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We brought this for my son for his fourth birthday which was around 8 months ago he is Thomas mad and has a lot of the track collections along with what seems like every engine available. The toy is based around where the diesel engines work and play and there was also a DVD released around the same time called day of the diesels and so for a while diesel 10 and his friends became my son's obsession.
What you receive when you purchase this set -
With the set comes a metal take and play engine diesel this is the most famous diesel engine on the famous TV program so a good addition to the set. He has movable wheels and means he can be pushed perfectly along the track making it fun for little one even if they had no other engines from the take and play set. My son has lots as he is a major Thomas fan and each and every one of them work well on this track and fit the rails perfectly.
As it is made from metal it is very durable and some of the engines we have we brought 3 years ago and they are still going strong without a scratch. It can also be used separate from the diesel set and he can be pushed across any surface easily and is a good size for small hands to hold. Also they have magnets on the front and back of them that connect them to other take and play engines that are available to buy.
The track is set out on 2 different levels there is the bottom level that includes doors in and out of the works small circle of track and leads the way to the turn table. The turn table then elevates the engines on to the upper level of the set which forms a curve that leads to a large downward slope for the engines to race down and back to the lower level. Along the way are a number of features for little one to use to enjoy the set fully.
The whole set is made of plastic and is really thick which makes it durable and great for younger children who are rough with toys. The plastic has hinges in parts which makes it possible to fold the track up when not in use and this is whole specialty of take and play making it easy stored and transportable. Although they have hinges on these are all underneath the tracks so it does not affect little ones play with no bumps or curves obstructing the track.
The track itself has train lines for the engines melded into them to provide grooves for the wheels of the engines to sit in and roll along the track easily. The entire track that sits on a tilt or up high has high walls to stop the engines from falling off while being pushed around the track where as lower level tracks are free from this which my son loves as this allows him to have accidents and the trains go off the track.
All the pieces are already connected and do not come apart so there is no chance of losing any of the track and it makes for a quick set up for little one to play rather than the track master sets which you have to lay the track yourself.
The turn table
This is by far my sons favourite piece of the track all you do is roll the engine in one side and then push the turn table round which leads them to the other side. As it does a full turn the engine comes back out the other side the way it was facing when you put it in and my son could play with this feature all day. It is easy to turn and a very simple concept yet amazes my son and he would happily just sit and play with this for hours.
The doors in and out the works
At the bottom level of the set there are 3 doors that show leading the engines in and out of the works. The middle one is just for show and does not open or close but the left and right hand side ones do open and really easily too. There are no handles but you simply push the engine in to the doors and they push open from either side letting the engine pass through freely.
On the upper level of the set is a bridge that slopes downwards to create a hill for the engines to roll down. As this would make 1 side of the set unstable you receive 2 pieces of plastic supports to add underneath the track to keep the whole set steady. They do not clip on in any way you just have to rest the track on the top of them and 7 times out of ten when an engine in pushed over them they simply fall over and this tilts the set.
This is my only downside to the toy although be it an important one as this cause frustration for little one and they have to rebuild the bridge over and over again. I know it needs to be portable but they could have found a way to attach the support poles so it was more stable.
This is attached to main back frame of the track it is made of plastic also and rotates all the way around so is very mobile for where ever little one wants to move it. It has a small hook on the end that you can use to pick up things so my son often uses it for lifting his cargo and adding it into his troublesome trucks as although they are not compatible for this set they sit well in between the tracks. This is a fun little extra to the set and my son absolutely loves it. It moves around easily and although I thought it was rather flimsy when we first brought the set 8 months on it has lasted well with no signs of damage.
As with all take and play tracks you can add extra track pieces to this set which you can buy individually or you can also add other take and play sets on to this to make 1 large play set. We purchased the extra track and it is brilliant to build the island of sodor Connor lays each set out and joins them up with the track making a large play set on our front from floor. This is great as it is fantastic to play with singly but also amazing to play with when you have accessories to add to it.
It folds don really easily and has a clip on the side that holds it all in place once folded correctly. My son is able to do it and he is 4 so it shows it really is a simple thing to do. When folded it is not the smallest of toys but certainly reduces the floor space of the toy greatly and is handy for putting gin the toy box. Also it holds the pieces that hold the bridge up inside meaning these do not get lost which as they are separate from the set would do easily if they were not able to be stored inside. There is a handle on the top of the set so little one can carry it around with them where ever they want to and as it is not too heavy this is easily possible.
