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Posted on Jul 10, 2012

Toy Tattle’s Guide to Thomas and Friends Track Sets

Toy Tattle’s Guide to Thomas and Friends Track Sets

My youngest son is a huge fan of Thomas & Friends, so we are swimming in Thomas toys.

When buying Thomas toys you need to do your research.

There are a number of different lines of vehicles and tracks, and they are not cross-compatible.

To get the most play value for your money, you should decide on a toy line you like and stick to buying within that line.

Since I have hands on experience with every type of Thomas track and have a home filled with $100s worth of Thomas trains, I thought I’d share my wisdom with you here.

Here’s my guide to what’s available.

Mega Bloks Thomas – LEGO Style Train Sets

Thomas Mega Bloks Busy Day at the Quarry Set

Aimed at kids aged 3 years and up, the appeal of these sets is that you construct them yourself one brick at a time, including the engines.

The different Mega Bloks Thomas sets and compatible so you can expand your collection, and either construct the playsets as per the instructions, or freestyle and create your own designs.

The emphasis with these sets is on the contruction rather than train play.

Since the sets are designed to be easily put together and taken apart again, it is inevitable that some parts come apart during play.

You will be the best person to judge how your child will react to this.

Some kids enjoy the challenge of creating different track layouts and moving the buildings around, and other children, like my youngest, may get frustrated and upset.

Wooden Railway Thomas & Friends

Thomas Wooden Railway – Knapford Station Set

Wooden train tracks and playsets with manual and motorized wooden engines available.

Circular magnet on Thomas Wooden Railway engine

These trains can be identified as being made of wood, and having circular connecting magnets to the front and rear.

The tracks are easy to put together, as the pieces simply slot together, and there is a a good deal of flexibility in the track joints.

Aimed at kids aged 2 years and up.

The most expensive of the ranges, but also the most durable, and likely to hold its value should you wish to sell your collection on later.

TrackMaster – Plastic Thomas Train Sets

Thomas TrackMaster Sodor Adventure Set

This is the line with have gone for, and we have boxes and boxes of the stuff.

The track pieces are plastic and very easy to put together.

Also because they are quite flat, and light-weight, pieces are easy for little hands to pick up, and not too cumbersome to store.

There are dozens of different sets available, each with a building or track features, some pieces of track and a motorized engine.

We’ve mixed all of the pieces together, and my boys spend hours with their Dad creating elaborate tracks going around the house, and then set a few of the engines on at one time.

There are switches on the track so you can change the route of the engines and prevent a collison, and stop points too, where the trains can make a temporary pause to let the train ahaead get away from them.

For kids aged 3 years and up.

Take N Play – Playsets and die-cast metal engines

Thomas Take N Play Knapford Station

These are track playsets that fold up, and can be joined together.

This is ideal if you odn’t have a lot of space to leave a train track on the floor, but you also don’t want to spend time every day laying down individual pieces of track and then picking them back up again.

With these toys you could buy a few playsets and join them together to quickly make a large play area, that is just as easily packed away again.

Rectangular magnet on Thomas Take N Play engine

The engines are die cast metal and non-motorized, so you need to push them along.

In photos you can identify them as having small square joining magnets to the front and rear.

The engines are smaller than the wooden and TrackMaster trains, and will not fit on those tracks.

For kids aged 3 years and up.

Go to Thomas and Friends track sets list on Amazon >>>

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