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We purchased this for my son last Christmas when he was almost 2 as a stocking filler as it is ideal for this. It proved very popular. For children who like Jigsaw puzzles this is a great alternative. When you take all the pieces apart the idea is then to put them all back to make Thomas which can then be played with as the wheels turn. Just like a Jigsaw you can not put the pieces in the wrong place as the magnets will not allow you too. My son has had hours of play with this item - he loves to build it then take it apart and build it again. When he first had it he did find it frustrating that some of the pieces would not go where he thought they should go as he did not understand the magnet behind it - he now knows where everything should go. For the price this is great value for money as it is really made well and it is a nice size. The only downside is all the pieces that are with it so it is ideal to keep the box otherwise it all tends to get lost.
My son as a youngster was a huge Thomas the tank Engine fan so much so that he has a Thomas bedroom. However he is no longer interested in the TV program but still loves characters he is familiar with and still happily plays with Thomas toys. I bought him the magnetic stacking Thomas from Woolworth's when it was on offer but is still available at Amazon for £11.90 with free postage. The toy itself made up of ten wooden pieces that all magnetically connect together. It is painted in the Traditional Thomas colours. It has been living in our toy box for over a year and has no signs of damage. The wheels do revolve so once built can be played with as a moving vehicle. My experience. I gave this my son for his first birthday but as we were in temporary accommodation this was one if his presents that were unwrapped but stored boxed up for three months till we moved to our new home. Once opened he was able to take it apart happily but had no idea how to build it so it has stayed in the toy box in pieces until about a month ago although he would find pieces and instantly know it was Thomas. Now my son is two and three months old, he has much more understanding of how to build constructively. He does need help to build the train but does have an understanding of where each part goes. My Friends Three year old daughter was playing with this toy yesterday but seemed to have no idea how to put the parts together so also needed a lot of couching to get the pieces the right way round and in the right position. As a fully constructed toy it obviously isn't very sturdy but hold together sufficiently to play with. It is a toy that my son has to hold in hand to roll around the floor and not the type of toy you can roll to each other although this is my experience on carpet however it may work better on hard flooring. The toys is recommended for over 18 months old and over I would think that there is not much point giving this to a child who is under two as I don't think they have the cognitive ability to build it unless you have a child genius. I do think that as it helps develop both the cognitive ability to build and helps with fine motor skills it is a toy well worth buying but not till they are at least two and would shop around for offers.
My youngest son recently celebrated his first birthday and received a Thomas the Tank Engine Magnetic Stacking Thomas as a gift. I'm not really sure why it is called a stacking Thomas as it doesn't really stack. The train comes apart and you have to rebuild it in the right order with the help of the magnetic sections. The whole thing is wooden and painted to look like everyone's favourite engine Thomas. The base part has movable wheels on it and other features like the bumpers are painted on. The other pieces all come off the base and you have to re-build Thomas. The whole thing is held together with magnets so once you have placed a piece it stays put pretty well. There are some magnets along the base which keep the top parts on but the whole thing does come apart very easily. The other parts include two side panels, a roof section, the front part with Thomas' face and funnel and then three midsections pieces. There is also a small rectangular piece the fits inside the side panels and under the roof to keep the whole thing together. My three year old son was very excited when this toy was opened and he managed to take it apart and build it with very little trouble. My four year old daughter also took it apart and built it again with ease. The intended recipient was a little less impressed and wanted only to keep in all on one piece and push it around the carpet whilst going brrmmmmm brrrrmmmmm! The manufacturers recommended age range is 18 months plus so maybe my youngest son will show a little more interest in the future. The pieces are nicely sized and not too heavy so in my opinion are ideal for the 18 month to 2 year age range. The quality of the train is very good. The whole things is wooden and brightly painted. The magnets are sunk into the wood so there is very little chance that they will become loose or come off. I think it is currently available (Dec 2008) on www.amazon.co.uk for £11.90 with free postage but in my opinion this is a little expensive for what you get. I do find that a lot of the Thomas the Tank Engine toys are quite expensive. I would be happy to pay about £5 for this little train. I would recommend the Thomas the Tank Engine Magnetic Stacking Thomas to any little Thomas fans as I think it a good quality toy. They toy will help you child's development as they will be improving their co-ordination and fine motor skills.
Fantastic ten piece stacking Thomas with brightly coloured magnetic wooden pieces. Fit them all together to create Thomas over and over again!