Do Plan Toys train tracks work with a Thomas train or two? How good are the Melissa and Doug tracks? What about Brio? I've heard the IKEA tracks really just aren't as good - is that true?
I was going to go Melissa and Doug, but the Plan Toys ones seem neat with the roads too, and then they are also more eco friendly. But then I saw that a starter Thomas set was only $35, and that is really the size my kids could probably handle right now, so buying bigger and more seems excessive... sigh..
Too many options - help!
ETA: My kids are almost 2 and almost 4.
We bought this set from Sevi around DS 2nd Bday. http://www.amazon.com/Sevi-81974-Vil...9909224&sr=1-1 It's not that awesome of a track set up, but DS really loves all of the different vehicles. Helicopter! Digger! Tractor! Wee-Wah! (That last one is the police car.)
I'm not a fan of the IKEA tracks, they have plastic connectors rather than being all one piece of wood. The connectors are supposed to stay in the track but I was always a bit worried about them since DS was very much in the put things in his mouth stage when we got the first train tracks for DD. I think thier trains are a bit tall to go through some of the other bridges too.
So far I have found all the brands we have (brio, toys r us and a couple of supermarket sets) all work OK with the puch along trains. The battery opperated ones occasionally get stuck as some of the tracks are slightly different heights. To be honest the fact that we set it up on the carpet causes more problems.
My 6 yr old has the plan garage we have some plan roadway for the cars and yes we have hooked our thomas / brio track onto the garage.
We have Plan, Brio/Nuchi, and Ikea tracks and DS makes amazing train tracks using all of those pieces. He also really enjoys the road set from Plan that can link in with the train tracks.
Oh my God....women are the COWS of PEOPLE!! --Reese, Malcolm in the Middle
I mostly try to avoid the Thomas stuff as it feels a bit too commercialized for me.
As for the IKEA track, its only on one side. When flip the track over, its smooth, so we decided not to get it.
R~Mama to my sweet A 7//07 & bubbly Z 3/12
AND due 9/13
Another parent told me that if you go to a hobby shop, you can buy wooden tracks that are much cheaper than buying a "set" like Thomas. I haven't checked that out for myself though.
That leaves us with Plan toys, Ikea and Maple Landmark. Of these, Ikea is the least expensive and most basic, it's what we have started with. Though the quality isn't great, it's not the worst I've seen either. We have added in some of the Maple Landmark pieces, which are very high quality and can be purchased here and there. We haven't gotten any Plan sets, but I'm considering getting the crane, roundhouse or turntable since DS has really wanted those.
There are also many generic sets. At Target they have their own Circo line, Toys R Us has the Imaginarium line. There are others too that I'm not so familiar with such as Maxim.
Basically there are tons and tons of wooden train makers out there, and most are pretty interchangable.
DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.
The Ikea hills aren't high enough for the Thomas trains to go under, but you can work around that. The plastic connectors are a bit annoying while they're little, but when they're older and can pop them out themselves (even though they're not supposed to come out like that I don't think) they suddenly become a way to get extra "female-female" pieces, so there can be an up side.
We started with a used Brio set and that was great... then one grandparent got the Ikea set... Thomas started to arrive... and now we have a huge system and it's all fun. If you're not sure whether your child will love it, I'd start with the least expensive set (unless you are worried about the connectors 'cause I bet the Ikea set is usually the least) and see how it grows organically.
The kids always like these things at stores and at other people's houses, so I'm sure it will be a hit.
Mama to 2 gorgeous little boys 5 yrs and 2.5 yrs expecting another in November 2011!!
It's a !!!
Living with my amazing partner and 4