Discount Thomas the Train stuff? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#2 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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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.
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#3 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 09:34 AM
 
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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.
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#4 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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#5 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 12:15 PM
 
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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.

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#6 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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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.

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#7 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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I see people requesting Thomas items a lot on freecycle...maybe you could give that a try? My son is equally obsesssed.

DS1 06/27/2007, DS2 03/19/2010 :::
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#8 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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Do you have an AC Moore near you? They carry the trains and have weekly coupons for 40 or 50% off one item.
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#9 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 03:34 PM
 
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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!

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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#10 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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We got a huge lot of Thomas stuff of Craig's list
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#11 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 04:40 PM
 
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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.

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#12 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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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.

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#13 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 09:05 PM
 
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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."

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#14 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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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.
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#15 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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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
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#16 of 36 Old 05-20-2009, 11:59 PM
 
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Nicki's Diapers currently has a small collection of Thomas toys on the best sale I've ever seen.

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#17 of 36 Old 05-22-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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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).
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#18 of 36 Old 05-22-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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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

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#19 of 36 Old 05-22-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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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!
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#20 of 36 Old 05-22-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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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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#21 of 36 Old 05-22-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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We took a small table that I got at a yard sale for $10 and cut the legs down to make it shorter. I let DS paint on it and voila.... train table. Works great and you could find one to fit your specific space.

We also bought generic peices and used the Michaels coupons to get specific Thomas things that he wanted. I know K-Mart used to have generic compatible trains really cheap as well.
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#22 of 36 Old 05-24-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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Also try Big Lots. But there are three different types of trains -- wooden, electric, and diecast. Our Big Lots carries mainly the electric (which use a plastic track).

We got this Imaginarium train table (MUCH BETTER than the Thomas one) which is compatible with the wooden Thomas engines:

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=3140254

We got it on sale and had coupons too so we paid less than it's marked. And I have since seen it on Craigslist for $50. It is more sturdy than the Thomas table, and has two deep drawers. It comes with a TON of stuff too.

So we use it and buy individual wooden engines when we can.

This has been the best though:

http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Thomas-En...3207774&sr=1-1

She calls it "Mama Thomas" and the little wooden one is "Baby Thomas" and she sleeps with both.

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#23 of 36 Old 05-24-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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If you have a Tuesday Morning near you, they often have Brio trains which are also compatable. We have about 4 diferrent types of tracks and then some Thomas and some Brio trains. At 10 ds still plays with it all.
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#24 of 36 Old 05-25-2009, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
Yes Yes!! Whatcha got (and how much)? We are looking mostly for the destinations, but maybe some trains too
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#25 of 36 Old 06-10-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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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
Do you still hae any of the thomas stuff or know anyone that does? I need gifts for an up coming bday.
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#26 of 36 Old 06-11-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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ACK! we just moved, so it's in a box in my daughter's room at the moment!

I know for sure I have like 6-8 engines that the kids won't miss--they do look played-with, not perfect. I do not have a Thomas, except the golden edition that my kids will not part with!

If anyone's still interested, PM me!

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#27 of 36 Old 06-11-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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some f the engines are 1.99
http://shop.learningcurve.com/wps/po...VjdHM!#7_B_6NQ

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#28 of 36 Old 06-11-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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We ended up getting a train table second hand. We paid $20 for it. After about 2 hrs of cleaning it looks brand new. My DS is 2.5 and plays w it every day-several times per day. I debated getting one because we really don't have alot of room but I don't regret getting it for one second. I would keep checking craigslist- I saw a ton of great buys over the past 8 months.
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#29 of 36 Old 06-12-2009, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wouldn't you know, those are the ones we have (and we only have a few)!!

And thank you to the pp who is offering the Thomas engines for sale - my awesome mother who is Grandma Supreme has basically hooked us up thanks to some Michael's and TRU coupons, but thank you
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#30 of 36 Old 06-14-2009, 04:27 AM
 
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I'm curious... is there a way to find out if second-hand trains were part of the recall? My son is an addict, too, but I've been hesitant to buy used.
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