Our Tried and Tested Christmas #1: Thomas & Friends Super Stationz
Welcome to our series of Tried and Tested Christmas features in the lead up to Christmas 2017! I'm pretty excited to share these reviews with you as we open, build and most importantly play with these goodies.
First up is Fisher Price's Thomas & Friends Super Station. Last year we enjoyed the Thomas & Friends Trackmaster Sky High Bridge Jump at Christmas and were really impressed with it, Jonah loved it and it was a real crowd pleaser on Christmas day. The Super Station is this year's Christmas equivalent to the Bridge Jump and looks insane when you see the box. Have a look at our video to see our un-boxing, building and first time playing with it below.
Unlike the image on the box, I was disappointed to find inside that the Super Station didn't come with all the trains depicted. You do get 4 vehicles; a battery operated Thomas (batteries NOT included), a smaller Henry, and even smaller James (I'm really having to test my Thomas knowledge here!) and a Harold figure. I suppose that's sufficient to play with, and Jonah does already have a few of the mini trains from his advent calendar last year, but it is slightly misleading. I would say however that that is one of the only negatives we found about the Super Station. The toy itself didn't disappoint.
We decided to build it at Grandma's house. We weren't sure how big it was going to be, but the info online says that it comes with 10 meters of track! It does by the way, but you can choose different layouts and keep some of the track in the box. The main 'frame' can be seen below and measures about 80 cm from back to front.
We built a basic track so that the battery operated Thomas can go round, but there are lots of different ways to build it. You can have two downward slopes or one or track winding around the bottom of the structure. For more ideas, click here. Again, it would be more fun if there were more trains provided, but I supposed the collection could be expanded in the future.
The Super Station took about 45 minutes to build and was all quite simple click into place parts. The instructions were straight forward and had easy to follow diagrams. Thankfully Granddad very much enjoys this sort of thing, so I could entertain Winter and Jonah helped out.
By the time it was built, the boys were itching to get playing. Because there are so many different ways to build it, the children never get bored. The turntable at the top is fun for Thomas to wait and change direction. as is having races down the slopes with different trains. Smyths are currently selling these for £109.99 and although I thought it was a bit steep at first, we all agreed (Chris, Granddad and I) that for the quality and the amount of track you get, it is actually very much worth the money.
Thankfully, after a few hours of play the Super Station DID pack away easily in its box. Yes, it took 45 minutes to assemble first time around, but now we are familiar with it's construction and the more fiddly bits were kept in tact, I'm confident that the process will be speedier next time.
All in all, The Thomas & Friends Super Station was a hit. Granddad didn't tear his hair our building it (which is was quite often happens much to our amusement) and it kept the boys entertained. If this were a Christmas present for my boys to open on Christmas morning, as a parent I would be pretty pleased with myself for getting them something that brought them and the rest of the family so much happiness on Christmas day, and as Granddad said 'I had as much fun playing with it as they did!' That's good enough for me!
We have been gifted the Thomas & Friends Super Station in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own.