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My son got a few bits of Fisher Price's Thomas Take and Play train tracks for his second birthday. The idea being that, if he liked them, we could add to it further on subsequent birthdays and Christmases. Despite him being below the three years minimum recommended age, I was happy for him to play with it supervised at two. As it turns out, my son loves the sets and, as all the pieces of tracks we have bought so far come with a Thomas train, we have purchased a few other trains for him to play with. One of these is James, which we actually purchased at the Thomas shop on a 'Day out with Thomas' outing for £7.95. It is currently priced at £6.99 on Amazon.
The engine is a die cast engine and therefore it is quite heavy. Those familiar with the characters, will know that James is a red engine and this is a lovely shade of bright red which has a glossy appearance. With this set, you get the actual engine as well as a 'tender' or load that comes separately. The load is basically an open carriage with black coal in it. This is just painted in so stays in unlike the load from the 'troublesome trucks' of this series which comes out and gets lost - much to the annoyance of my son - so this is much better in my opinion. On the side of the carriage, there is a yellow number 5 - James' number. The detail of the train is excellent, with a friendly face on the front so it truly replicates the character from the TV series.
On the front and rear of the engine and load, there is a round, silver magnet. This means that the load can be connected to the engine and, in turn, the engines from the series can all be connected up in a long line to be pushed around the tracks as one. The magnet is strong and comfortably holds the load to James without it continually breaking apart as it is pushed along. The magnets are integral rather than just attached so this is a massive plus from a safety aspect too.
The train is well made and an ideal size for a toddler's hand - about the size of your average diecast car and very robust. It has stood up to a fair amount of bumping, dropping and crashing and remained unscathed - with no damage to the paintwork either. The train is relatively expensive for what it is, in my opinion, but it is well made and should last my son for several years - I can see these sets holding his interest for a good few years to come - and the trains also have great re-sell value too. Overall, a well made train and a lovely addition to any Take and Play set.
Product line: Thomas the Tank Engine / James take n play - medium / Take-n-Play a durable die cast engine that features Smart Magnets that connect either way / and allow you to connect other engines or tender at either the front or the back / Works with Fisher Price Take-n-Play portable playsets