Unfortunately, most of our testers were too scared of this toy to ever play with it.
WHAT THE KIDS SAY
"no choo choo mama!!!!"
Lorelai (2 yrs) is still a little afraid of Thomas (note: she's never seen the T.V. show and we've never read her any of his books), but after seeing Christopher's (2.5 yrs) delight with it she lost some of her fear. She'll play with Thomas using the lantern, but from the safety of the couch or in my arms.
This train was an instant hit with Christopher. He could play with this train for hours! As soon as he saw Thomas, his face lit up with recognition. Christopher couldn't wait to try it out. And it didn't disappoint. Thomas kept Christopher entertained for a good chunk of our playdate! He pushed the button on top of Thomas to make him go, and used the lantern as well. He had a blast.
Ashely repeated "It's so cool!" over and over again as she played with Thomas, making him follow the lantern, or do other tricks with the press of a button.
Sienna liked playing with Thomas a lot at first. This was her first playdate over at our house, and all the toys were new to her. Sienna flitted from one toy to the next over the course of 1.5 hours, playing with all the toys in relatively short spurts. Including Thomas. But he held his own, with Sienna coming back to play with him again and again. Again, the lantern was a big hit. Sienna seemed to have lots of fun shining it on the walls and watching the red light from the lantern move. But by the end of the playdate, she seemed to become a little afraid of it. It's possible she picked up on Lorelai's hesitation regarding the toy, or was getting tired and hungry.
WHAT ADULTS THINK
I would NOT recommend this toy. My 2-year old was afraid of it in the beginning and still runs away from it as it seems to be out of control most of the time. The laser beam seems dangerous to me, it took about 30 seconds before it was being aimed at someone's eye. The train moves too quickly for anyone to control (adult or child). I found it rather loud and annoying as well. The toy seems very inconsistant with how it works, it spins around looking for the beam and just runs into walls and gets stuck (I don't think it is designed to back up or turn around). It also cannot handle small bumps, like going from carpet to hardwood so it is always getting stuck. What a nuisance. This toy is not worth the price.
I love the idea of this toy but it doesn't live up to what it says it can do. My 2 year old son loves Thomas and really enjoys the toy... when it is turned off. Once it is turned on he runs away and sometimes even cries. The toy is too loud (and annoying) and the movements are too fast and unpredicable. The remote idea is cool but my son would never stay in the room long enough to test it out.
Without the light I am very happy with how my kids play with the train. They look for it (still) every morning!
giving a rating based on what the toy does and not my daughter's reaction. the toy is great and moves on its own. I think it normally would be a fun toy. For some reason, my daughter was totally scared of it and the minute i would turn it on and it would move she would start crying and running away. tried several times and she freaked out every time.
I found that my 2 year old son enjoyes the toy for about 5 minutes, after that he is more fascinated by the red light that the remote control puts out. He also enjoys turning the remote on/off with the switch located at the bottom. I explained to my son that the train follows whereever the light is shined, so he would do that for about 5 minutes, he would then return to playing with the on/off switch. As for the actuall train, my son barely touched it, he pushed it on the floor for about 2 minutes and then lost intrest. In my oppinion this toy would be better suited for a child of 3 years and older.
We weren't prepared for the speed of this little train once we turned the lantern on! We did get the hang of it, but at one point Cait was running away from the train with the light on and the train 'chasing' her down the hall! I like the size of the train and the ability to play with it in 3 ways (light, pre-set pattern, and pressing the button).
I really like this toy a lot! Where can I get one for Aiden (1 yr)? It would be a great addition to his Thomas the Tank Engine bedroom.
Once I replaced the batteries in Thomas and the lantern with fresh ones, the toy worked much better... but it's response rate is still not 100%. Sometimes you have to press the buttons a few times before it does what you want it to do. Lorelai is still a bit afraid of Thomas. I think it's because she doesn't understand how to control it yet.
Wow! That's a pretty cool toy!
I think Adrianna (1 yr) enjoyed watching Thomas move around the room. It didn't scare her a bit. But she's still too young to take full advantage of all the things that Thomas can do. Right now she can't do more than watch Thomas or hold the lantern.
It's pretty neat what the train can do- with following the light and the angles it can turn- but it's really way too fast for a 2 year old....actually, it's too fast for me! It goes too quickly to be able to control it properly. My son is excited and laughs when it's on, but he also jumps up on to the couch and hides because it's so fast- it seems to scare him a little.
Lead Thomas on his way! When you point and move the light from the lantern Thomas follows along. Press the lantern’s buttons for programmed moves including a circle, figure 8 and zigzag patterns. Hear engine sounds and phrases as Thomas chugs along! Thomas requires four AA alkaline batteries, included and lantern requires two AA alkaline batteries, not included.