Children are naturally drawn to toy trains and Thomas trains are highly recognizable. There are so many characters from the Island of Sodor where Thomas the Tank Engine is from that appeal to all children, including boys and girls.
Types of Thomas Toy Trains
Before embarking on collecting these trains it helps to understand the scope of the selection. Thomas and Friends trains are offered in several formats including wooden, die cast (metal) and plastic (battery operated). These types of trains are made by Learning Curve, ERTL, Trackmaster and TOMY to name a few.
Most children begin collecting Thomas trains simply by receiving their first train character as a gift such as a birthday present and so this begins their collecting journey.
Thomas Train Character Guide
A key to understanding Thomas train characters is keeping a handy Thomas train character guide
for both boys and girls to choose from. These toy trains are offered in many colors and shapes representing all of the fun and interesting characters from the Island of Sodor. Typically the toy train manufacturers like Trackmaster offer a Collectors Guide Poster included with the purchase of the train.
Types of Thomas Train Tracks
It's also helpful to understand that the wooden, die cast metal and plastic battery operated trains have different tracks especially designed for them. The wooden engines only fit on Brio or Trackmaster wooden tracks, the die cast metal only fit on ERTL plastic tracks and the plastic trains only fit on Trackmaster or TOMY plastic tracks.
Part of collecting includes knowing that many of the trains are discontinued or hard to locate which makes them highly collectable. Also it's nearly impossible to go to any store and find every Thomas train character in stock; this makes collecting fun and teaches children patience and something to look forward to.
Thomas The Train Movies and DVD’s
Each year new Thomas train characters are added to collection by way of introduction in new movies which are converted to new Thomas & Friends DVD's. After these new characters are featured in the move they are available at most stores. At times some of these new characters are available online before the movie is released at a higher premium.
For example in 2011 a new movie released called Day of the Diesels
was released introducing four new characters Belle
. The fun is in trying to find and collect these characters that the children want.