March 06, 2011,
H.K. asks from Chiefland, FL on March 04, 2011
Thomas the Train Sets, Which Tracks Are Authentic Thomas the Train
I am buying used Thomas the train lots on ebay for my sons birthday. There is wooden track and then there are track that are plastic, but look wooden. My question is....which ones are authentic thomas the train? I would like to get more of the ones that look like wood because these don't get chipped and broken, but I don't know what brand they are.
A.L. answers from Austin on March 04, 2011
Thomas has both. And on three different scales - the trains for each scale aren't compatible with each other.
I'm guessing you're thinking the one that can be set up with the play table? It's wooden - the manufacturer is Learning Curve. It has the most available pieces.
There is the portable system that is plastic. It used to be made by Learning Curve and was called "Take Along," but now it's made by Fisher Price and is called the "Take and Play" or something like that. It is smaller than the wooden set.
There is the "Trackmaster" set, also made by Fisher Price, that is also plastic. It is on a larger scale then the wooden Thomas set.
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J.L. answers from Minneapolis on March 04, 2011
You don't specifiy which type of trains you are using, but be aware that only the wood track will work with wooden trains.
The quality of many of the other compatible wooden track brands varies. Be aware that while they are somewhat compatible, often the cheaper track will get "stuck" and break off in the authentic track because they are sometimes a little "off" in their design.
The best way to tell if you're getting authentic Learning Curve wooden track is by looking at the markings on the wood. Authentic Thomas track has engraved horizontal grooves to make it look like actual train rails/tie rods. The other types (Brio regular track included) will be smooth with the exception of the verticle grooves for the train wheels.
Old school (pre-2002) Thomas track also comes in the Clickety-Clack version, and those have very deep horizontal lines in additions to the finer tie-rod grooves so that when the trains (especially the wooden versions that are battery operated) make a clickety clack sound like real trains rolling down the track.
Authentic Thomas track also comes in a version called "Wacky Track" and it is wood pieces on a a flexible strand that allows it to manipulated in any direction...giving the child more options when building their set configurations.
All pre-2001 Thomas was made with real Vermont Wood. You can tell the difference when you line up old track next to the newer stuff.
H. these hints help.
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T.K. answers from Dallas on March 04, 2011
Both. Go to the website to see if what you are buying is authentic. There are wooden and plastic sets sold. The plastic go with the motorized trains. The wooden go with the ones that do not have batteries. It's for the ones that stick together with magnets.
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B.W. answers from Minneapolis on March 04, 2011
Anything wooden will fit the wooden trains. We have Melissa and Doug, Learning Curve, Imaginarium, etc. If its a wooden track, regardless of brand it will fit the thomas trains.
W.P. answers from New York on March 06, 2011
The 'authentic' ones are the wooden ones by Learning Curve. I have bought quite a few items and track sets for my daughter on ebay. You can save a lot of money. Two ebay shops I have used often are "thomasandtoys" and "thomasauctions". Happy bidding!
K.M. answers from Chicago on March 04, 2011
thomas the train has many authentic track sets... my fav and the one we have a gagillion of are the grey ones that click together... the others we tried tend to break apart too easily or are too hard to click together.