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Stanley is a Must IF...
on May 25, 2010
My son is crazy about Thomas (as most 2 yr old boys are) and we have been rapidly building his train collection. If you have or plan to get the movie "The Great Discovery" then Stanley is a must. I believe that is the only movie in which Stanley is featured- but he is a MAIN character (most of the plot is focused around Stanley). If you don't have that movie, then there really probably isn't a need to spend the money on this character. Since my son loves to watch that movie every chance he gets, he is naturally a huge fan of Stanley and plays with him every day. He is well made/ durable- will withstand much rough play! (In our experience all of the Thomas wooden trains have been).
If you are new to the Thomas line of toys and movies/shows, I'll give you a little more info... I happen to run into many people in stores that are just starting out with Thomas and with so many choices they have no idea where to start.
I hope this helps-
My hubby and I find the "morals" of the stories (or at least how they execute the arguments between characters) pretty inappropriate in almost all of the Thomas TV shows. But we have found some of the movies (especially the newer ones) are much better narrated and written. We were happy that the movie "The Great Discovery" has little-to-none of the content that the TV shows have (the content that makes us cringe). We don't allow our son to watch the Thomas TV programs, just our pre-approved movies- and of course he wants to watch them a million times in a row (as most kids love to do). So I feel that the movies are good for entertainment and for our son's character identification/recognition and such.
Which characters to start with??
All of the movies feature "the 8 main characters" and a myriad of other less main characters, and usually feature between 1-3 main "guest" characters to the plot (which differs in EACH movie). Meaning they are often featured only in ONE video, never to be seen again, but hold a large part of that movie's plot (like a main guest star).
So once you purchase any movie, expect to want to purchase about 3 new characters- which your child will think are his new friends. My son loves to recreate (act out) the movie as he watches it.
Again for anyone new to the line, you may find this a helpful place to start: the Main 8 characters ALWAYS featured are: Thomas, Percy, James, Gordon, Henry, Toby, Emily, & Edward. Less main characters always featured: Harold (the Helicopter) and Sir Topham Hatt. Other often featured are: Bertie the Bus, Harvey, & Rocky.
My son happens to love a few more obscure characters like: Mighty Mack, Madge (the flatbed truck), Jack (tractor), & George (the Steamroller).
Since the Thomas wooden collection is very large and very pricey, I would start with the Main characters, and pick a movie or two and purchase the main "guests" featured in that movie(s), and wait to see the additional ones that will grab your child's attention, you might be surprised at the ones they like (as we have been). Although, I have never felt the urge to buy/collect them all (since there are just too many), we still somehow have built a large collection! So as many others warn.... it does get addicting! I have found this collection to be well worth the money, but I highly suggest you purchase a great train table/ track set (like the Imaginarium one from Toys R US- a super buy) to play on! I have never seen my son happier- or play longer with anything!