Thomas And Friends Wooden Railway - Water Tower Figure 8 Set
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- Thomas The Tank Engine, Thomas Wooden Railway, A New Way To Play With Thomas
- Works With all Thomas Wooden Railway Items, High Quality Track and Cars
- Best Play Value, Best Fun, Your Best Thomas Friend
- Handmade with REAL WOOD
- Recommended Age Range 3 to 5 Years
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Top Customer Reviews
The water tower contains liquid that appears to "drain" when you lower the spout (this alone is worth hours of entertainment for a toddler). The bridge has 3 parts and is very easy for young hands to assemble. It's reasonably stable, although the top piece is not held in place with anything other than gravity and can be knocked over accidentally. There is plenty of room underneath for trains and track. Some cheaper sets have bridges that are so low that the trains don't fit underneath.
Thomas brand track is excellent quality and features indented "ties," unlike less expensive versions. However, it's fully compatible with Brio, Imaginarium, and several generic brands on the market. This set also includes a Thomas train and cargo car to start your Thomas collection (Watch out! It's addicting). These would retail for about $10 apiece if you bought them separately. If your child already has a Thomas train, don't worry. To a 2 or 3 year old, two identical trains are more fun than one.
A simple figure-8 track layout is best for young children who are being introduced to wooden train sets for the first time. You can also rearrange the pieces to make a loop or simple circle. I highly recommend this set as a first train set for any boy or girl age 2 and up! A great companion is Thomas Wacky Track, which allows for a wider range of curve diameters, and reduces the frustration level of beginning engineers.
I would offer one caveat. This set is very similar to the Conductor's Figure 8 Set, which is typically offered for the same price. While the water tower that comes with this set is a pretty neat accessory, I think that the Conductor's set offers a bit better value, as it comes with Thomas and two cars (Water Tower set only comes with one engine and one car), as well as an additional switch track and a conversion ramp. These offer a bit more flexibility in layout and play, especially since my son is not terribly interested in the water tower right now (though this may change when he gets older).
If you add up the price of the red water tower, one train with attached cargo train, a bridge, and several track sets and accessories, you would be at a price 50-75% more than the cost of this excellent Thomas starter set. This set is even worth it if you already have other pieces in the line. My son wanted a water tower, and I figured why pay the price of a single one, when for a few dollars more, you get 2 trains, a bridge, signs, a figure, a tree, and tons of track. While some of the larger Thomas sets don't really save you cash and can be very pricey, this one is probably the best value out there.
One other note, the differences between the red and yellow tower are not just the color. The red one, sold by itself, has the train track piece attached to it as one unit. The yellow one in this set does not have a track attached, but comes with two little magnets in front, and there is one straight track piece that has the two magnets on the side, so you can make it stay put. It may take a few minutes when you disassemble it, to find the right track piece with the magnet, and if you have a lot of track like we do, it can take several minutes!! In a way, it's better than the red one, in that you can place it where you want, even around a curve, by just using it alone. On the downside, if you lose that magnetic piece of track, you won't get it to attach to anything anymore.
The set up: younger kids will need help putting it together.
Adults will want to find a safe place to keep the paper that tells you exactly how to set it up. It is a figure 8 shape and if you don't put the right pieces in the right place it won't make it all the way around.
FYI: I also did not know that the Thomas the Train pieces you buy at Target do not fit all Thomas tracks.
I had set it up the other day to "inspect" it, to make sure it was really what I wanted to give ds. The track set up is very easy and only takes a minute or two. The tracks are double sided, which would make it easier for him. Two of the tracks have a road print on them, and don't look like the other side at all, but I don't mind. The train also moved slowly across the track. The track pieces do fit a little snug, which is a positive and negative. It is good because I know it won't be easy for a piece to slide out of place, if it gets hit a few times, and it is harder for my son to take apart. The negative is that I will have to put it together and take it apart because it will be hard for him to do those (it isn't a big deal at all). It does come with a Thomas Engine...when I was reading up on this set, I couldn't find anywhere if it came with an engine. I thought it just came with the boxcar (very pleased again). The box car that comes with it is plastic, not wood like the rest, it isn't a big deal to me, but it may be for others.
I think the price for the set is VERY reasonable. The water tower alone is $25 and the Thomas engine alone is $10. The set comes with both for $40. I like to think that the track set only cost $5, when the price is broken down to the individual items.
Overall I am very satisfied with this train set. I can't wait for ds to open it on his birthday. I also can't wait to add on to it for Christmas. It is a perfect first train set.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We purchased this set for our daughter when she was two and a half, after she'd received a Thomas wooden starter set and wanted more track to make her railway bigger. Read morePublished on March 3, 2014 by Reading Fanatic
Our grandson has played with this toy for years (since he was 1 1/2) and has always loved it. He is now almost 6, and still gravitates to this toy when he is at our house. Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by Noreen Chapman
This was our sons Christmas gift when he was a year old (4 yrs old now). He still has this and we've added many pieces. Read morePublished on December 9, 2013 by Kindle Customer
I love this for any kids who love to build and love Thomas! This is a fantastic starter for those kids that like trains!Published on December 8, 2013 by J. Whitney