The track overall
This is a really great track it has more movable parts than most take and play set we own it really has kept me son happy and he loves it. It works better with accessories but they are not essential as you receive 1 engine and it has movable features already provided. It is rather sturdy apart from 1 down fall and has lasted well for the time we have had it. It is recommended from 3 years plus which I think is about the right age group and retails at £30 although it is often on offer so shop around.
As Thomas the Tank engine seems to be a long term fixture in our house, the little blue engine and his friends seemed to dominate Little Man's Christmas presents. He loves the Diesel engines from the TV series, probably because they are a bit more mischievous than the steam engines, so when I saw the diesel works Take N Play set I knew this was likely to be a big hit with him.
The play set consists of plastic track attached to a house shaped structure to represent the diesel works, which has a handle on top to make it portable. The track has an oval of track at the base, which goes through opening doors on the diesel works, with a branch that curls up to the upper level of the building. As this is a dead end there is a rotating platform so you can turn your engine and send it back down the ramp. There is also a plastic hook arm which moves across, which I am guessing is meant to be for freight but is too flimsy to do a lot with. It comes with a die cast Take n Play Diesel engine.
The set came in quite a big box, and when set up it is quite a substantial size, just under half a metre across. However it is the portability which really lets this toy down. The bottom of the oval folds nicely underneath the play set, but the rest of the track does not seem to sit right at the back of the main structure. It looks like it folds quite flat as in the picture above, but if you carry it by the handle part of the track flaps about. The ramp is supported by two separate legs which have to be clipped on, but tend to fall off and there is nowhere really secure to store them for transportation, and I could see them eventually getting lost. I tend to leave it set up on the toy box at the moment, but it takes up quite a bit of room. I am quite disappointed with this, as Little Man received two other play sets for Christmas, in addition to the couple he already has and one of the huge draws for me is the fact they fold up quite compact. I feel the diesel works may have been rushed out to capture the Christmas market at the same time as the new Day of the Diesels film and not thought through as well as it could be.
Little Man loves to set this up as part of his collection of Take n Play sets and engines, with spare track to link it all together. However I would not say it is the favourite of his play sets. He cannot get the ramp legs in place by himself which he finds frustrating as he hates to be helped with his toys. However he does love to play with it once set up and spends ages sending his trains up the ramp, spinning them on the rotating platform and then watching them whizz back down, so I guess on the whole it is a hit. I am giving it 3 stars as it is nowhere near as good as other sets in the range, and I don't think I would class it as portable which is a shame.
I purchased the Diesel works from Toys R Us for £24.99, as part of their Christmas 3 for 2 promotion. The set is compatible with the silver Fisher Price Take N Play plastic track and will work with both Take n Play and Take Along engine ranges
My 2 year old is a big fan of all things Thomas so having seen the feature film 'Day of The Diesels' earlier in the year (which he loves), i decided to add to his Take n Play collection by getting him the Diesel works for Christmas.
This toy is recommended for 3 years and above but there is nothing on it that i feel uncomfortable with my 2 year old playing with i.e. small parts.
I have to say that i am a fan of these Take n Play Thomas toys myself due to fact that when your child have finished playing with them, they fold up to a more compact size which is makes it better for storage and with them being so lightweight my child can move them from his bedroom to the livingroom and vice versa without me having to do it. This folding feature that all the Take n Play toys have is great for when we have been on holiday in the UK as it takes up little room.
When the toy is folded out it has doors that open for the trains to go through, a hook/crane and a turntable that spins.
There is a track that goes around the toy that is raised on one side.
There are connectors on various parts of the track so that additional track can be added or if you have other Take n Play toys you can connect them together.
The toy also came with a Diesel engine
These toys are used with the Diescast Thomas trains which i also like as they do not break easily (if at all) and they all have magnets to connect together
I bought this from Smyths Toy Store for £22.99 and i think it is worth this price.
Most importantly my child loves this as well as the other 3 Take and Play Tracks he has got, which as mentioned all connect together to make one big toy which keeps him entertained for a long time.