I must admit to really liking toys that are based on TV shows. There is something very exciting about having the characters ready to be played with in your own home. (I think it all stems back to me having a toy Kermit the Frog when I was a little girl and believing it actually was the one from the telly!)
Freddy has been testing the Chuggington Wooden Railway Over and Under Starter Set, a train set modelled on the hit TV show. He was very excited seeing characters he recognised on the packaging. The 22 piece layout includes a 2-in-1Clock Tower/Tunnel and a Bridge Tunnel that can be incorporated together into the track as a big tower or as two separate tunnels. The track itself is exclusive Chuggington track, but to me it looks exactly the same as other leading brands of wooden train track, except for being printed with the Chuggington logo. (It is compatible with Brio which is a real plus). The track builds into a figure of eight with a raised section that goes over the bridge and through the clock tower.
|Freddy helps to build the wooden track.|
The set includes two trains, Koko and Wilson, and also Vee the Loud Speaker which adds to the play value, giving more scope for role playing and re-enacting favourite TV moments. This starter set stands alone as a nice complete first train set for a child, adding a familiar CBeebies twist to a traditional toy. You can buy extra trains, track, buildings and accessories to add to the starter set to make a big Chuggington Collection. In fact the box says "The more pieces you add, the richer the world becomes!" I can imagine that by thinking that way you could spend an absolute fortune if you had a Chuggington fanatic in the family!
|22 Piece Layout|
The trains themselves are nicely made and very true to the CBeebies characters. They have a magnetic coupling on the front and back so they can push or pull along other trains or carriages. They are a good size for little hands to play with, although as with all train sets they can derail quite easily which always frustrates 2 year old Freddy. As children get older this is less of an issue, and this set is recommended for ages 3 and up, so I'm sure that Freddy's skills will develop as time goes on.
|Tunnel or a Tower???|
I really like how this train set has been made wooden rather than totally from plastic. Priced at £39.99 you are paying a premium for the CBeebies branding, but it is well made and a lovely wooden train set that will last for years. If you have a Chuggington fan they will enjoy seeing Koko and Wilson whizzing around the track and through the tunnels. You can add to the set if you want to with other characters and track, but you don't have to as it is a complete set in its own right. It will inspire hours of imaginative play and is a great quality toy.