Thomas and Friends MINIS Motorised Raceway review

Calling all Thomas and Friends little engineers… Thomas and James need help to choose which track to take down the from the mountain.
My little boy loves Thomas and Friends and loves to set up his vast amount of track in the garden and play away for hours at an end, sending trains around the track and helping them on their way. So you could imagine his excitement when he notices A Thomas and Friends toy had been delivered for him to play and test out.
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He has quite a few MINIS in his collection as he went through a stage of buying the little collectible bags, which he normally carries around in his little rucksack or put into his pockets when we are going out somewhere. Because of their size, they are ideal for children to collect and carry about with them.
He couldn’t wait to test it out and was soon begging me to open it for him.
We found the instructions easy to follow, although assembling it was a little tricky for him to do.
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He followed the step by step colourful picture instructions and found the parts with no problems.
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I then helped him to put it together, some parts had to be pushed in until they clicked and needed a bit of a firm push. To be fair they was pointed out on the instructions sheet by marking it with a little yellow star, these parts can not be taken apart once fitted together. The whole process of labeling the stickers, fixing the track together and placing the batteries in took us about 15 minutes.
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The set comes with two Mini trains; Thomas and James and as we quickly worked out that the other Minis all fit on too.
The raceway is great fun. The adventure starts when you send the trains up the steep vertical lift, which the minis climb up automatically. The bottom of the train attaches to a small little black hook on the motorised track.
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Once they reach the top, you then need to choose which track to send them back down on, using the hand switch at the top.
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The minis can go in three directions.
The first track is the waterfall, as the mini travels down it heads straight into a 360 degree loop
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The next track is a free-fall, it seems that the track is broken, but have no fear as the minis jump the gap and land safely on the bottom track.
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Use Cranky the crane to safe the minis by swiveling him around and swooping him down to catch them before they fall
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The trains have hooks and eyes on either end so they can hook together or on to Cranky
The last track seems to be heading no where, as soon as the minis arrive at the top of the lift they roll off of the edge, defying gravity and rolling upside down along the track. The track is  T-shaped which, when aligns with the bottom of the mini, keeps the mini securely on so it doesn’t fall off.
I’m not sure that my son has a favourite track to send the minis down on as they are all fast and thrilling. 20171109_195231
He certainly enjoys being the engineer and changing the choice of track each time a mini arrives at the top, but you have to be fast as they travel along them tracks as fast as lightening. It definitely is full steam ahead with these minis.
At the bottom of the raceway are two sheds where you can store two minis when not playing with it.
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The only downside to this toy is that when switched on it can be a little noisy and the track direction changer is a little stiff to turn, but that could be a good thing as then it doesn’t slip around when you don’t want it to. Also, it doesn’t pack away back into the box -it has to stay erected.
The raceway requires 3AA batteries, we used rechargeable ones and have been playing with it for just over a  week now and they have showed no signs of running out yet. The first day my son played with it for hours and has kept on playing with it daily.
The raceway is bright and colourful to attract the eye of a young child. It is sturdy and easy to move around from room to room. We found the Minis raceway to be fun and entertaining.
The raceway is suitable for ages 3+
RRP £44.99
We was sent this toy for the purpose of this review. 
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Celebrating with Thomas and Friends for his 70th Birthday

A couple of weeks ago we had a very special invite to a very special party, Thomas the Tank engine was turning 70!

The boys were over the moon and very excited to be a part of such an iconic celebration. We boarded the train and travelled into London to the British Museum. Thomas was celebrating in style in one of the most beautiful buildings in London.

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As we walked down the steps in the British Museum towards the Foyer where Thomas and The Fat Controller was there to greet everyone.

I think Oliver may have had a bit of celebrity shock, as he just stared at Sir Topham Hat and didn’t talk for a while . He just posed for a few photos with him and Thomas, I don’t think he was expecting to meet them in person.

There was lots of activities to keep the children happy, lots to see and do

There was a showing of  a Thomas and Friends episode in the auditorium on the big screen, so the boys and I went off to find some seats and settle down to watch the show.

