Mega Bloks Thomas Sodor Search & Rescue
Thomas The Tank Engine - For ages: 3 Years +
2 reviews from the community
Review of "Mega Bloks Thomas Sodor Search & Rescue"
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This particular set claims to include 48 pieces of Mega Bloks but that figure actually includes both the plastic box and the lid that the set comes in. I think it's a really clever idea that the box can be turned over and the base forms part of the play set. The base forms a platform for some of the pieces of railway track to be fixed on to, as well as including a swivelling kind of railway junction to which pieces of track can be connected. This piece is fixed into position on the base, making it slightly less versatile than it might have otherwise been, though. The lid itself forms a railway station and comes complete with several raised blocks in place to which additional pieces as well as track can be added. The idea of using the storage container as an integral part of the set isn't something that I've come across before but I think it's great as it cuts down on the number of loose pieces and also makes it easier for everything to be tidied away after play.
I've never really bought any Mega Blok products before, always believing them to be simply an alternative to Lego or Duplo, both of which we have in large quantities. I spotted this 'Sodor Search and Rescue' set in the Sainsbury's (in)famous half price toy sale towards the end of last year and was attracted to the Thomas and Harold figures that were sitting at the top of the box, without initially realising this was a Mega Bloks set. I decided to buy it anyway as I was only paying £14.99 and I knew that anything Thomas the Tank Engine related would be a hit with my then three year old son.
Despite the recommended age of three years plus, these blocks bear more resemblance to Duplo, rather than Lego, as they are the same type of chunky plastic block. I was pleased to discover that the set is actually compatible with Duplo too, which does open up the play opportunities quite considerably for us.My son's favourite parts of this set are undoubtedly the buildable Thomas and Harold the Helicopter figures, which are both easy to take apart and put together again, even for a three year old as they only comprise 5-6 pieces each. Once built, the figures are quite chunky and can be played with extensively, for some great imaginative play, without worrying that they are going to fall apart again. My little boy also particularly likes playing with the crane attachment which can swivel around and lift carriages and blocks up by the hook.
The only disappointment with this specific set is that there aren't many pieces of track included. In fact, there are only four track sections included. As far as my son is concerned, this is a train set and, understandably, he wants to push Thomas around the track. The packaging talks about this set offering 'endless possibilities' but the reality is that the variations that can be made are actually pretty limited as there are only two possible ways to fit the track together and neither of those forms even a basic circuit. All that can realistically be achieved with the track provided is to push Thomas up and down a hill and stop him at the station. Of course, the other components, such as the crane and the helicopter, do offer more scope but as a train-based play set it is a little disappointing.There are lots of other Thomas Mega Bloks sets available that would all inter-connect with this particular set and would obviously expand the track available. That would involve even more cost though and considering this set has an RRP of £29.99, I would expect it to offer at least enough track for a basic curcuit, without needing to buy any additional sets.
Despite this, my son does enjoy playing with this set, particularly as it is compatible with his existing Duplo figures and blocks. I do feel more favourable towards Mega Bloks in general, particularly the innovative combined storage and base pieces, and would consider purchasing another play set to expand this one but only if I can find it at a similar sort of price tag. As a standalone set this is quite expensive, particularly given the lack of train track.My box indicated that this particular set (number 10520) is exclusive to Sainsburys and currently available for the full price of £29.99 on their website. I have seen new sets listed on eBay for around the price I paid. It would certainly be worth buying this set to expand an existing Mega Bloks collection or to use alongside Duplo, providing the price is right.
Summary: Good as part of a set, not great value as a standalone play set
Product Information : Mega Bloks Thomas Sodor Search & Rescue
Manufacturer's product descriptionThomas The Tank Engine - For ages: 3 Years +
Manufacturer: Mega Bloks
Character: Thomas The Tank Engine
Age: 3 Years +
Listed on Ciao since: 07/12/2011