“ Brand: Thomas & Friends / Type: Engine „
~Stephen "The Rocket"~
Age recommendation : 3 years due to small parts
Fisher Price manufacture a range of trains to be used on the Thomas and Friends Trackmaster sets. Stephen "The Rocket" is a fairly new addition to the Trackmaster range and he featured in the King of the Railway film alongside some other new faces including Connor, Caitlin and Millie.
Stephen is a motorized engine who is presented in a clear, perspex box. The Amazon website states that this engine comes with a battery but it doesn't and you will need a screwdriver and 1 x AA battery. Stephen measures 5.4 x 4.1 x 30.7 cm.
~Price and Availability~
At present, Stephen can be purchased from Amazon priced at £17.95 and from Toys 'R' Us priced at £16.99.
Back in August, we took our son to the cinema to watch the new Thomas film and he was immediately drawn to the new character known as Stephen. Stephen plays the starring role in King of the Railway and is transformed from a rusty old engine to a bright, happy engine who has a special task to carry out on Sodor Island. Fast forward a few weeks and we went to Thomas Land for the weekend. My son, armed with his own spending money, had a good idea of what he wanted to buy at the Thomas shop in the theme park. His first thought was the Quest For The Crown Trackmaster set but it was extremely expensive at nearly £50.00 (the RRP is £39.99) and we would have really liked to purchase Stephen too. In the end, we made a deal with each other and he agreed to spend his pennies on Stephen at the theme park and Mummy would order the set from Amazon the minute we got home. This way, he was able to buy both things out of his spending money and still have some left over - the deal was done!
Stephen was priced higher than the RRP at Thomas Land but my son ended up going home with him. I think he paid £26.99 so the Amazon price is definitely much more affordable. When we arrived home, we set about getting Stephen in full working order by removing the packaging and inserting a battery. The age recommendation for this engine is appropriate as there are some small parts that could pose a choking hazard for younger children. My son is a sensible five year old who likes to play with his toys rather than eating them so we had no issues there.
Stephen is a lovely looking engine and the Trackmaster version almost reflects his improved appearance in the film. He is made of durable plastic which is smooth with no sharp edges. He is essentially a miniature version of his character but with a much shorter funnel. He is an older style engine so does have some different features to most of the other engines on Sodor and the attention to detail and paintwork is great. Stephen has four parts - the main engine, a cargo truck with coal, a flat truck and a golden horse statue which is made of plastic and easily misplaced if not stored safely in between plays. The extras included with Stephen fit in perfectly with his role from the film so children can identify what part each of the extras plays in making Stephen a very useful engine.
My son likes the look of this engine and enjoys playing with it. When we first arrived home, he set about creating a special track for Stephen before moving him on to the Quest For The Crown track when it arrived from Amazon. We own quite a number of Trackmaster sets and it is so quick and easy to slot some track together. Stephen can be used on any Trackmaster set but my son favours playing with him on the official King of the Railway set as he feels more at home on this track and my son can act out scenes from the film. We are hoping to extend this further by purchasing the other Trackmaster engines from the film too.
The different parts of Stephen connect together with couplings and my son finds this a simple task to do himself. Once connected, Stephen can be pushed by hand across flat surfaces or on the track. He is solid despite being fairly lightweight and my son is able to handle him with great ease. As well as having fun playing with this engine, children will also be using their imagination and fine motor skills to control it free hand. The main part of the engine is powerful enough to pull the other parts without them toppling off the track. Stephen is switched on by pushing a little lever and isn't overly noisy. Stephen, when fully mobile and full of power, chugs around any track and is able to cope with inclines and curves with ease. He does slow down when low on battery but this is to be expected. Running Sodor Island takes a lot of battery power and we have replaced the batteries twice so far.
Stephen is a well made and fits in well with the other engines that we own. He has a special place in my sons collection as he came directly from Thomas Land so is more cherished. Stephen is well played with and is still in mint condition despite regular use. My son highly recommends Stephen as he has had great fun acting out scenes from the film. He is expensive but my son considers him worth the high cost and he has received a lot of play.
Thanks for reading :)
Apologies for the lack of picture - Stephen has gone AWOL but will be located tomorrow.
Thomas the tank engine: Brand-new moments straight from your favorite Thomas & Friends episodes are now captured in three-car sets / Warning! Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts - Choking hazard / Use under the direct supervision of an adult / Age: 3-5 Years