Kids seem to love these Thomas TrackMaster sets. You can choose from several sets and they all work together. Unlike the Take Along Thomas sets, these trains couple together with a hook-and-loop style and are battery powered. TrackMaster Trains are about five inches long and run on brown plastic track. They are not compatible with the older Thomas wooden track.
You can buy products from this line as sets, complete with trains and track, or you can also buy individual trains and individual track pieces (such as bridge expansion packs for example).
I bought my nephew the TrackMaster Thomas’ Busy Day Starter set and he absolutely loves it. It’s not as expensive as some of the other sets (you can find it for around $15). This is a great starter set – but keep in mind it is pretty basic (hence the term “starter”). The track forms a simple loop and has only one engine (Thomas!). Of course it can always be expanded with additional track and trains. And Thomas takes one AA battery, and chugs fairly fast down the track too! One of the things Mark (my nephew) likes the most seems to be flipping the switches to switch trains onto other tracks.
TrackMaster Arthur at the Copper Mine is another popular set. In this TrackMaster set, Arthur collects copper from the mines. It runs a bit more expensive, around $20 to $25 or so. It`s easy to set up and kids love watching the cargo car magically fill up with copper as it shoots under the mine. The set comes with Arthur and he needs a battery – you need to remove a screw (the one at the rear) to take the top part off.
One of my favourite sets is the TrackMaster Percy`s Day at the Farm. Why? I really have a soft spot for Percy! So in this set, Percy’s job is to help Farmer McColl load and unload cargo and there is a platform to help him do just that. It comes with a complete track, cargo car, Farmer McColl’s Farm and even a cow. Beware before purchasing this set though – it contains small parts and is recommended for ages three and up.
A huge set (and hugely popular) is the TrackMaster Thomas at Action Canyon. It contains 53 pieces of track, so plan on plenty of space before setting it up. A feature I like about this set is the collapsing bridge and waterfall. This set is based on the popular Thomas movie, The Great Discovery. It appeals to kids for this very reason, because they can start recreating adventures they’ve experienced on the movie. The track is very durable and easy to put together. Thomas takes one AA battery and chugs around the track effortlessly, even uphill and through a waterfall.
Colin the Crane has a TrackMaster set as well – The Party Surprise. Kids love helping the crane lift and load cargo onto Thomas and then watch Thomas chug away to carry the load.