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My son at this point in time is a huge fan of Thomas the Tank, he has various Thomas Lego sets, engines, small die cast engines and so on and so when he was given a Tomy TrackTrackmaster set for Christmas with his Grandad he was extremely excited he had a train that went along on it's own as previously he had always had to push them by himself, obviously a very exhausting task for a three year old! This review will focus soley on the train itself as this is what we had a problem with.
As I hadn't purchased this I had to look around and discovered that this train is pretty expensive at the £10 to £15 range! I have to say I am glad I hadn't paid that but for a motorised train that is branded you expect to pay a little more. The train itself requires an AA battery which is easy enough to put it, you do have to have a star shaped screwdriver to take the cap off but as I say it's easy enough. All that requires the train to go is too flip the white almost top of a popsicle stick shape to the opposite side and off we go. The train runs at a decent enough speed, not too fast but neither as slow as a snail and fits well onto the available trackmaster track. The battery also seems to last an incredible amount of time, my son had it on almost constantly from the minute he got it until the unfortunate death it died around a month later and I didn't have to change the battery once.
I think that this would be suitable for children probably around the 2 year mark, maybe a little younger if they are interested in trains and are happy to sit and watch them going round, my three year old also got a lot of pleasure out of this so I do think that this is suitable for a very versatile range of ages. However there is a huge problem I have with this product and hopefully after you hear you will understand why my rating stands at 1 star mainly because I do have to rate it.
Around a month after my son had received this and had been playing with it a lot of the time which may be a factor but I do think that it shouldn't have been, my son was playing downstairs whilst I was busy getting little jobs done. A couple of minutes after I had nipped upstairs to put some washing away my son came upstairs and I noticed a very thick black smoke, on running downstairs I discovered that the whole house was filled with smoke and on my living room table lay the once trackmaster Thomas burning in a bubble of plastic. After the initial panic I doused the machine in water and the fire went out easily enough but getting rid of the smoke and ashes off of every little surface was a much bigger problem. For some unknown reason the train had caught fire and within literally a couple of minutes had melted into a flat pile of bubbling black mess.
I contacted Tomy about this and they offered to pay £30 Argos vouchers but since that email and requesting a box to send the product back from testing (at their request) I haven't heard a peep from them. I am just glad my son is ok and remained unharmed throughout the whole thing. Personally I thought the days of toys going up in flames were over but apparently not. As you can imagine although it may be just a one off unfortunate incident I am not happy with this at all and I won't be as trusting of a 'long established trusted brand' as I previously might have been.
After what has happened I can only give this 1 star, the toy itself I think is a great idea and my son was a big fan of this but I can't bring myself to purchase another one knowing what happened the first time.
When my son wanted to spend his birthday money on a Thomas track master engine after he has 3 at home from various track master sets we brought I was a little confused. So this review is on the Thomas track master engine you can buy separately rather than part of a track set as there is a difference between the two.
The train is made of solid plastic and has the features of the famous Thomas the tank engine painted on it so it is easily recognisable to children. This is a motorised engine and it has a switch on the back of the train that when you push makes the train moves by itself to stop the train simply switch it the other way and it will turn off. This is very easy to do and my son could do this by 18 months old by himself independently.
Unlike the Thomas engine you receive in the set this one actually has a trailer attached to it. Normally trailers can be coupled and un-coupled at the back of the engine but this Thomas engine the trailer and main part of the engine are actually attached by a plastic loop and cannot be removed. This was a little disappointing for my son as he likes to swap and change the trailers.
The trailer is simply a piece of green plastic on wheels it has no interactive parts and the only purpose I can see it holding is for appearance and to hold the battery. The trailer itself does not have anywhere to hold cargo like a lot of the track master engines do it is just a plastic case that covers the battery.
It requires 1 AA battery and to replace this you take the case of the trailer off which clips off easily and then you add the battery. Then replace the case which slips into place and when you press the leaver Thomas will be ready to go.
The case can become loose after my son found how to remove it and re add it when he was a little older so now it rattles as Thomas chugs around the track but this seems to add to the excitement for him.
Moving around the track
The train moves freely around the track the wheels on the bottom do not stick and the grooves on the track master track sets keeps the engine running in the right direction. It moves rather slowly around the track but my son likes that it keeps going by itself.
The rain also runs freely off the track and works well on all surfaces including wooden flooring and carpet. The only thing with using it off the track is it only runs in straight lines as there is nothing to guide it and this means little spends a lot of the time chasing it around to turn it in directions.
We have had this engine for over 2 years now and it is still in perfect working order there are no scratches to the paint and the only thing that is different from when we first purchased it is the trailer rattles a little. The batteries have only been changed once in this time which for the amount if usage it gets I think is great.
Although this train has its downsides my son loves it all the same my main thing is that the track master train set often include Thomas in them so I do not see the point of purchasing this separately. Yes it has a trailer that is not available with standard Thomas engines but you can easily swap and change other characters trailers that actually hold cargo. Also you can purchase Annie and Clarabelle for around the same price of this Thomas engine and I would highly suggest these rather than a plain green plastic addition.
This is recommended from 3 years plus although my son used it from a younger age than this as it is chunky and no small parts I do not see any harm in it. You do need to purchase 1 AA battery as this is not provided. It retails at around £10-£15 so do shop around.
Thomas, one of your favourite friends from Thomas & Friends as a motorized engine for the TrackMaster motorized railway. Push him along or flip the switch to watch him chug along by himself. Motorized train track play is compatible with TrackMaster playsets. Requires 1 x AA battery.Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts Age range: From 3 years.