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Discount Thomas the Train stuff?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
My son is OBSESSED with Thomas stuff after visiting a friend with a train table, but this stuff is so outrageously priced - anyone know of any good places to get is cheaper?

TIA

X-posted in Childhood Years
post #2 of 36
check craigslist, and garage sales. We purchased a train table that came with buildings, and track and trains at Costco for my son Christmas 2005. It wasn't the name brand Thomas, but it was only about $120 and he has played with it everyday since he got it 3.5 years ago. We have since added little by little the name brand trains, and been gifted additional building and tracks and trains as well. The knock offs from Costco are completely compatible with the Thomas name brand stuff.
post #3 of 36
I can totally relate. My son was OBSESSED with Thomas from 14 months to about 4 years. He's 6 now and while he still likes Thomas A LOT, it isn't quite so intense. We opted to not buy a table because, to me, it was just one more thing to have sitting around and the tracks could only be configured in certain ways. I purchased little tubs for the tracks to go it, so they could occasionally get stashed in the closet. Actual wooden Thomas stuff can be a tough garage sale find, but they are out there. When I wanted them new, one of the best places I would shop was trainsgalore.com. They usually had a good deal on shipping if you bought $45, so I would make a big purchase and spread those trains out over several holidays. The generic wooden trains are compatible most of the time. The only difference I have ever found was that the magnets were not as strong - not really a big deal unless you have a 25 car train or so. I've only ever had one Thomas toy break and mine have received a ton of tough love.
post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm so torn about doing the train table or not. We don't really have the room for it (although we could make it our coffee table, but do I really want that??) but when DS spreads them out over the floor, we are all tripping over them to get anywhere. And, at this friend's house, for some reason, DS played by himself forever with the train table, so part of me is hoping he would get some good independent play time (kitchen cleaning time for me) with it. But I swear we'd get it and he'd be over it in a day and go back to using the floor.

Thanks for the Trains Galore link. I found them last night while googling. I would love to catch a garage sale, but people don't really have a lot of those where I live so maybe I will peruse a Goodwill or something.

Thanks!
post #5 of 36
Buy the individual trains he wants and is interested in. Buy a generic track and accessories. I bought the wooden generic train from Target and the Thomas cars work just fine on it. We got a play table free from a cousin who thought it took up too much room and we were set with a minimal investment.
post #6 of 36
I have seen individual Thomas trains and pieces (like tunnels, etc) at TJ Maxx in the kid's toy area. If you have one near, you could check there.
post #7 of 36
I see people requesting Thomas items a lot on freecycle...maybe you could give that a try? My son is equally obsesssed.
post #8 of 36
Do you have an AC Moore near you? They carry the trains and have weekly coupons for 40 or 50% off one item.
post #9 of 36
You should also check out Ikea if you have one near you. They have train sets that are supposed to work with the Thomas stuff. And the prices are incredible!
post #10 of 36
We got a huge lot of Thomas stuff of Craig's list
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuits & Gravy View Post
Do you have an AC Moore near you? They carry the trains and have weekly coupons for 40 or 50% off one item.
Michael's also.
post #12 of 36
In our SE region it seems Micheals craft store have it at half the price of Barnes and Noble. Also wood tracks are very cheap at IKEA. Good luck.

Also, I did get lucky finding Tomas stuff through Freecycle so look into your area chapter of that too.
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuits & Gravy View Post
Do you have an AC Moore near you? They carry the trains and have weekly coupons for 40 or 50% off one item.
This is exactly how DS got his Thomas stuff. My mom went every week and bought one train car, 50% off. For tracks, we just got a generic set (or two, now) that works just fine. We paid like $20 on sale for tons of track. DS even calls the generic blue engines "Thomas."
post #14 of 36
Amazon has a great deal on the Melissa and Doug deluxe set (with free shipping) which is Thomas compatible. We have it and are planning to add to it with select items from the Thomas collection for birthdays/Christmas.
post #15 of 36
We started out with a generic set from ebay. We're adding Thomas pieces now and then.

This is the one we have. FWIW...I did the home lead paint testing on this and it came up okay. I'm not going to tell you how much we paid new. You'd be sending daggers my direction. It is Thomas compatible.

Ebay Item number: 310133363081
post #16 of 36
Nicki's Diapers currently has a small collection of Thomas toys on the best sale I've ever seen.
post #17 of 36
Check out your local children's resale shop. I've seen a few Thomas toys there for great prices. Yard sales, ebay, craigslist too... enlist your family & friends in the search.

FYI- the wooden Thomas trains do not go well with the pastic tracks/ trains (and vice versa).
post #18 of 36
i have an embarrassing amount, like a huge cardboard boxful, of Thomas stuff....if anyone's interested i will absolutely sell some!

i don't have any of the newer engines tho, cause the kid who was the Thomas fanantic is turning 10 this year
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystal323 View Post
i have an embarrassing amount, like a huge cardboard boxful, of Thomas stuff....if anyone's interested i will absolutely sell some!

i don't have any of the newer engines tho, cause the kid who was the Thomas fanantic is turning 10 this year
Really? I may hit you up! Emily has 1 train (Edward but he's still blue so it's Thomas to me) and the 3 tub toys from Target. She loves Thomas but gosh darn it's so pricey! I'll PM you!
post #20 of 36
We have the generic ones from Toys R Us. They were a grandparent gift for Christmas. We also got one name brand train last year with a coupon TRU sent out via email. And, we have the small trains from IKEA.
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