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Chuggington is a childrens television show made by the BBC and shown on Cbeebies and BBC2. The TV show has been running for a couple of years, and not surprisingly, a range of diecast toys was made for the young viewers of the show. My mum purchased most of our collection a couple of Christmases ago, and my children have been playing with it ever since.
The series features a set of trains, a bit like Thomas the Tank Engine as all the engines have faces and human characteristics, but with more modern paintwork to appeal to add to the personality of the little engines.
The diecast range are all made from a good quality metal, and sit on a plastic wheel base. On first look, I thought this base was going to be a bit flimsy if the kids were too rough, but we have never had any problems with wheels getting jammed or snapping, and all the trains are still in good working order even though play on my laminated floor is not always that gentle.
Mtambo is a character that features fairly frequently on the show, and is popular with both my children. He is the tour guide at the safari park, and his beautiful paintwork has a pattern from browns and greens which looks a bit like camouflage paint. This is over a bright yellow paintwork, and the resultant effect is that he does indeed look suited to be in a wildlife park.
The engine has a friendly looking face on the front with a wide grin, and he features the unique ball and socket coupling system all these diecast engines use. He can attach to any other truck or engine in the range, and we own two lovely cars which carry a monkey and an elephant instead of passengers, which I have also reviewed.
This is the same size as all the other engines in the set - on an 8 wheel base. Some of the accessory trucks are on a smaller 6 wheel base, but all run as well as each other on the chuggington track, but also on our Ikea (Brio style) and Thomas tracks that we own. What I really like about Mtambo is that the roof lifts up about one centimetre in height, and this reveals 6 seats for passengers to sit on to see round the wildlife park. I think the manufacturers should have also put some little passengers in here too as my boys have often asked me if we can put something in to ride round, but the gap is too small for me to put anything in myself at home.
All in all, an attractive engine, made well, though like some of our other engines, play on hard surfaces has chipped the paintwork a little. There is something exciting about playing with the engines that have moving parts like this one, as it makes each one really stand out that bit more and have a bit more tactile appeal. My boys love playing with Mtambo and coupling up his accessory cars before going on a journey of exploration. We are happy to recommend this one.
Mtambo is the Safari Park tour guide train. He is an adventurous Indiana Jones type of character who has travelled the world. He is very wise and loves to impart knowledge and tell the stories of his adventures. The young chuggers hang on his every word. Diecast engine with easy Coupling System to connect and play to ensure engines never detach from each other.