Our son got his first Take along Thomas engine (I think it was Percy, Thomas came later) when he was about 18 months old. This started the big Thomas craze in our house. Our son is now 2 1/2 and he has only a few left to collect. I've given this toy (the whole range) a 5 star rating for educational value as it is amazing how much our son has learned from collecting and playing. He knows the names of all the engines, can tell them apart where my partner and I can't, has started recognising names in print even with no pictures next to it for clues etc. He plays with them for hours something he doesn't do with any of his other toys. Unfortunately, they do chip easily - but then again they have a lot of crashes to withstand ;).