“ Brand: Racing Champion / Landscaping: Bridges „
Like a lot of little boys, our two year old is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. He's gone off the TV series a bit in recent months (nothing can compete with Peppa and Diego these days), but he loves reading the books with his Daddy and spends ages playing with his extensive collection of trains and the track that we are gradually building up for him.
We made the decision last year to invest in a train track which he could grow into. The 'Take Along Thomas' range is slightly too old for him at the moment, but I didn't want to get a train-set that he'd grow out of quickly. We're hoping that the variety of sets available in the 'Take Along Thomas' range means that we can add to it for birthdays and Christmas, and eventually he'll be able to create whatever type of track he wants, all by himself. At the moment, we have to build the tracks for him but he's already starting to put the pieces together so I don't think it will be long before he properly grows into it. We started our collection with a basic train track set, featuring two engines and a loop of track. However, he has a thing about bridges and tunnels, so for his birthday, he received the 'Bridge Accessory Pack'.
** The Product **
The box includes 2 bridge arches, 4 x ascending track pieces and 4 x track supports. You need to have some of the track already to make it worth buying - we have the basic starter pack and a track expansion pack. Realistically, I think this is the minimum amount you need to make buying the Bridge Expansion Pack worthwhile as the starter pack doesn't give you enough track to loop round and go under the bridge and join it up again. The bridges are well-made and look good - they are designed as red-brick bridges with cream edges. The ascending track pieces fit easily into the bridges in a jigsaw style and you can also extend the length of your elevated track section using the track supports - we don't tend to do this at the moment as two-year olds are relatively destructive and we like to keep the tracks as simple as possible for him.
** Playability **
I do feel that the Bridge Accessory Pack adds to the general playability of the Take Along Thomas track. My son enjoys pushing his trains through the 'tunnels' and over the bridges, although we experience a lot of train crashes as they speed down the other side and fall off the track! For slightly older children, having this Accessory Pack will mean that building a track challenges their creativity and engineering skills further - I find it enough of a challenge to make everything join together as it is.
** Price **
This product costs approximately £10, although as usual, it is dependant on where you buy it. I think it is well worth the money as it really does enhance the experience of playing with the train set, and makes it much more interesting.
** Quality **
We have had no issues with the quality of this product. It is not as high quality as a wooden set, but the plastic pieces fit together well and seem very durable. As the connection is only jigsaw style, the pieces do come apart when knocked but it is easy to connect them back together again. I think the trains which are die-cast metal are the best part of the Take Along Thomas range in terms of quality, but the track and accessories are all well made and serve their purpose well.
** Overall **
This is a product which we have been very happy with. It has increased the options available to us when constructing the train tracks for our son to play with, and has added to the enjoyment he gets from playing with it. We will definitely be buying further products from this range in the future, and I am sure that the Bridge Accessory pack will be part of our son's train track for years to come.
This Bridge accessory pack allows you to expand your Take Along Thomas set however you want!