Wednesday, 26 June 2013

TOMY Chuggington Die-Cast Stack Your Track Collection


TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy
















When we were chosen to become one of TOMY's official bloggers, there was one collection in particular (although we have loved most TOMY products!) that we were looking forward to review, which has arrived 2 weeks ago - Chuggington Die-Cast Stack Your Track play sets! When we did the review for the Chuggington Wooden Railway Over and Under Starter Set, the kids absolutely loved it and have been playing with it all the time, so I knew that they (including my engineer hubby) would absolutely love the Stack Your Track range.

When the boxes has arrived I was having doubts. Could this be true? Are we really reviewing all of it?! Could the Wilson and the Wild Wind Storm Maker Set be for the competition I'll be holding (although I would be gutted if it was haha, it was the biggest and coolest in the box!)? The ever so kind PR has assured me that all of them were for the review and they will send out the prize separately to the winner. I was cheering loudly in my head because it was amazing!

We were sent:

Chuggington Die-Cast Koko's Safari Adventure Set (rrp £25.99)
Chuggington Die-Cast Stunt Brewster Action Set (rrp £17.99)
Chuggington Die-Cast Wilson and the Wild Wind Storm Maker Set (rrp £49.99)
Chuggington Die-Cast Twist and Turn Action Track Pack (£15)
Chuggington Die-Cast Frostini (rrp £4.99)
Chuggington Die-Cast Action Chugger (rrp £4.99)

According to TOMY:

"The new Chuggington Die-Cast playsets feature tracks that has been engineered for height, stability and sturdy connections"

and we are set to find out how true this is! First I'll show you what each set's features are:


TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy

TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy

TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy




















KoKo's Safari Adventure Set included a Safari Koko (poor thing is covered with bananas!), a green cart (the orange cart in the picture actually belongs to Wilson), a crate full of bananas, and a cheeky swinging monkey and tree house.


TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy












Stunt Brewster Action Set comes with Stunt Brewster and features a ramp piece to make him jump.


TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy

TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy

TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy












The Wild Wind Storm Maker came with Wild Wind Wilson, a hopper car, the wild wind storm maker that makes lightning, thunder and wind noises, and has a lever (which also activates the sound) to launch the Chuggers, cones that can be flipped when a Chugger zoomed by, a turn table that spins when the Chugger hits the barrier (you can check out the videos at the end of this post for the features deomonstrations) and a spinning arrow.


TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy
The special Chuggers that comes with the play sets













TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy

TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy

TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy












The Twist and Turn Action Track Pack includes 15 pieces that can be added to any playsets as extensions, and then there is of course the collectable Chuggington Die-Cast Chuggers. Both Frostini and Action Chugger have panels that can be opened.


Each of the play set is fun enough to occupy any 3 years and above child (though Clay loves it too!). I love Koko's Safari set because of the cheeky swinging monkey, but the Wild Wind Storm Maker Set had to be the most awesome set in the whole range. The flipping cones, spinning arrow and spinning turntable are fantastic features, and you can tell that the designers has really put in effort to design and make these features work that adds lots of fun to the play set.

So far all play sets worked exactly how they were designed to work. The quality is definitely better than some of the other plastic play sets we've seen. They are really easy to put together, and even 5 years old Abby knows how to read the manual! The tracks were well made and can endure a certain amount of abuse (younger siblings are very helpful to test this out). Once slot together, they don't fall apart easily, yet if you do want to take them apart, it doesn't make you feel like you have just lost a finger either.

However. Are they gonna hold when they are all joined up together to create a track taller than 2 years old Clay?


TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy












Look at how much fun my hubby had when he accepted me and TOMY's challenge - to build a track as tall as he can with the 3 play sets and the additional track pack. He tried to use as many of the track pieces as possible, and found out that each story doesn't require as many pillars as shown on the original Wild Wind Storm Maker set. But by the 5th level, we ran out of crucial parts to build another level.

He wasn't happy to leave it at that as there were still plenty of tracks lying around. So he found a way to fit the railroad switch into the "building", leading a second track to the side, all the way down, then connect  to the side of the spinning turntable. And here is his final creation:


TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy

TOMY Chuggington, Chuggington Die-Cast, Train track toy
















You can see that some places had no pillar support where there should be, but we didn't have enough pieces. Interesting enough, the track holds even with Chuggers zooming past during the test runs (yes, test runs, it really made me feel like we were engineers troubleshooting the railroad switch!).


I've included 2 video clips at the end of this post (I still can't figure out why the alignments goes all over the place, so I have to leave them at the end).

Please excuse my excitement at the end of the first film clip. We test run it a few times and finally got it right and I couldn't help whooing! It was such fun!

You can also see the cones being flipped and the turntable spinning. Really sorry for forgetting to switch the wild wind storm maker on, the sound was a great addition and my kids kept pressing and pressing, and then they started fighting over who's turn it was to launch the Chugger, so we had to turn it off and keep them calm (you can still hear Clay whining in the second video as he wanted a turn!). I even had to play Love Actually's sound tracks to create a calm zone while hubby was trying to put the tracks together!


The second clip shows our test run after switching to the second track. It could be our design issue, so when a Chugger hits the railroad switch, it bounces against the track, slowing it down, hence losing its momentum to go further. And without the pillar support, part of the track wasn't going down well, hence the extra push by Abby. Even so, the kids had massive fun playing with the track, and the way Wilson reversed back from the spinning turntable was just brilliant!


Overall we were really pleased with the new Chuggington play sets. They were right. The tracks were sturdy and stable (just make sure you put pillars on where the tracks really need them, at least). You can build really high and still have several Chuggers zooming through them at the same time, and they will still hold. I even adjusted the final "building"'s position for better pictures and they didn't even threaten to fall apart. If you are looking for a train toy to buy for a 3 years old or above, do consider TOMY's Chuggington Die-Cast range. It also has the most complete Chuggington Chuggers collection.


As mentioned above, I am holding a competition for one of you to win a Wilson and the Wild Wind Storm Maker Play Set, which you can find by clicking on the blue link (I think this post is long enough, hehe). It's one of the biggest play set from the range and even without extension your child (or you) can have plenty of fun with it! Good luck! x


Disclosure: We were sent the above toys to review the Stack Your Track challenge; all opinions are honest and our own