Most helpful positive review
Rocky the crane - member of Sodor's "Sodor Search & Rescue Center" team!
on December 21, 2011
Rocky is one of the 6 member Sodor Search & Rescue Center (SSRC) in the Take-n-Play line. He's a "rolling stock" character (meaning one who - in the "real" world! - can't move unassisted by another vehicle), a large red crane with yellow hazard stripes, the "gentle giant" of Sodor - so large that he needs two train beds to rest his large crane arm on! The TnP model has a cab that rotates 360 degrees on its base, his crane arm is on hinges so it moves up and down, and the yellow tip of the arm contains a magnet that can actually lift metal objects! It's practically impossible to keep Rocky's arm on the beds while moving him down the track, so my grandson would only employ them when Rocky was "taking a nap". There are protruding magnetic connectors on both ends of each piece of this 3-piece diecast. Rocky was always stationed at our grandson's Sodor Search & Rescue Center playset (although the playset wasn't nearly as elaborate as what it is on the DVDs or TV show), with the other members of the team consisting of Butch (a breakdown truck), Harold (a helicopter), Flynn (a fire engine), Harold (a helicopter) and Belle (a large engine with water cannons).
We purchased our grandson's Rocky in 2010 for $13.41, but despite this listing having the same model number ours had (R9468), the photo has some differences, one of which is that the yellow magnet on our Rocky is firmly attached to his arm, while the one in the photo is on a hinge. There's only one other option with Rocky in the Take-n-Play line, which was his inclusion in a 2011 4-pack called Rocky's Search & Rescue (keep in mind that THREE of those four pieces was Rocky himself!)
I'd thought that all of the non-train models had been spared the cost cutting/quality reducing measures Fisher-Price began inflicting on the Take-n-Play line in 2013 (leading us to stop collecting at the end of that year), which have only gotten more severe - and VERY noticeable! - with the passage of time. I knew they'd come out with a few more non-train characters in 2014 that definitely weren't as high quality as the others - Toad (a brakevan) and a couple of other cheap Troublesome Trucks. But as I started going through and updating my reviews, I began noticing that despite having the same model numbers of the ones we purchased for our grandson on the listings, so many of the photos looked different from ours, so obviously Fisher-Price was quietly taking the budget-axe to some of these great old high quality diecast characters as well. It's been very disheartening to watch the decline of the line, because we sure would've liked to keep our collection going for the younger grandkids. Unfortunately, when it comes to Take-n-Play, "it ain't what it used to be".
The many non-train TnP characters we've collected had always been great favorites of our oldest grandson. Although our middle grandson (almost 3) hasn't yet shown the keen interest the oldest had in the trains themselves (other than the ones that talk!), he LOVES the non-train guys/gals! We made our purchases from 2010 through the end of 2013, and they were all super cute, with the superb detailing we'd come to expect and depend on. Whether it was Annie & Clarabel (Thomas' coaches), or members of "The Pack" - Alfie (excavator), Kelly (crane truck), Byron (bulldozer), Isobella (vintage flatbed lorry), Jack (front loader), or the Sodor Search & Rescue Center (SSRC) team, or the many others - Kevin (crane), Bertie (bus), Sir Topham Hatt's (blue) car, Elizabeth (vintage steam lorry), Madge (large flatbed truck), Mr. Percival's (red) car, Winston (Sir Topham Hatt's track inspection vehicle), Hector (coal hopper) or the black/grey version of Troublesome Truck with his funny expression, we've loved them all and they've got a ton of mileage on them between our two grandsons (with another 6 month old grandson waiting in the wings for his turn with them!)