As a blogger I have been lucky enough to work with lots of great brands and Mattel is no exception. I was recently asked if I would like to review theThomas Super Stationwith my train obsessive son and of course the answer had to be a YES PLEASE!
Thomas has been a firm favourite at Along Came Jay HQ for quite some time and when we opened the box we were all taken back by the scale of this train set it really is epic! I went on to hear lots of “wows” and “look at this mummy” it’s fair to say Autumn is already beginning to feel very Chrismassy.
Taking all the items out of the box took about ten minutes. I opened the instructions booklet and initially thought it looked a bit too complex for my eyes “How on earth am I going to put all of this together” came to mind. But to my relief it was incredibly easy as all the parts are marked by letters and numbers and then it’s simply a case of choosing your track of choice to construct. There are four outlined in the booklet but the playing options are of course endless as there are 10 metres of track!
This is one incredibly fun play set that really will keep toddlers and adults occupied. It comes with three trains Percy, Thomas, James and Harold the helicopter but it also compatible with Thomas & Friends engines, TrackMaster, Adventures, MINIS or wooden railway toys with room for storing over 100 engines.
Building it was a lot of fun plus Jay loved it as he was able to recognise the letters and numbers on the parts and pass them to me with ease. It is the sort of set that he would perhaps struggle to assemble all by himself but he was able to put some of it together with guidance and we built the dual race track pictured on the box first. Every day we build a different track and it’s definitely a toy he rushes to first thing. At 3 he is definitely very much into constructing things and this really suits him. Jay enjoyed operating Cranky’s crane lifting and moving engines I think that’s his favourite part. The set features locations such as Tidmouth sheds, Brendam docks, Knapford Station, the Sodor Steamworks, the Dieselworks, and Blue Mountain Quarr.
My only negative is that due to the many pieces of this set you need a large space to set up and then storage to keep the pieces together. I’ve bought a storage box for this purpose. I would highly recommend the Super Station as it offers multiple configurations and can work with various Thomas toys. We also used wooden train toys from other sets we own. This super station retails at £129.99 and is suitable from age 3 and upwards. If you have little train fans living with you then this is a nicely put together set. It’s been a perfect addition for the half term holiday and a real pleasure to review.
Thank you for reading
*I was sent the product in exchange for an honest review.
Whenever I hear of Bob the Builder I can’t help but think of the English actor Neil Morrissey (I’m currently watching the gripping BBC Drama series Line of Duty). Neil voiced the character Bob in the popular children’s programme which emphasised conflict resolution, co-operation, socialisation and various learning skills. Bob’s catchphrase “Can we fix it?” with the response “Yes we can!” is still very popular as I hear Jay often blurt it out when I usually break something .
Since a revamp by Mattel in 2014 the setting and appearance of the characters has changed from what I remember. I’m all for encouraging solving problems with a positive attitude and Jay was kindly sent the latest toy from the Fisher-Price Bob the Builder toy range ‘Switch and Fix Bob’ which came with LR44 batteries and suitable for ages 3+.
He particularly likes activating lights and phrases by pressing the helmet which comes with an adjustable welding mask. Recently Jay has really been into construction play and moves Bob to various rooms in the house carrying out his imaginative repair tasks, hopefully he will be really good at DIY one day.
I’d say the tool bits are probably his favourite that come with the rotating tool belt (Jackhammer, Saw and Auger). Although he is able to detach the tool bits he has a bit of difficulty putting them back on the belt sometimes. Must admit I do too with my long nails. The ‘Switch and Fix Bob’ is available at Argos for £19.99 for the little builders in your home.
I am one of these mum’s who has been subjected to lots of children’s television programmes over the past two years. Perhaps ‘subjected’ is a bit harsh as I don’t mind watching them to some extent and I drift back to thoughts about the cartoons I used to watch. Remember Dungeons and Dragons and the Mysterious Cities Of Gold? those were the days!
Now back to present day The American-Canadian animated series Blaze and the Monster Machines which first hit our screens in 2014 for pre-schoolers and introduces many subjects such as technology, engineering and science. I’ve learnt a thing or two about mechanics also which is a bonus!
Firefighter Blaze is here to save the day! Now Blaze has double the rescue power with this 2-in-1 transforming vehicle in which Blaze goes from a Monster Machine to a fire rescue vehicle. Lift the back of Blaze’s body and he flips to transform into a heroic fire truck. Blaze’s ladder pivots back and forth so you can position him right under the fire. Aim his water cannon right at the flames and blast them away! The siren sounds and the light bar lights up, flashing automatically or activated when the button on the front of the cab is pressed. Flip his body again and Blaze transforms back into a monster truck. There are special phrases for each mode, totaling over 25 sounds and phrases. Blaze into action with this 2-in-1 Blaze and the Monster Machines™ Transforming Fire Truck vehicle!
2 vehicles in 1 Flip the chassis to transform Blaze Pivoting cannon & ladder
Special character phrases for each mode
Over 25 sounds and phrases from Blaze
Siren sounds & lights
Jay as mentioned loves vehicles and so this toy fit the bill for entertainment. I thought he wouldn’t play with it very long but he did and kept returning to it. He loves seeing how things work and has spent quite some time pushing the truck around all floors and in the garden. He genuinely likes it and the sounds and phrases are nice and clear so this keeps him interested and so far he’s not become bored with it.
Before transforming the original blaze does not have lights, but the fire truck blaze part does. You push the blue lights down on the fire truck and the lights light up and Blaze starts talking. Another aspect of this toy that I really like is that when you flip Blaze to the fire truck Blaze the car expands to look like a more realistic fire truck. Jay especially liked playing with the ladder with the small movable water cannon part especially as he has recently visited a fire station and got to hold a water cannon shown by his Uncle Ian a London firefighter.
Do you have and Blaze and Monster Machines fans in your household?