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Down on the stage was a miniature Thomas railway, the boys had fun watching the train go round the track.DSC_0055_opt

Once the film was over, a story-teller came on stage and told and interactive story about the Thomas and Friends, she got all of the audience involved with actions and shouting. The boys joined in with shouting out the characters names, they know them all! Rusty and Dusty was making everyone laugh by chasing each other around the theatre.

After the show was finished we headed out to the face painting stall.

Joseph had a moshling
Joseph had a moshling
Oliver getting his face painted
Oliver getting his face painted

Oliver decided on getting Percy painted on his face, and Joseph went for a moshling character. They were very good, just like little artistic drawings. Once their faces were painted they ran off into the birthday crowd to show off their little painted creations on their faces.

It wasn’t long before they found the creative area, where you could draw and colour a birthday card for Thomas, play with some toys or do some colouring in. The youngest quickly made himself comfortable at the front of the table and got to designing a card for Thomas. It was craft heaven, with a selection of coloured felts, glitter, pom poms and all stuff that sparkle. He spent a long time concentrating on his card, once he finished it was put amongst the other cards, that the children made, on the side for everyone to see,

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Once he finished his card he moved on to colouring in a Thomas picture, I couldn’t get him away from the table! Even when Sir Topham Hat called out to everyone that they were going to bring out the cake, he didn’t budge! Not even to everyone singing Happy Birthday! He had to finish his picture for Thomas.

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It wasn’t until I told him that he could get some cake, Did he decide that he had finished his colouring in. He was given some delicious cake and sat down to eat it whilst watching an episode of Thomas and Friends in the theatre.

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I must say it was a very impressive cake, Joseph couldn’t believe the size of it!

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The party was nearly over, we said our goodbyes and handed over a card to Sir Topham hat, who opened it up and placed at the front of Thomas.

The boys and I had a wonderful time mingling with friends, watching shows, colouring in and eating cake. The party couldn’t have been any better!

Thank you to Grayling PR for inviting us along to the party. All pictures and words are my own. 

 

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Thomas & Friends announce winners of the school singing competition

Hinckley’s Westfield Infants School wins Thomas & Friends national singing competition to record brand new song for special anniversary movie!

You may remember a whole back I shared with you all,about the Thomas and Friends 70th Birthday celebrations which involved the chance for a school to win to record a new Thomas & Friends song for the upcoming film which is to be released later this year.

Well the winners have been announced!

Congratulations to all that entered but huge round of applause to Westfield Infant School.

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The pupils of Westfield Infant School in Leicestershire have been crowned winners of the Thomas & Friends ™ national singing competition – winning the chance to record a song for the new Thomas movie starring Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne!

The winning class of five and six-year olds beat off tough competition from more than 50 schools from across the country all battling for the honour to record the a tune to mark the iconic brand’s 70th birthday.

Schools across the country have been celebrating 2015 as the year of friendship for Thomas & Friends’ 70th anniversary by recording their own Happy Birthday songs for Thomas, in association with National Schools Partnership.

Judges picked Westfield Infant School as the overall winners and as their prize the class secured an all-expenses paid trip to a professional recording studio to record the new “We Make A Team Together” song which will feature on the new Thomas & Friends DVD movie Sodor’s Legend Of The Lost Treasure, due out this autumn.

The children also won a unique half-day musical experience run by a music specialist, a special visit from The Fat Controller, £200 worth of musical instruments for their school and Thomas goodie bags all round.

Thomas & Friends producer Ian McCue congratulated the students and staff of Westfield Infant School: She said: “Westfield school was our clear winner – a huge well done to everybody involved. We absolutely loved having the students record in the studio and look forward to hearing the final track. The children have created a piece of history!”

Three primary schools had previously been announced as runners-up: St Mary’s in Merseyside, Smallwood in Cheshire and Blakedown in Worcestershire.

Find out more about Thomas on the Thomas & Friends website www.thomasandfriends.com. You can keep track of all the latest Thomas & Friendsnews on Twitter and Facebook.

