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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 May 2010
My 3-year old son is a Thomas addict. For the past 18 months we've been amassing a collection of the Thomas Wooden Railway. Suddenly, the existing wooden range has been discontinued and replaced with a larger, more babyish train collection. My son doesn't like it, so we've switched lines to this, the Thomas Take-n-Play series, which is itself a new version of Thomas Take Along, another series that has also been discontinued. I is all very confusing and easy to buy the wrong series. If you ask me, with so many different versions of Thomas, the brand licensing is a mess. HIT Entertainment, which owns the rights to the Thomas name, has given anyone with cash the right to produce toys and games with the TV / film series characters.

If you own wooden tracks, you'll need the new track, which is now made of plastic. What is annoying is that none of the Take-n-Play trains work with the old wooden track. Made by the US toy company, Fisher-Price / Mattel, the Thomas Take-n-play series is very well made, with wonderful detailing that gives enormous play value to the under 5s. The die-cast engines are attractive and durable with magnetised couplings that hold well. They have a charm that's missing from the more basic wooden models. So, all in all, this is a step in the right direction. Both individual engines as well as the sets are much cheaper. Even the new plastic track is good and provides a more stable and easier to assemble line for the trains to run on. My only complaint is the lack of commonality with the wooden series, which means we'll need to buy every engine all over again - which is exactly what Fisher-price wanted to achieve, that's what makes me somewhat cynical and annoyed.

However, if you're a first-time Thomas buyer or just stuck wondering which version of Thomas to get, I'd say that Take-n-Play is the one to go for. This particular item, Tidmouth Sheds, is great. Not only does it have excellent play value, it is also a useful carrying case for the various engines. There is an increasing number of new engines, including a talking Thomas. Wonderful stuff, but so far no battery-operated engine that chuffs along under its own steam. (Please produce one Fisher-Price). I expect this range to get better. In the meantime, I just hope it will have greater longevity than previous Thomas versions.
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on 29 May 2016
Overall my son enjoys playing with this so that's the main thing. However on closer inspection we noticed it's a different design to what's pictured. I do like how you can fold it up for on the go, however this often comes loose & the back of the shed opens easily. It seems cheaply made considering the price.
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on 25 February 2011
Bought this for my 2yr old. It has taken a lot of abuse and still looks like new! The sheds can also be used to store the trains which is handy when they are taking it somewhere. It also clicks onto other take and play items easily. The carry handle is excellent and it is really light for the little ones to hold. A must for all thomas fans!
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on 6 October 2011
Added this to my kid's ever growing Thomas tracks and engines collection, since i thought it will be a nice addition. The small chap likes it but instantly had a complain that the larger engines (Henry and Gordan) could not fit into the shed with their tender boxes! Checked it out and he was correct, with the tender boxes the front door could not be closed!

The small chap refuses to only keep the engines, and hence is regularly complaining that engines won't fit.

Kids definitely are sharp, the little fellow got very upset when i put the big engines in the middle, and i asked him why. He said gordon goes to the corner, and indeed i checked the videos, gordan does have the corner slot.

The implementation here has the corner sheds smaller than the rest, making it impossible to even squeeze Gordon with the tender box.

Wish the designers of these toys would look at the actual series when they implement these toys, as kids are not easy to convince and they definitely are aware of the finer details. The tidmouth shed implementation in other sets (wooden, etc) are longer based on the pictures, so clearly the designers were thinking better.

On another note, the shed is also only able to house 5 engines, which means no space for Edward, and Emily.
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on 23 August 2012
What a great design. Really easy to pack and travel with. The track is attached and folds out, I initally purchased this thinking it would be one that we have to put together. Very happy when it all came attached as my 2 year old just wants the trains to go round & round and doesn't have time to assemble a track!
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on 18 July 2014
Just bought this for my 3 year old's birthday. She unwrapped it and lost any interest in opening her other presents as soon as she saw it! She absolutely loves it and I'm so glad I made the decision to buy it. It's a bit smaller than I thought it'd be, but that's a good thing as we don't have a lot of floor space in our tiny flat. That said, she loves pushing her engines around the looped tracked again and again, so it is obviously big enough for her.
She hasn't quite got the hang of the turntable. She knows how to turn it, but doesn't quite line it up properly. This is more of a frustration for me though than her, so I'm sure this will come in time!
The only disappointing thing for me is that the longer take 'n' play engines, such as Gordon which comes with the coal carriage, doesn't fit into the shed with much ease. You can just about push it in and shut the door but it falls on it's side inside the shed. This did frustrate her quite a lot at first, but I wouldn't say it spoilt her enjoyment of playing with it. The only thing is that you may want to buy a couple of the single engines to start with which will fit in. Interestingly, the James engine (also with a carriage) does fit but James is slightly shortly than Gordon! The shed does come with a Thomas engine too.
If you're not sure, like I was, just go for it. Best decision I've made.
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on 24 January 2015
Lovely addition to any Thomas and friends lovers collection. Both my boys love this and have hours of fun playing with it. Connects easily to other take and play sets. Folds up nicely for storage or to be taken somewhere. You can't really have Sodor without tidmouth sheds. The only fault we could find with it was the tidmouth sheds sign being all yellow but I solved that by going over the letters with a black permanent marker.
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on 19 November 2010
My 24 month year old loves this. The recomendation is for 3 years plus, but my 25 month year old loves turning the turn table, putting Thomas in and taking him out of the sheds, saying night night to him, opening and closing the doors (front and back) etc.

Nothing to assemble, the track just folds out and away when finished, which is a great space saver when stored and keeps any engines you might want to collect all together.

THERE'S JUST ONE ENGINE with this and most other packs, which they state, fair enough, but you always see a number of trains being used on the packing images.

Durable? Yeeesss,,,, but there are always some children who can break any plastic toy (except lego).

Before buyying this, I bought the Thomas 17 piece Starter Pack. i needn't have bothered as this one has its own track, and is bigger.

Educational? Not if you leave them alone to play, but if you sit with them and explain it all, yes, a very good educational aid.
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on 5 May 2015
I bought this toy for my 3 year old son for Christmas. It is great quality and well made. The little doors open and you can place a train inside, just like the real Tidmouth sheds. My son absolutely adores it and carries it around with him whenever we go away on a trip. It folds away nice and tidy and has a little carry handle so that you can carry the trains inside the station and take them with you nice and conveniently. I would highly recommend for any Thomas fan as my son loves this toy.
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on 16 April 2015
Excellent toy ,my grandson was thrilled when he opened this on his third birthday. The fist thing he did was to open the doors with great excitement .He knew exactly how it unfolded and was soon finding his trains to see what would fit in the sheds, worth every penny.
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