Play Tested Review
A great alternative to a train table. The motorized Thomas train was a huge hit, and the long racing ramps at the front were great fun, too. Our testers loved that the tracks in this set work with all their trains, and even Hot Wheels cars. Plus, it’s easy to add your own tracks to make a really big rail yard.
WHAT THE KIDS SAY
I like the crane and the way that Thomas could move by himself. And I like the way it was made and laid out, but I did't like when Thomas kept falling off the tracks that didn't fit properly.
It's BIG. I like Thomas and how it goes in a loop and a bridge and goes back around another loop. I don't like that he keeps falling off, and I don't like the blue thing that goes around. I like that the ramps go fast and that it goes around and around. I like that the crane moves, and I like the crane HOOK. I like the towers, and want more towers!
My favorite part is Cranky the crane. He moves up and up and all around.
WHAT ADULTS THINK
It was new, it was fun and interesting for a while. My kids (F2, M5) do love trains and were excited to play with it, once it was set up. Because of the different height levels, it was interesting for them to experience and watch where the train went. It was pretty solid and stayed together fairly well, except for the tracks, as they would easily come apart if it was crooked at all. The track was a bit flimsy, and didn't seem to rest properly on the level supports for the track. Because of this, the train would get stuck sometimes around the corners. Because of its size, we could only fit it down in the basement in the tv room, where my children don't go to play very often. So they would only play with it if we were down there with them. It was way too big and bulky and took up too much room in our small house, so made it a bit awkward when set up. It was very hard to take apart anywhere, so made it very difficult for storage. I prefer toys for my children that are more simple and made of natural materials and provide the opportunity to bring out imaginative play. I don't find toys such as these leave much to the imagination or appeal to the creative side of the child. Kids are naturally going to be drawn to brightly coloured plastic toys with a lot of doodads and fancy noises, but I don't find them that great for kids development.
It takes up a lot of room, but the kids (M3, M14m) love it and play with it on a daily basis. We have had other children (friends and cousins, up to the age of 7) come over and play with it. The older children discovered the little hooks for hanging the trains and that the little brown boxes for the crane to lift fit into the ramp towers; that was clever, and new to the younger kids. The motorized Thomas the train gets all the attention, on and off the Super Station, and if he gets off the track, for any period of time, then the attention goes with him. Eventually, they, or I, will return him to the station. The steepness of the ramps makes the ascend/descend of the trains exciting for them to watch, like a roller coaster. The size of the Super Station is what catches the attention of my kids as well as their visiting friends. After trying to set up the exact track layout that is pictured on the cover of the box, we noticed that the track pieces don’t fit as comfortably in that set up as they look like they should. Thomas can’t make those tight turns without being derailed by hitting the frames of the openings. We got creative though and made our own track layouts. I appreciate that the track is compatible with our other train tracks so we could join them together and make a larger circuit. I would recommend another tower to support the ramp to avoid bowing and separating at the top joints, or perhaps a support behind the long stretch between the top of the station and the first tower. I have noticed stretching in the train track tabs, from pulling the pieces apart, so far though, no breaks.
This Super Station set has everything- the Roundhouse, Cranky and the different stations. It's like the whole Thomas world all in one and any type of train can work on the tracks which is a huge bonus. It's great that the station includes joint pieces so you can connect the other types of Thomas sets to play with any of the different types of Thomas trains, as well as different toy cars etc on this track. As soon as they saw the station they ran to get their wooden railway sets and they attached everything together to make a giant track. They really thought of everything with this!! The kids love the big long ramps up and down from the second level. One of the trains included with the set (Thomas) moves on its own so that has been the piece they play with the most. The station is made out of a durable plastic, that seems like it will stand up to continued play over the long term. The kids don't love snapping the plastic track pieces back together. They can do it, but they mostly ask for help because it hurts their hands. Other than the track the rest of the set is easy to use. Even my 14 month old will spend at least 10 minutes standing at the station moving the trains around several times a day. I think this Super Station is great, especially if you have any type of Thomas train in your house. We have lots of Thomas trains but we've never had a train table, and I think this is a great alternative. I really like that there are plastic connector pieces so you can link any of the other types of track, wooden for example, to this plastic set.
Now kids can imagine and play out adventures with Thomas & Friends™ using all their engines! This multi-system track set with 3 levels of play lets children play with engines from Thomas & Friends™ Adventures, TrackMaster™, MINIS and Wooden Railway, including Thomas, Percy, James and Harold. In addition to being able to use any Thomas engine, multiple configurations allow for layouts that can fit any space in the home. The legs can even be removed to create a micro-layout for smaller spaces! Features storage for 100+ engines, over 35 feet / 10 meters of track, and iconic locations including Tidmouth Sheds, Brendam Docks, Knapford Station, the Sodor Steamworks, the Dieselworks, Blue Mountain Quarry and the SSRC with Harold’s helipad. There are also cargo pieces, adapter pieces to connect to other playsets, two racetracks, floor play and more! Fun features include Cranky with a crane that can be raised, lowered, and attached to a cargo lift that can be used to raise cargo and engines; and a turntable complete with a stop-track lever to halt TrackMaster™ engines while your little engineer changes direction. The legs and locations feature tunnels, and there are areas for cargo storage, too. Additional engines and playsets sold separately and subject to availability. It’s the ultimate Thomas & Friends™ playset!
Works with Thomas & Friends™ Adventures, TrackMaster™, MINIS and Wooden Railway engines (additional engines sold separately)
Comes with Thomas & Friends™ TrackMaster™ Thomas, and his friends Thomas & Friends™ Adventures Percy, Thomas & Friends™ MINIS James, plastic Harold
Multiple configurations of layouts to fit into any space
Remove legs for micro layouts to fit small spaces
Features storage for 100+ engines (sold separately and subject to availability)
Over 35 feet (10 meters) of track
Features iconic Sodor locations such as Tidmouth Sheds, Knapford Station, Brendam Docks and more
Includes track adapters to connect to other Thomas & Friends™ playsets
Two racetracks plus floor play