No payment has been received for this post

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Thomas & Friends: Dinos and Discoveries DVD Review

 Roar into Adventure

If your children are anything like mine and they adore Thomas the Tank Engine, then they may like the new Thomas and Friends DVD.

Thomas and Friends is an adventurous, fun and imaginative world that children love to explore. My son just needs a small little train in his hands and he can make up wonderful stories all about exciting adventures, his little mind is full of imagination and creativity. He loves to watch Thomas and Friends and reenact the scenes that he has just seen on his own train track sets, I love to watch his enthusiasm about play.

In Dinos and Discoveries something exciting is happening. The engines are filled with wonder at the fantastical new sights and sounds on the Island of Sodor. Volcanoes sizzle and dinosaurs roar as the engines help the Earl of Sodor with a special surprise.

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Samson

Samson in introduced to the Island and the other engines when he brings in The Earls Deliveries for the surprise, Samson is invited to stay by the Fat Controller.

The DVD introduces 6 new monster size episodes, new friends and full of surprises.

Episodes:

  • Marion and the Dinosaurs
  • Millie and the Volcano
  • Timothy and the Rainbow Truck
  • Samson at your Service
  • Emily Saves the World
  • Samson Sent for Scrap

Bonus Features:

  • Really useful engines
  • Mr Perkins’ postcard
  • The Earl’s quiz
  • Mr Perkins’ story time
  • Who’s that engine?

My boys favourite episode is Samson sent for scrap. Samson has been sent by the Fat Controller to collect track side scrap whilst scruff is being repaired. Nothing is safe on the Island as Samson soon starts to collect everything he can see, including a postman’s bike, a bus stop sign and the fat Controllers car!  Lucky for Samson, Scruff notices what he is doing and he saves the car from being scrapped. Soon everyone is laughing about Samsons antics (Including my boys)

Watching the DVD has inspired my boys and they have recreated the scenes from Dinos and Dinosaurs with their very own toys

The DVD is available to but now from all good retailers

RRP:                                       £9

Running time:                    70 minutes

Certificate:                          U

Stockists:                            Available online at www.amazon.co.uk and in all good retailers nationwide

Find out more about Thomas on the Thomas & Friends website www.thomasandfriends.com. You can keep track of all the latest Thomas & Friends news on Twitter and Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/ThomasandFriendsUK          @ThomasFriendsUK

We was sent a copy of the DVD for the purpose of this review.

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Thomas & Friends special 70th birthday celebrations

School to win chance to record a new Thomas & Friends song in special 70th anniversary year!

This year it’s Thomas & Friends 70th birthday and to celebrate they are launching a competition to get schools involved. To mark the iconic brands birthday they are asking Primary school classes across the country to enter a singing competition for the chance to record a new song for the upcoming film which is to be released this Autumn.

Judges are looking for the best, most creative singers in the country to be in with a chance of scooping the top prize package for their entire class, which includes…

  • An all-expenses paid trip to a recording studio to sing and record the Thomas & Friends theme tune which will feature on a special anniversary DVD
  • A half-day musical experience run by a music specialist
  • £200 worth of musical instruments
  • A visit from The Fat Controller

All schools who register for the competition via the National Schools Partnership website will receive a free downloadable resource pack, full of fun and simple activities linked to numeracy, literacy, PE and art and design, to help engage and inspire children to make their entry stand out.

Register today at http://www.nationalschoolspartnership.com/thomasandfriends.php

Thomas the Tank Engine was created by a father for his son 69 years ago and today is enjoyed by families in more than 185 territories and in 30 languages. The little blue engine and his friends invite children to enter into a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story.

All three of my children have adored Thomas & Friends. The youngest can recite which colour, number and name the trains are, he builds tracks around the house all the time and makes up his own little adventures, his imagination runs wild.

To find out more about Thomas & Friends visit their website.

Good Luck!

