Can you believe that Thomas & Friends is 70 years old this year. Yes, I know, something that is older than me – toot! toot! Thomas the Tank Engine was a part of my own childhood and I remember enjoying the original stories with my younger brother when we were kids. I love the fact that Monkey is a total fan, we have the books, DVD’s and of course, we have the trains! I bought Monkey a Trackmaster set a couple of years ago and he’s always loved it. It was easy for him to assemble himself and gave lots of flexibility for track layout. He was thrilled when we recently received the Thomas and Friends Breakaway Bridge set to add to his Thomas & Friends adventures!
The Trackmaster Thomas and Friends Breakaway Bridge Set is aimed at children from 3 years and comes with 10 pieces of track a signal, house structure, buffer, 2 track adapters (more on that in a moment), a motorised Thomas train (you will need 2 x AAA batteries) and instruction leaflet.
The first thing that was apparent was that the Trackmaster sets have been redesigned hence the new adaptors. This happened towards the backend of 2014.
It was good to know that the track might have changed but that we can still connect the Thomas and Friends Breakaway Bridge Set to our existing railway – phew! The next change involves the engines themselves – our existing collection of trains all use AA batteries, the new Thomas needs 2 x AAA – uurgh – not batteries I had in my stock pile. So I need to go shopping. Apparently, the new trains are designed to deal with steeper inclines in the newer sets but older trains should work on most new sets – double phew! We could try the set using our old trains until I had sorted the battery issue (Mummy was saved).
I do have a bit of a niggle with this re-design. Whilst the new track connectors are great at creating a really sturdy track layout (aka toddler proof), my 5 year old would really struggle to construct this set himself. To me, that part of the enjoyment lost. He has successfully managed to pull the track apart, but still needs me to put it together. Personally, I think that’s a shame, but others with younger children may disagree.
Anyway, the track is easily to assemble within a matter of a minute or two and then the fun can begin.
So was the Thomas and Friends Breakaway Bridge Set a hit with Monkey? Of course! Mummy, look at the trains – they go on one rail!!!!
This obviously had to be tried out with a number of different trains, and I have to say that all of our old trains worked with this set, albeit some like Spencer and Gordon were a bit slower. That added to the excitement as far as Monkey was concerned!
I’ve had a number of quiet afternoons after school since the Thomas and Friends Breakaway Bridge Set arrived, it’s kept Monkey mesmerised with the way the engines balance and the raised sections work really well.
The trains go so fast Mummy!
Of course we had to test the track out with more than one train running for added excitement.
Of course, it wasn’t long before the urge to add the set to Monkey’s existing track took over. Monkey is in his element when he can design his own tracks, he was one super happy railway engineer.
The Thomas and Friends Breakaway Bridge Set is priced at £19.99 which is great value for money considering it includes a train, can be played with as a stand alone set or added on to existing track. It’s been a big hit here.
disclaimer: we were sent this set in exchange for an honest review