trains, the character Emery, is very unusual compared to other trains in the collection, as it is a 'bendy' train, with two sections connected with a bendy bit of plastic. When I first saw this design, I liked the uniqueness of it, but thought to myself that it would not be hard wearing and we would see some perishing to the connection during play. However, my fears have not been proved right at all, and this is a highly durable toy that is fun as well as being robust.
Emery is an electric passenger car on the show, so he has a different role to a lot of the other engines. His appearance is rather streamlined, and he is the most similar in appearance to a real life train in my opinion with his mainly silver paintwork which is really quite shiny.
The first half of the train follows the look of the other chuggington trains with a face on the windscreen. I feel this is a lot simpler though, with eyes and then windscreen wipers for eye brows, rather than trying to convey other facial features too. This section is a bit smaller than most of the engines, being on a shorter plastic base with just 6 wheels.
The second half of the train is the same size as all the other engines we own, with 8 wheels, and both are the same height as other chuggers. The wheels on both parts all move round, and movement along flat surfaces like wood floors and the track is smooth.
Emery uses the same coupling system as all the other engines, so you can connect him up to any engine or accessory car that you want to for role play.
One negative about Emery is because he is so much longer than the other engines, there is no way we can store this in the giant Wilson storage case my mum bought for the kids to store the Chuggers in. This might be a point worth noting for some consumers. For us, we own more than fit in this case anyway, so Emery is one of the engines that ends up knocking around loose in the toy box.
One really positive thing is that his paintwork seems to be a lot tougher than on the other diecast engines that we have. There are a couple of barely noticeable scratches on his roof, as oppose to actual chips we have seen on other light coloured engines. I'm not sure why, but perhaps the shinier paint job is a result of a tougher paint? Whatever it is, the manufacturer should take note.
Another slight negative is the cost on this model. All the other engines seem to retail somewhere around £4.99 for a single engine, which this basically is. Emery is for sale on amazon at £7.99, which feels a bit steep as you are not getting anything moving or exciting as an extra. I don't mind this price for the accessory cars where you get two little carriages that both detach from each other, but here it does feel too much.
Overall, Emery is well made, and looks nice, but he is not a main character from the show, and I don't feel my children would miss out by not having him. He is not a must play with toy if they were only picking one or two trains to play with.