Thomas the Tank Engine sets are popular toys for pre-schoolers, offering a great way to get into the Thomas the Tank stories first hand. There are several different types of sets on the market, and choosing one can be difficult.
The most popular and extensive line is the Wooden Railway series. This series has been around for a number of years. The wooden track is two sided, so it can't be put together wrong. The wooden rolling stock has durable plastic wheels and magnetic couplers. The play value on this series is extremely high.
A newcomer to the Thomas the Tank Engine scene is Lego. In true Lego style, the large pieces of plastic track snap together easily and the train cars roll effortlessly around the track.
Tomy manufactures a pretty large line of plastic Thomas the Tank Engine train sets. The plastic blue track is double sided, hooks together easily. The battery powered engines roll easily along the track. The track is not compatible with the Wooden Railway, but the cars will roll on the track. There are sets, track packs and vehicles available for expansion.
Electric Thomas the Tank Engine sets are led by Bachman's Thomas and Friends series. These HO scale electric train sets includes Bachman's EZ Track which can be set up virtually anywhere because the track bed is bonded to the track. The locomotives roll along, eyes rolling from side to side as they scan the countryside around them. This fairly extensive line runs on standard HO track, so it can be incorporated into any HO layour, and there is a lot of different components to the EZ Track system, so any set can be easily expanded.
Lionel also manufactures an O Gauge Thomas the Tank Engine set which will run on its three rail system. The sets include Lionel's Fast Track, which snaps together easily and can be run on carpets, floors or tables. The sets are easily expandable.
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