The wooden train set from Bigjigs was put to the test. We wanted to how easy it was to assemble by a three year old for which our chief tester, Callum, aged three, joined us.
The train set is made from wood and gives the feel of being solid that we guess will last for generations. It is pained in bright child friendly paint and lacquer. The track is double sided, something we needed Callum to point out. Whilst we were trying to work out the arrangement of the track, he had spun some pieces over to make them slot together.
The train set tack incorporates a three arch bridge will means the cars can pass under the bridge to get to the inside of the track circles. Some good news is the track is also compatible with a range of competitor’s products. So if you have some already or see it at a car boot sale etc. you can make the layout much bigger.
In addition to the train the set is supplied with a range of trackside figures, houses, road signs and cars. This meant that the child could either use it as a convention train set or extend its use as a village scene. Callum quickly discovered that the model cars also run in the groves of the railway track turning the figure of eight track instantly into a road for cars.
The model policeman, nurse and the family introduce role-play into the educational game. We found, however, that the base of the characters, and the trackside trees could do with a larger base, as they were a little unstable especially on carpet.
The train and its carriages are hooked together by magnets. This makes the coupling process very easy for small children. The magnets also introduce the experience that ‘like’ poles of magnets repel. The theory may be complex for a three year old but that strange feeling of magnets sticking together or pushing each other apart will lie dormant until they learn about physics.
The train set is supplied in a cardboard ‘briefcase’ which we are not sure will take last too long, especially of the child helps to pack things away. A sturdier case would increase the sales price but it may be worth the user looking out for sturdy plastic case – especially as this train set is going to last for may years.
Dimensions: The figure of eight track measures 102cms x 46cms
The train set comes complete with 40 play pieces.
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