I was contacted a few weeks ago to see if I would like to review a licensed children’s toy. Winston being a massive Thomas & Friends fan meant that our choice was very straightforward. He will often walk around the house saying: ‘Thomas…and friends’. We were sent the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Coal Hopper set to review and eagerly awaited its arrival. I knew he would love it.
I have some very fond memories of playing Brio with my siblings. My mum still has our whole set, and her grandchildren (including Winston) love playing with it. Wooden train sets last a lifetime and are easy to expand to make more exciting. This one is a figure of 8 set that includes a ramp and a coal hopper.
– Thomas with one carriage
– 1 x coal hopper and 1 x piece of coal
– 2 x ramp sections
– 3 x straight sections
– 12 x curved sections
- The great thing about this particular set that although it looks quite small and simple it challenges a child’s motor skills in lots of different ways – working out how to put the pieces together at all, working out how to build a formation, negotiating the building of the ramp section, taking Thomas under the ramp, putting the coal in the hopper, and then lining up Thomas’ freight carriage to receive it.
- The toy is meant for 3+ years but it is definitely the type of toy that younger children will love too. Winston couldn’t work out how to make the track join – he was getting quite frustrated and needed some reassurance along the way…but he has still played with it for ages every day since we received it. I’m sure it won’t be long until he has worked out how to join the track, which then means we can move on to creating the suggested figure of 8 formation.
- He loves putting the coal in the hopper and pressing the button to make it land in the carriage.
- He loves taking Thomas under the bridge.
- It doesn’t take up too much room.
- It is easy to expand if you want to buy some more track pieces.
Not so much…
- My one grumble is a very boring one – I was slightly disappointed that the ramp section of the track was plastic. I really didn’t expect it to be in there as the picture on the Argos website shows a wooden ramp section, which is misleading, but from a child’s perspective there is absolutely nothing to fault. Winston plays with it for ages and tries and tries again to get the pieces to fit together. He loves the coal hopper and the added excitement of the ramp.
We were sent the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway & Hopper train set free of charge for the purpose of this review. All of the words and opinions are my own.