What's New in the World of Thomas and Friends

With Gavin’s revival of his obsession with Thomas and Friends (he has always like Thomas and Friends but lately he’s been more passionate about it than ever), my Thomas radar has been working overtime.  I’d like to say that my radar is almost as sensitive as his.  For instance, when we went down to Singapore last month, I nearly tripped over myself when I saw the Thomas and Friends “Hero of the Rails” display in Takashimaya’s center court.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWX3CNgvMwQ

Ever since I found out about the new Thomas and Friends movie, I have been on the lookout for the DVD.  I would have bought it online if I weren’t so worried about it getting confiscated by customs (once bitten, twice shy).  I was almost as disappointed as Gavin when I discovered that the DVD wasn’t available for sale – although I couldn’t understand why they would have the merchandise for the movie if they weren’t selling it.

It was only last weekend that I understood what was going on…  It is the 65th anniversary for Thomas the Tank Engine.  Metrojaya in the Curve was having a special promotion going on.  Buy RM80 worth of products from Metrojaya and you can spin the wheel to win tickets for 2 adults and 2 children to watch a special screening of “Hero of the Rails”.  I would have happily paid for the tickets but the only way to get them is to participate in the promotion.  Hubby and I had been debating when to take Gavin for his first movie in a cinema.  We were toying with the idea of taking him to see the new Toy Story 3, but I reckon Hero of the Rails is a better bet.

After securing our Hero of the Rails tickets, I decided to see what else was new on the Island of Sodor and discovered that several new DVDs featuring episodes from season twelve and thirteen (with the new CG versions of the characters) have been released:

Thanks to some very useful connections, we’ve managed to get the first four.  Although I have noticed that some of the episodes from High Speed Adventures are now available locally so if you’re patient enough, you can expect the local DVDs to start coming out soon.  What I like about the local DVDs is that they feature the UK episodes with Michael Angelis as the narrator.  Maybe I’m just biased but I think Michael Angelis is the best narrator ever.

There is also a special 65th Anniversary DVD featuring 20 of the best stories from Thomas and Friends from the earliest episodes up to the latest CG episodes.  I also found a DVD featuring nineteen songs from the new series of Thomas and Friends titled “Songs from Sodor“.  Since Gavin claims he only likes Thomas music, I figured this DVD would be a great way to encourage his musical development.  Yes, it’s not Mozart, but it’s a start…

Also something to look forward to later this year is Misty Island Rescue which is the latest movie length feature from Thomas and Friends which will be released October 11th.  Here’s the preview:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jNL3VDqa8w

What else is new from the Island of Sodor?  Well, it’s not just new episodes and movies.  I’ve been seeing board games:

Thomas & Friends Birthday Surprise Game – I saw this selling at York House in Bangsar Shopping Center.

Briarpatch Thomas Great Race Game – pretty sure I remember seeing this in York House as well.

Thomas and Friends Number Game

Thomas Making Tracks

Thomas and Friends Tracks and Trestles

A Day Out with Thomas Game

Although most of these games are supposed to be for children aged 3 and above, I find that I haven’t been able to keep Gavin focused long enough to play a game of Snap using Thomas cards.  I was a little more successful with the Thomas Memory cards – as in we got through a game, but after that he decided he only wanted the cards with his favourite characters.  Then I tried to teach him how to play Checkers using a Thomas Checkers set but he wouldn’t let me set the board up properly.  He kept moving the pieces to form his own patterns.  When I tried to teach him how to play Tunnels and Tracks (the Thomas version of Snakes and Ladders), I felt like I was playing by myself.

I also saw a set of Thomas Uno Cards in the Toys ‘R’ Us in Hartamas Shopping Center going for RM19.  They say it is for children aged 3 and above, but seriously, if he can’t even play snap, I think Uno is going to be out of his league.

In the meantime, we found more Thomas and Friends jigsaw puzzles.  We found Night Works (100 piece glow in the dark), Birthday Surprise (35 pieces), and Roadside Repair (24 pieces – giant floor puzzle) at Takashimaya.  Turns out the same puzzles were also being sold in Metrojaya for Thomas’ 65th Anniversary and they were cheaper.  We also found some puzzles at Jigsaw Puzzle World in Plaza Singapura – these puzzles were photographs which are a more challenging than the painted puzzles.  We still haven’t found anything greater than 100 pieces but we can increase the challenge by mixing the different puzzles together.  Despite the fact that Gavin has managed to finish two 100 piece jigsaw puzzles by himself, he still gets intimidated when he sees too many puzzle pieces.  I am still struggling to figure out how to get him over it, but that’s another story…

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

7 thoughts on “What's New in the World of Thomas and Friends

  1. Hey there, thanks for sharing this! Now I know I can go and get these products as well. Please be patient with Gavin and the games…I noticed that about Ben also – he plays his own games with the checker (normal ones!) game but I believe that with time, he will ask Daddy to teach him. Now, just expose him to the game. Same with the puzzles, just do it with him for a few rounds and he will pick it the game himself. 🙂

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  2. Hahaha… Ben and Gavin are so alike. That’s what Gavin does, too. He uses the checkers pieces for his masak masak. The puzzles – after he did them once, he doesn’t want to do them any more 😦 But at least he did them once…

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  3. Hey, tq for recommendation for shop nearby Kinderland. Found the Hero. Today went to SS2 and look for High Speed Adventure but he did not have. Instead, Ben and wanted another 2 DVDs. One is a sing-a-long but not the same one as yours. Did not realise there is more than one sing-a-long so there is no Engine Roll Call in mine. :(……..Toys-R-Us also is having a sale for Thomas and husband bought a Takara Thomas battery-operated Percy for him. So this week really blow budget! Thanks again!

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  4. No problem. Oh! They have another sing-a-long at SS2? I’ll have to go check it out. Yes, there are several in fact. I was looking them up on Amazon the other day. I also bought another one on eBay – not sure if it is the same one as the one you got.

    Yes! Thomas is very expensive! I’ve noticed that the new train series – Chuggington – is very clever in their marketing. Their merchandise are all cheaper than Thomas.

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  5. Forgot to add… Don’t know whether I should tell you this since already blown budget! Robinsons in The Gardens is having a sale – the Thomas toys on special, too. Then I went to check Choo Choo Train and saw that they are also on special – up to 30% off! I think they are competing with Robinsons because Robinsons now sells the wooden Thomas sets.

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  6. Eh eh…please do inform about any specials on Thomas. :)….I enjoy the Sing-alongs a lot myself! Haha….the voices of the children very cute. Mine starts with the song Troublesome Trucks Song. It was RM14.90 per piece. Where did you get yours? I have to go and find the one with Engine Roll Call. And I will check out Metrojaya and Robinson as well….maybe tomorrow! Hehe……Yes, he love Chuggington but somehow I think Thomas cartoons nicer – the background of Sodor Island with farms, hills, waterfalls…I also like the Hero movie – managed to teach Ben to be gentle by reminding him – Slowly, slowly, gentle, gentle. :)…Thanks so much!

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  7. Oh, I have that one, too. The Engine Roll Call song is the same song they use to start off the new series of Thomas and Friends episodes – you know the one that goes: “They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight, shunting trucks and hauling freight…”

    You can find a lot of these on Amazon and eBay. Amazon.com doesn’t ship electronic media to Asia but Amazon.co.uk does. eBay, you have to check with the seller. You should check out eBay – you can pick up all sorts of bargains there. Make sure you shop around. Some things can be very expensive, too.

    Yeah, both hubby and I prefer Thomas, too.

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