Saturday, 26 January 2013

Trackmaster Thomas' Wild Ride - Thomas Finds Hiro

One of the Trackmaster expansion sets that our son got for Christmas was Thomas' Wild Ride, which replicates the famous scene where Thomas meets his new friends Hiro hidden along an abandoned track.
The set includes a special track section where the included Thomas can trigger a spring loaded mechanism where trees jump out the way to reveal a cardboard image of Hiro. As the special section is based around a three way junction you very easily replace the cardboard cut out with a model of Hiro.
The set comes with quite a bit of track, and also includes a junction point so integrating it into your existing Trackmaster set up should be straight forward.
Thomas' Wildride also includes a couple of extra scenery sections, a couple of the bends have posts which overhang the track, as Thomas passes them he pushes them out the way and they spring back after he has past.      
The track and feature pieces from this impressive set have fitted nicely into our existing layout.
The video below shows the Thomas finding Hiro.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Thomas and Friends Trackmaster Cranky set

Cranky the crane is a popular character in the Thomas and Friends adventures who features regularly in the Thomas and Friends TV series.
There have been several Trackmaster models of Cranky released over the years although at the moment finding a version in the shops is difficult, in fact finding any Trackmaster expansion sets is difficult as there seems to be a commercial focus on selling complete sets.
Fortunately eBay is a great place to find Trackmaster sets and often at a very low price, and we were able to purchase a Cranky set for less then £10.
The Cranky we purchased was an old style Tomy set which runs on a different style of track to the current range of Trackmaster toys, fortunately the expansion kit that we had previously purchased includes adapters to connect old and new style tracks, and everything linked together well.
The Cranky set represents a dock yard and splits into two tracks with Cranky sat next to one of the tracks. As a train passes Cranky it is held in place by a lever and the battery powered Crane jumps into action, rotating backwards and forwards as if moving stock from a ship on to train, after 3 cycles the train is released on its way.
As the video below shows the Cranky set is a nice addition to our Trackmaster track and certainly adds character.

Thomas and Friends Trackmaster Christmas Set

Our son loves Thomas and we wanted to do something special for him as part of our Christmas decorations.
We had seen numerous Christmas decorations where a train track would run around your Christmas but we wanted to use something that would expand his existing Trackmaster set. The solution was to use the Trackmaster expansion set to create a basic loop that ran around our Christmas tree.
The Trackmaster expansion set includes enough track to significantly increase your existing track lay out but can be used by itself to create a complete and interesting circuit, we found the raised corner sections to be very useful & the box lid can be used as a section.
Oddly we found the quality of the track included in the expansion set to be significantly better then the track included in the Trackmaster boxed sets.
The results of our work can be seen in the video below:


Monday, 25 June 2012

Toby's Windmill and Maron Water Tower

Following on from our initial purchase of our Thomas Rides the Rails Trackmaster set we were keen to expand our sons set with some interactive accessories, and as our son has a fascination with windmills, we were attracted to the Toby's Windmill & Maron Water Tower expansion.

This Expansion set doesn't include any additional track or trains but does include two well detailed models, a water  tower and and a windmill both of which have a mechanical feature.

Toby's windmill has a button on the base which when pressed rotates the windmills blades and when the spout on the Maron Water Tower is pressed down the blue plastic water moves down into the tower giving the effect that water is emptying into the a train.
Whilst the is no direct interaction with trains on the track this expansion set adds extra character to a Track master set.
The video below shows the Toby's Windmill & Maron Water Tower Trackmaster expansion set in action.

You can buy the kit by clicking here

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Thomas & Friends Trackmaster. Thomas Rides the Rails

As previously explained we had decided to buy our son a Thomas and Friends Trackmaster train set, and we purchased the Thomas Rides the Rails set which is described on the box as The Perfect Starter Set.
Thomas Rides the Rails Starter Set
The first thing that you'll notice is how small the box is that contains all the parts, if you are expecting a monster sized set you are going to be disapointed, but if it eases the pain it is well packaged, although the truth is that this isn't a big set. Consisting of 2 straight sections and 8 bend sections the track forms an oval shape, with 1 of the straights containing the flip switch to stop the train moving at the station.
The set comes with a plastic station and sticker set to decorate it as Elsbridge station, and it provides the perfect setting to stop the train.
The well detailed Elsbridge Station
The set comes with a battery powered and well detailed model of Thomas, which is the perfect choice for a starter set, Thomas runs on a single AA battery, although you might want to invest in rechargeable batteries and a charger.
To show the set in action I've created the following video, which shows the size of the track and how trains can be stopped at the station.
You can buy this set from Amazon

Friday, 15 June 2012

Why did we choose Thomas & Friends TrackMaster

Our Two year old son has recently discovered Thomas and Friends on DVD and has become fascinated by trains, so we decided to get him a train set, and one which would grow with him.
We wanted a set which would allow him to interact to a certain extent but where the trains were self powered so that he could sit and watch them without having to push them around the track. It was this requirement that led us to Trackmaster, after research on YouTube it became apparent that the Thomas and Friends design, expandable & exciting track along with battery powered trains made these sets for our requirement.
So off we went to Argos and picked up the Thomas Rides The Rails Starter Set and our son's Thomas adventure had begun.