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My son is a huge Thomas fan and he seems to have accrued various train based toys within his short life so far and this seems to be up there with the most for playability and value.
We managed to buy this at Woolworths in the sale for £30 almost half what it sells for elsewhere as a Christmas present. The set consists of a fair amount of track that complements other sets in the range so can be combined with these to provide endless layouts and configurations and also Thomas and some trucks. The airport part consists of Jeremy the plane, a fixed airport and a track in a runway coloured grey and a blue clear track to represent being in the air. Points may be opened and closed to send Jeremy in different directions as he "circles" before landing. Jeremy and Thomas like other vehicles in the range are battery powered and my son loves to send them racing round the track. The batteries seem to last for ages which is an added bonus
My three year old son received this Tomy Thomas the Tank Engine and Jeremy Airport set for Christmas.
In the set you receive two sets of track, one for Thomas and one for Jeremy. You get a control tower building that also acts as a loading bay for Thomas. You get a battery operated Jeremy which is a white plane. You also get a battery operated Thomas the Tank Engine and two trucks for him to pull along. There are some plastic pots of paint and logs that fit into the trucks.
The two tracks are quite simple to put together as there aren't many pieces. It does take a few minutes though just because of the size of the toy and putting all the stands under the raised track. Both the plane and the train need batteries which are not supplied. The batteries fit into a secure compartment underneath each character and a screwdriver is needed to insert them. I found it quite fiddly to get the battery inside Thomas. The control tower fits to both tracks and has two levers on it. These levers can be used to raise a small section of the tracks which causes the plane or train to stop. When the lever is moved the character can then move on again.
When I first set this up my three year old son and his four year old sister where both very excited by it. They both love the Thomas the Tank Engine characters and we don't have anything else like this other than a brio style wooden train set. They both 'helped' me to set the track up and were busy playing with the two characters before I had even finished. Once I was out of the way they played for ages and were pretending to be each of the characters and having a really fun game. I was clearing away the packing when I noticed that you were supposed to put batteries into the engine and the plane. Luckily I had some AA and AAA batteries which I had bought before Christmas so that I was ready for all the things that you receive that don't come with the necessary batteries. It took me a while to get the batteries in but soon the characters were ready to go. Once the characters were able to move by themselves my children placed them on their respective tracks and then sat back and watched them going round and round. There was no more climbing all over the track, no more laughing and role-playing they just sat back and stared trance-like at the little engine chugging round and round!
After a short time both my children wandered off to find something more interesting to play with.
I have decided that I should never have put the batteries into the toys as this took away any entertainment value offered by this Airport set. My children have had more fun letting the battery powered toys loose on the carpet than watching them continuously going round and round.
The Airport set is available from Toys R Us and www.amazon.co.uk and is priced at around £19.99. I would say that this is a fairly reasonable price but if you shopped around I'm sure you could find a bargain.
On the whole I was really pleased with the Airport set even though it did take up half the room. I think it is too big to leave left out unless you have somewhere out of the way to keep it. Mine was constantly being destroyed by my cat and my one year old son. I think it has great entertainment value as long as you don't put the batteries in after all who wants to play with a train set that doesn't need you to interact at all!
I would recommend this to any Thomas fans as it is well made and you get a lot of toy for your money. I would say that the 3 years and over age range is about right because there are small pieces and it is fiddly to put together for a young child.
*This review is also shown on www.ciao.co.uk under my username of 1mum23*
Jeremy the plane flies into Sodor airport to visit Thomas, who is busy pulling the the Troublesome Trucks full of cargo! They can have fun racing each other as Jeremy takes off and flies circles aroud Thomas! You can switch the points to change Jeremy's flight path and send him in the opposite direction! Comes with separate ovals of track for Thomas and Jeremy and an airport terminal building.