“ Brand: Tomy „
~Power Line Collapse - Sodor Blackout~
Age recommendation : 3 years+
Power Line Collapse is a motorized train set which is part of the Thomas and Friends Trackmaster set. The various Trackmaster sets can be used together and there is a huge choice of motorized trains available for these sets.
Basically, Thomas manages to knock out the power lines and the Island of Sodor is descended into darkness. It is his job to collect the coal and restore power to Island of Sodor.
This set is presented in a large, colourful box. A full illustration of this set is on the back of the box. The contents of this set include :
*Trackmaster tracks (I think there are 14 different pieces of track).
*Thomas the Tank - he requires AA batteries x1
*Piece of coal
*Light up sign - requires AA batteries x2
*Collapsible power lines
This set requires adult assembly. The box can be recycled.
~Price and Availability~
Power Line Collapse is available from Smyths toy store (www.smythstoys.com). The rrp is £39.99 but it is currently on offer at just £21.99.
My son is a huge fan of Thomas and Friends. In the run up to Christmas, he had his eye on a few sets. Santa (with a recommendation from Uncle Craig), delivered this Power Line Collaspe set on Christmas morning. Boo was delighted and spent all morning assisting his Daddy, Uncle and Papa in assembling three Trackmaster sets. At the current selling price of £21.99, this is one of the cheaper Trackmaster sets and is very much worth the cost in our opinion.
We are lucky enough to have a spare room which we use as a toy room until we are blessed with another little one. It has plenty of floor space so we usually have all three of the Trackmaster sets assembled at the same time. If you are short on floor space then I would recommend these sets as they do take up quite a bit of space.
~Set Up and Quality~
This was a fairly quick set to assemble. The illustration on the back of the box gives a great guide of what parts go where. The pieces of track fix together easily and my son is able to do this himself. There is a little 'dead end' piece of plastic provided but this can be removed to allow additional track to be fixed into place and in turn, extend the set or join it up with another set.
There are a few raised blocks of plastic which sit underneath the track and lift it up in places but mainly, the track is quite flat. The track pieces are made of tough, durable plastic with no sharp edges. There is a green piece of track which features a control lever. This piece of track indicates where the Sodor Electric sign should be placed. The sign is made of colourful plastic and the batteries can be inserted quickly.
The power lines are made of bendy, wire like plastic and do get tangled easily if disconnected from the sign. They click into the track and there is a plug to connect them to the sign. The only other pieces of this set which needs to be attatched to the track is the coal hopper. It is made from green plastic and is designed to drop the coal for Thomas to collect. Speaking of Thomas, he is a typical Trackmaster engine and can be used on the various Trackmaster sets. He comes complete with a rear carriage and a piece of coal.
I would say that this set is very well made. It is clearly designed with pre-schoolers in mind and looks really cool when it is set up. The batteries in the Sodor Electric sign have lasted well and we have yet to replace them. The same cannot be said for Thomas. With regular use, his batteries run down very quickly and this is the same with every Trackmaster train that we own. It is certainly an expensive hobby!
Boo is nearly five and he absolutely LOVES this Trackmaster set. He likes the design of the set and has happily put Thomas to work and also his other engines including Percy and Spencer. This set is fun to play with and even Mummy has had a turn on several occasions. We mainly play with this set as a stand alone Trackmaster set but have at times, extended the track and allowed the engines to run a bit further.
The idea is for Thomas to restore power and to do this, he must enlist the help of Boo. Boo, at times, has been known to sit on his chair and make demands of the engines. He has his very own Island of Sodor and considers himself to be the Fat Controller but a slimmer version. With some Trackmaster sets, he is more than happy to set the engines speeding around the track and simply observe. But with Power Line Collapse, he does need to intervene.
Boo is able to 'work' this Trackmaster set on his own. Thomas and his rear carriage head off around the track at the flick of a switch and he runs smoothly without falling off the track. This is definitely a bonus for us as one of the other sets has seen many a train fall off and that is just no good at all. The first step is to ensure all the levers are positioned correctly and then Thomas can head off.
The power lines are easy to slot into the Sodor Electric station but Thomas is a clumsy little engine. His first journey past the station causes the power lines to collapse and fall out. This, in turn, results in the lights going off at the Electric station. Boo was quite impressed by how bright the Electric station actually is. It is like a bedtime torch and adds a really 'cool' touch to this Trackmaster set.
Boo takes great pleasure in telling Thomas off for tripping the power lines. By this time, the little block of coal (which I may add, is very easily lost but not small enough to be choking hazzard IMO) is in the coal hopper. Thomas has to zoom around the track and stop at the coal hopper. Boo tips the coap into the rear carriage and Thomas is able to be fix his mistake and restore the power by tipping the coal into a little scale at the Electric station. Hurray - light is restored!
This is such a fun set to play with and Boo really likes it. He enjoys helping Thomas and knows how to reattatch the power line cables without my help. There has been a few times where the whole Electric station and power line set up hasn't gone according to plan but this is usually down to something not being attatched correctly or a lever not being in the correct position. It is very simple to correct without adult help.
I would say that this is a good value set at the current selling price. The fact that it contains a motorized train and carriage does increase the popularity of the set. Boo doesn't play with it daily but he does go through phases of wanting to play with this particular set more than the other Trackmaster sets that are in the toy room.
Overall, we can award this set four stars. It is fun, my son likes it and it is very well made. It won't hold the attention of a little one for too long though.
Thanks for reading :)