Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Buy Thomas the Train - Which thomas to buy

Nathan has really been going crazy over Thomas the Train (See his Thomas Video).

Every morning, when he wakes up, he comes to me and says “Choo-Choo!”….He drags me to his train set, and insists that I get it moving!

This is his current train layout:


The train track currently occupies 50% of my living room area…and he really likes it!

Is it difficult to buy a “Thomas the Train” toy set?

Well, it’s more difficult than you think, as you will find many different editions at the local department store. It also gets more complicated, as the toys allow for “Expansion”. This means that you can join the railway tracks together and have a really big railway city. This is the cool part for us fathers, as I like to see the railway tracks get longer and longer…

Here are some tips for parents, who may need to buy a “Thomas the Train” toy set soon.

What should I look out for?

1) There is the British Version of ‘Thomas the Train” which has wooden railway tracks

thomas the train

The Engines are also made of Metal Die Cast, and the trains are usually non-motorized.

The accessories are usually very “classy”, but a bit more expensive.

I will generally avoid this range, as it is a bit ‘hard’ on the pocket.

2) The Japanese version made by “Tomy” is a more affordable range.

Tomy also features a battery powered Thomas the Train module, while the British one is manuel.


However, things can also get a bit more complicated with the Japanese “Tomy” range.

The problem arises with the fact that certain sets are not expandable.

One can identify the difference via the colour of the tracks.


  • Blue Tracks are Expandable.
  • Gray Tracks are NOT Expandable

You will realize the difference, as you look carefully at the tracks on the box.

The photo below shows a train which is NOT Expandable.


Notice the Grey Tracks!

I will avoid the Non-Expandable range (Gray tracks), as you cannot add to the train set, and they just take up stand alone space in the house. The Thomas the Train found here is also battery operated.

There is legible price difference between the 2 editions.

If you are still confused about which train set to buy, bring a father along…I spent about half an hour at the toy store, looking at the boxes, before I roughly “guessed” my way around.

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Jonathan said...

Wow. Toys are sure getting cooler these days..

Klessis said...

Haha! That's why people get smarter after they have kids! There are just so many new theories to learn everyday!

San said...

Wah!!! Huge tracks! Haha! Thanks for the heads' up. I'll know what to get next time! :)

beaglesg said...

Thanks for the insight!
At least now i know what to look out for when buying thomas the train.

Jasmine Cheang said...

Hi Edmund! I just wanna thank and appreciate your care and concern. I have just updated my blog with the latest condition of my face. =) Thanks once again Edmund!! =)

Alanna Tan said...

The train! This brings me back to the time when we ushered at the Thomas and Friends event in expo! Haha.. Thomas, perly and diesel! Well.. kids love them! haha..

Hann Hann said...

Wah! *envy*

I love Thomas too!

I only have one humble set. the expandable kind. my parents had previously wanteda expand it but due to some reason (or excuses) they're not. =(

Think it's because Mummy bought the lego duplo Thomas (which you missed out). It's also expandable. plus compatible with other duplo.

Then papa think it's gonna be endless so... boohoohoo... he's not buying anymore. *super sad*

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