 

 

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Bust my Buffers! Thomas & Friends Steam into LolliBop

ALL ABOARD FOR SUMMER FUN AS THOMAS & FRIENDS

STEAMS INTO LOLLIBOP

Calling all Thomas and Friends fans out there, I have some exciting news!  For the first time ever, Thomas & Friends™ will be making tracks to LolliBop. My youngest is ever so excited about having the chance to meet Thomas the Tank Engine and The Fat Controller, he is a huge fan. I know he is going to have a blast on the day.

 

The whole family is invited to experience the world of Thomas & Friends like never before as a new interactive themed play zone, the ‘Sodor Summer Fete’, is launched at the big bash for little people.

 

Families are invited to roll up and take photos with their favourite blue engine, get creative at the colouring and games stations and meet The Fat Controller. Packed with fun-filled activities and games for your little engineers to enjoy, as well as special guest appearances, there will be heaps of happenings for children to enjoy.

 

Whether you are planning a special birthday outing, weekend surprise or school holiday treat, a trip to LolliBop is the ultimate family experience for Thomas & Friends fans this summer.

 

With Thomas & Friends on-board, it’s full steam ahead for fun!

LolliBop takes place August 15-17 at Hatfield House.  All of the programme is aimed at children up to the age of 10. The line up includes Justin Fletcher, Mister Maker, Mr Bloom, Sam & Mark, Michaela Strachan, Lazy Town, Postman Pat, Chris & Pui, Scooby-Doo, Andy Day and Cook and Line from Swashbuckle.  Other activities and interactive areas, include the Skylanders arena, ‘Join In with Southbank Centre’, Science Museum Live and Tottenham Hotspur Global Coaching Team.  For the full line up and ticket details see www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

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The Fat Controller Stops at Hamleys Toy Shop in London, Tracks4Thomas

THE FAT CONTROLLER STOPS AT HAMLEYS TOY SHOP IN LONDON

The Fat Controller is taking some time off from his duties on Sodor to visit Hamleys, The Finest Toy Shop in the World and on Sunday 10th November we got to meet him in person!

“The Reverend W. Awdry originally created Thomas the Tank Engineto cheer up his son when he was sick. In the same spirit, Thomas & Friends are celebrating Christmas this year by undertaking an epic journey to help The Fat Controller deliver presents to children in hospitals across the UK and Ireland. To show your support you can log in at www.Tracks4Thomas.com via Facebook or Twitter and add a piece of virtual track to Thomas & Friends’ Christmas journey.”

Join Thomas & Friends on this very special Christmas Journey and Listen to The Fat Controller tell the tales of the fun and exciting Island of Sodor, where Thomas & Friends learn the value of friendship, fair play and team work, watch some balloon modelling, get your face painted, join in on some colouring activities and more, this event is perfect for Thomas & Friends™ fans of all ages, and the whole family is invited to join the booming-voiced Fat Controller in a celebration of everything Thomas.

We had such a brilliant time at Hamleys in London and for such a fabulous cause.

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Photo taken from website
joseph thomas mask
photo taken from tracks4thomas

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The boys really enjoyed the day and really loved meeting The Fat Controller, Dusty and Rusty

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Although Oliver is a huge Thomas fan he was n’t too sure on getting too close but he did enjoy watching the trains go round the track

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And he posed for a little picture with his Thomas & Friends flag

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And he enjoyed listening to the story from The Fat Controller

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Joseph’s favourite [part of the day was getting his face painted, he chose a silver dog to match his silver trousers and dicky bow

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After The Fat Controller spent his time at Hamleys spreading the word he popped into Evelinas children’s hospital with a sack full of presents for the children to cheer them up just like The Reverand W Awdry did with his son.

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For more information and the chance to win prizes, visit www.Tracks4Thomas.com Share on Facebook and Twitter for the chance to win some fabulous prizes and also the stocking filler of the week.

Shoppers can also meet The Fat Controller at Hamleys Cardiff (17th November), Glasgow (24th November) and Dublin (1st December).

We was invited along to Hamleys to help spread the word of a brilliant cause, no payment has been received for this post.

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