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November 13, 2014 by Jessica Petersen 3 Comments Whether you’re looking for that main birthday gift or the biggest present under the Christmas tree, celebrating a milestone or just looking to add something irresistible to the play room, this list of big ticket train gifts for kids has plenty of ideas for you! There’s just something so special about that big train set under the tree, or that biggest birthday present, saved for the very last.
For the past four years at our house, birthdays and Christmas mornings have been all about the trains.
So if you’re looking for that wow factor gift for your train-obsessed kid, here are my recommendations. The Brio Deluxe Railway Set has been one of the most popular wooden train sets purchased through our Guide to the Best Wooden Train Sets. The Thomas Wooden Railway Tidmouth Sheds Deluxe Set brings back so many fond memories for me.
This is the new version of the Thomas Wooden Railway Play Table, so I don’t believe the play board is the design that was meant to go under the deluxe set. Made in the USA from sustainable hardwoods, this beautiful heirloom train set from Maple Landmark is a great choice if you think that wooden train sets should be made almost entirely from wood. These heirloom-quality, Made-in-the-USA alphabet train sets from Maple Landmark are compatible with regular magnetic wooden trains and wooden track. For more wooden train sets, and lots of information about the different wooden train brands, check out our Guide to the Best Wooden Train Sets. Power Trains are a great midpoint for kids wanting to move from wooden trains or TrackMaster trains to real model trains. The Little Engineer got this set to go under the tree on Christmas morning, and it is so charming! Bachmann also makes a smaller Thomas with Annie and Clarabel HO Scale Train Set that includes just Thomas, his coaches, a circle of track, and a power pack and speed controller. This looks like a great model train set to go under a Christmas tree, especially with the Polar Express theme!
The Little Engineer thought it was really cool when we realized last year that roller coasters are trains, too.
If you click on one, we will receive a small commission — at no additional cost to you — on anything you buy at Amazon for a certain length of time afterwards. Even now that the Little Engineer is turning five, and perhaps would get more use out of more LEGO bricks than more wooden tracks, he’s informed me that his birthday is going to be a train birthday party.
Below, you’ll find everything from a boxed set of Thomas books to deluxe wooden train and model train sets, from ride-on trains to train beds for toddlers.
As I said there, if you’re looking for an all-in-one set with enough variety, durability, and playability to last a childhood (or several), the Brio Deluxe Railway Set fits that description perfectly.

The top is green, with just a little bit of blue, right where the seaport is in the Brio Deluxe Railway Set‘s layout. This is an updated version of train layout that used to be at all the bookstores where my son fell in love with Thomas. I like the platform elements Fisher Price has been adding into the Thomas Wooden Railway sets, and this one is perhaps my favorite.
He was so excited about it after having played with it at bookstore train tables for so long. You can buy NameTrain sets that just have the letters of your child’s name, but I love the idea of having a whole alphabet to learn letters and then practice forming words while playing trains.
And for more information and recommendations about wooden trains in general, see all the posts in our ongoing Play Trains! There’s a crane to swing a section of track around just in time for Thomas to chuff across it, a spiral track for him to chug up, and a crown that falls into his freight car as he zooms down through the tunnel. This TrackMaster Thomas has special wheels with teeth to get up that super steep slope, presenting an opportunity to learn about real world trains that use similar wheels to get up mountains. These plastic train sets are much higher quality than you would expect — something I read again and again in reviews, and then experienced for myself when we got our first Power Trains set.
That one might be a bit easier to fit under the tree if you don’t have a great deal of floor space available. It’s battery-operated, with a remote control, and from the reviews I read it sounds like it stands up to children operating it.
I’m just starting to learn about them all and find more to recommend, so in the meantime, I recommend browsing the model train set category there and reading lots of reviews.
The Rokenbok Monorail Mania Complete Action Set is on my short list for potential presents for the Little Engineer’s birthday this year. My husband bought it to build and then play with it together with the Little Engineer, and we were really impressed with all of the details on the freight cars and in the cargo station. This Batterypowered Train Set Inspired By The Movie A Christmas Story Includes A Find the electric train sets you need to complete your Lionel train sets. It adds some scenery without overly dictating the types of train layouts children can build on their own.
It comes with a super cool Thomas storage box (which is much larger than it appears in this photo) that has a cushion for a cab roof, so your child can pretend to be Thomas’ driver. In this three-tier play tower, the wooden trains move through fully-illustrated backgrounds.
We’ve had a lot of fun trying to find other objects that are the right size and shape to replace the crown and drop into the freight car.

They require a child to develop some of the patience, care, and skills it takes to run a model train, yet the trains themselves put up with all of the abuse that comes from these skills being learned in a hands-on sort of way. I was glad I carefully read the Amazon reviews, so I was forewarned that running the train for too long can melt the plastic inside. I’ve read several reviews of Rokenbok toys praising their appeal to a wide range of ages, as children go from having fun playing with the set after a parent or older sibling has set it up to building it themselves. I would recommend it for kids old enough to build it themselves, or to build with or for kids who are ready to play with model trains carefully.
This could be a great alternative to a regular train table for younger children or smaller spaces. This Mega Holiday Set is the biggest Power Trains set I’ve encountered, and it looks like it would be super fun on Christmas morning.
Knowing that ahead of time and carefully following the printed instructions, we had no problems with it. And it coordinates with all of the other Rokenbok sets, so it’s a set we could add to for years to come. When we started adding Lionel trains to our buyer’s guide in 2004, only a handful of sets were generally available.
Though, thinking of our train collection, it would have been even better if there had been several more of those shelves! I like the idea of the crane that can move freight (and maybe even engines?) between the tiers, and it could be fun to build a larger train layout on the floor that comes in and loops through the bottom level.
We’ve watched a video of this set on YouTube, and it seems like Thomas crashes as often as he hits the track.
We got the Bachmann Troublesome Truck #1 and Troublesome Truck #2 to go with it, and the Little Engineer had fun giving rides to his new LEGO mini figures under the tree. I feel that roundhouses and engine sheds add new dimensions to wooden train play, and Tidmouth Sheds is our favorite one.
Which the Little Engineer thinks is hilarious, so if you have the type of kid who would think that was a feature rather than a flaw and not get frustrated with it, this could be a fun set to play with.

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  • Zara, 01.09.2014 at 19:15:22
    Son loves storage compartments on ride on toys and loves encounter amongst the small guy and website.
  • Agayev, 01.09.2014 at 19:25:26
    Centre , Ontario train show September.
  • FUTIK, 01.09.2014 at 11:38:11
    Years back and he's one.
  • RZAYEV, 01.09.2014 at 11:31:18
    Come in at 25mm exactly, plus know model trains inside and out and can answer good quality.
  • WARLOCK, 01.09.2014 at 12:12:59
    Policy to reflect our participation collectively, I went ahead.