When I was a kid, my grandmother had a train set under the Christmas tree. Ever since then, I feel like trains are just a part of Christmas. Now that my son is old enough to appreciate toys like trucks and trains and action figures, my husband and I decided: this year was the year for a train set. Yay!
Except wow… it turns out, it’s actually really hard to choose a train set that’s good for a young age.
My kids are nearly 3 and 5, so it needs to be durable with a sturdy track. It needs to be able to run on its own. If it’s not continuous, if it’s tricky to line up, or if it falls over – then mom and dad sure don’t enjoy it. And finally it needs to be fun right out of the box. Lucky for me, the Thomas & Friends™ TrackMaster™ Shipwreck Rails Set set was a win on all counts. It’s inspired by the movie, Thomas & Friends DVD, Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure, so it’s a great gift set!
I wanted to test it out and share our experience with you guys while there’s still time to pick the set up for your kids for Christmas – so Roman got an early gift. He was a pretty good “helper” while I assembled the track for him!
Now, the track only assembles in one configuration, but the instructions for assembling it were really easy to follow and I got the set together in about 10 minutes. What’s really cool about it is that it climbs up hills, has a track switch, and the star feature is Thomas’ 360 spinning descent on his way to collect the treasure. He stays on the track in a continuous loop, powered by 2 AAA batteries.
The age for this set is 3 and up, and I think it’s designed really well for littles by Fisher-Price with the automatic reset for continuous play, and the fact that the grooves on the rails are nice and deep Even if your kids still have clumsy fingers, Thomas will keep chugging along if he gets bumped, or if your kids are looking for hands-on play, like this guy.
Roman ran round and round the track, following Thomas and cheering him on. “You can do it! You’re almost there!” he shouted whenever he climbed a hill. As I mentioned, the Thomas & Friends™ TrackMaster™ Shipwreck Rails Set is inspired by the movie Thomas & Friends DVD, Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure. The Trackmaster line and the DVD and Blu-Ray are available at Walmart. My kids love the Thomas & Friends cartoons, and the movie is a treasure-hunting quest with both new friends and your favorites – they can watch the movie, and then act it out with Thomas on the Shipwreck Rails play set. And since the Shipwreck Rails set is compatible with all the TrackMaster sets and accessories, you can add more friends for great new adventures, too!
Bottom line on this set: if you have a little fan of Thomas & Friends, then this set is a great one. It’s big – which can be a pro or a con, depending on your setup. While it does require some floor space, it’s seriously impressive to your junior engineer as the big gift of the day! Little hands will do well with the track design, and Thomas is a character they’ll recognize right away. Extra friends, and the Thomas & Friends DVD, Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure movie make great stocking stuffers to go along with it, too!
Thanks for joining me and my little man today to put this toy to the test. (Santa will be bringing James and Percy to join in the fun this Christmas!)