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admin 28.06.2014

Young children may have already enjoyed playing with the wooden train sets, but as they grow they come to expect a little more than a wooden block with wheels. The train sets covered by this review are the battery operated train sets covering those branded with Thomas The Tank Engine (Thomas and Friends) and the unbranded Tomica Hypercity (Tomica World train sets). The photo below shows the Tomy Trackmaster track, with engines from both Tomy and Fisherprice running on the same track. Confusingly there are three different train sets that are in some ways compatible with each other.
The first of these Thomas branded train sets (which is no longer made) is Thomas and Friends Motor Road and Rail.
In addition to the train track some sets also included a grey car track that provided a circuit for battery powered cars (mainly Bertie) to go around similar to the trains. The newer generation of the Thomas the Tank Engine branded train sets is the Trackmaster range. The blue track used in the Motor Road and Rail sets is now available under the Tomy Tomica brand, but is no longer sold with any Thomas the Tank Engine branding. The Tomy sets have a car track, but this is for push along cars rather than any kind of battery powered cars as was previously created under the motor road and rail sets. The brown track is branded as Trackmaster and provided with the Thomas and Friends train sets.
The blue and brown track can only be connected together using special adapters provided with some train sets or available through Ebay, in the Trackmaster extension pack from Amazon or through some other retailers. The engines and carriages for Trackmaster, Motor-road-and-rail and Tomy Tomica are interchangeable.
The road and cars in the Tomica set can be used alongside any of the sets, but only works with the Tomica level crossing (if that is desired).
There are now some remote control Trackmaster trains, such as the Remote control Thomas trainset. The remote control is very easy to use and allows the trains to go forward, reverse and have two sound effect buttons.
The Fisher Price Trackmaster is for ages 3+, whereas the Tomy Tomica Hypercity sets have an age range of 4 to 7.
The alternative to both of these is the Thomas Take-n-play sets (formally known as Thomas Take-A-Long). The tracks are not compatible so you may want to try and get only a single type of tack, although you can get adapters or run the different types alongside if you do get the different tracks. I think the Tomy Tomica track is better from the point of view of available accessories as children get older, but the Thomas the Tank Engine branding of the Fisher Price sets is likely to be popular with young children.
All reviews and opinions are those of the author.They do not reflect the opinion of any companies or organisations that the author may be associated with.


Home→Is it compatible with Brio ?→Ikea wooden train track – does it fit Brio or Bigjigs Railway?
In this article we look at the wooden train set sold by Ikea and check to see whether it fits with Bigjigs railway, Brio or any of the other leading brands. You can see that unlike most brands the Ikea track uses a plastic insert to form the male joint. What we also find surprising is that Ikea explicitly promote their set on their website saying it “Combines with most other railway systems on the market” when in our testing it quite clearly didn’t. I also think, that the plastic joints are really an Ikea-like solution, that way only one tool is needed for doing the wooden parts, plus I can remove them to make same-end-partd (also, in the kindergarden, they have Eichhorn, and those wooden joints tend to break if overstressed). Build three different layouts and discover multiple ways to play with the TrackMaster 3-in-1 Track Builder Set from Fisher-Price! Send motorized Diesel around a flat track and through a tunnel, under the gantry, or around the elevated rails.
Choose your layout, build it, send Diesel on a journey, then rebuild the set with a different layout and create a whole new adventure! Track-master motorised railway from Fisher-Price allows your little engineer to go full steam ahead. Thomas fans will enjoy the challenge of building realistic layouts and then expanding their systems with new sets, accessories and all their Thomas and Friends characters.
The performance orientated Trackmaster railway sets and engines provide unlimited hours of creative building and exciting train adventure, as well as helping your child's creative and physical development by imagining different track layouts before exercising their fine-motor skills and dexterity as they build their creations and activate the engines. The train sets have plastic tracks (different types which can only be joined using special adapters) but the trains and carriages are interchangeable. So here’s a little of the background which may help to explain the reason for this and which are compatible with each other. The track is the same as the brown Trackmaster track used by Tomy, but the trains (in particular the carriages) appear to be of a poorer quality than those previously made by Tomy, although they are also releasing some products with new features such as light and sound.
Tesco Direct) these are listed as Mattel TrackMaster rather than Fisher-price, but these are the same. This is available as Tomy Hypercity which is all based on more realistic modern electric trains, compared to the predominately steam (and Diesel) trains with faces from the popular book and TV series associated with the Thomas themed trains. My suggestion would be to avoid the gray car based track as it takes up a lot of space due to it’s limited configuration and is difficult to fit around the train track. In reality most of the parts have the same level of difficulty so you should be able to get away with 3 to 7 for most of these (although older children may prefer the more realistic Tomica). For whatever reason the people at Ikea made it shorter than the Brio or Bigjigs joint so with the samples we had it just doesn’t fit – see image below. Take a look at our picture below of Thomas the Tank Engine, from the Thomas and Friends range, on the same track (Ikea track actually) and attached to the engine that comes from Ikea.


Ikea wooden trains are a great buy to see if your child will enjoy a wooden train set, or if you’re happy for your child to be restricted in the layouts they can make in the future. She recently got into watching Thomas, and with the two engines Ikea supplies (there is also a red one in the bridge&tunnel set), she can re-play all the stories. Daring, thrilling features and large layouts bring the speed and excitement of thomas and friends into your home and your little engineer controls all of the action.
Thomas and Friends Take-N-Play (formally known as Thomas and Friends Take Along) is another alternative which is explained further in a separate review. It was based on the Tomy Tomica train track with Thomas the Tank Engine branded trains and stations etc. The engines and carriages appear to be identical to the Motor Road and Rail versions, but with the new branding on the packaging, but the track changed to a brown coloured track. This is more of an issue for younger children who may want to push the trains along rather than just watch them go past. OK, maybe the odd piece will just about squeeze in, but we haven’t been able to make it do that, and we think it could be immensely frustrating for a young child. The red one is usually James, and the black one Donald or Douglas, but whichever story comes to her mind, they can be equally Gordon or Percy.
The motorised engines make track-master the most action-packed thomas railway system of all, with the variety of accessories and tracks ensuring there's an entire world of motorised train play for your child to create.
Conversely of course the male end of other brands, being that bit longer, fits loosely into the female end of Ikea track, making a wobbly and unsatisfactory connection.
Admittedly the Thomas Engine costs ?2.00 more than the whole Ikea set, but doesn’t it just look a lot more fun for a child? Engineered for adventure the motorised track-master engines chug up steeper hills than ever before then careen down the other side with speedy, free-wheeling action. These adapters were included in some sets (although have now been dropped from the more recent sets) or are available to purchase separately on Ebay, in the Trackmaster extension pack from Amazon or through some other retailers. If you think your child will be happy with a basic layout and will not want to extend it as they get older with crossings, engine sheds, T-junctions and other fun items that include elements of track – extras that Ikea don’t currently have in their range – then this is a good way of doing so.
The problem is that the Ikea track that we bought just doesn’t fit easily with the numerous other makes of track we have, despite their own claims.




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