Circo Train Tracks Vs. Thomas Train Tracks

Updated on November 05, 2009
S.R. asks from Azusa, CA
20 answers

I am thinking of getting my daughter some sort of wooden train set for Christmas. She LOVES those elaborate Thomas train set-ups they have in some toy stores and book stores we visit.
The target brand "Circo" wooden tracks are significantly cheaper than the "Thomas & Friends" sets. Does anyone out there know if the parts are interchangeable? If I get the Target brand wooden tracks, will the Thomas trains and other Thomas accessories fit with it? Most specifically, will a Thomas train fit onto generic wooden tracks?

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone, this is really helpful. You definitely all convinced me that the train sets are a good investment! I think it will be a big hit at Christmas. I will take all this advice into consideration when I decide exactly what to buy. You moms are the best.

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H.R.

answers from Santa Barbara on

unfortunately they are mostly not interchangeable. You will find that the trains and tracks sold by different sotres are very different. Advice pick one and stick with it or you will like we did have several different kinds of traind and tracks floating around.

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C.S.

answers from Houston on

Mellisa & Doug (brand that makes a lot of wooden toys) also make a train set. Cheap, online. Yes, all the trains fit the different ones.

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

S.,
But the track... Do not buy the table. From experience, all the pieces fit fine with all the Thomas/Brio things we have. And you are totally right, buy the Thomas trains and save your money on the track and buildings and stuff. I will tell you this... the train table we bought at Target was NOT a good buy at all. It had two drawers on the side that slammed shut and were the cause of many tears from little fingers not getting out of the way fast enough. And the table top itself came in two pieces and when any weight was put on it- if he leaned a bit too hard - the table top would tip over and collapse. We invested in a Nilo Table (you can look them up online) and three kids later, I can tell you it was one of the BEST investments we ever made for our kids. The table is amazing. So sturdy that it can hold over 200 pounds. It's a bit bigger than the Thomas table so it fits all the sets. It has a lip so none of the pieces wind up on the floor and there are tons of accessories you can purchase to turn it into a million different things.
They have inserts that you can put into the table top that turn into a Lego table and it fits Duplo pieces on the other side. They have an easel attachment, different style bins that fit under the table for storage and benches and chairs you can buy that have storage as well. The best part is that it's natural wood and white so it never really goes out of style and your kids will never say that it's not cool. I have all boys and this table has been a train table for the lttle ones, the Lego table for the oldest as well as his homework desk, an art table for all them and even a fort at times. And because it's white, I don't mind it anywhere in the house. A bit pricey, but a great investment and worth every single penny. I know this table will be around for my grandkids.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am not sure if the trains are interchangeable, but i can say that the best deal is the thomas train pieces for their warranty. Any broken pieces can be returned and they will replace them free.
My grandsons had a slew of thomas and they were the best investment. A bit more pricey but sure worth the price in the long run.
If your daughter is going to be a long term player with the sets..then go for thomas, otherwise go to the cheaper models if it will be a passing entertainment.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.

I bought the "Thomas & Friends" train set for my oldest 6 years ago when he was 1. Since then we kept on adding since we have four boys now. We like Thomas (even if its pricy) because it is compatible with other sets such as "Imaginarium" or "Brio" also train tracks from "Melissa & Doug" fit. You can start with a small set and just add on later. My boys LOVE it. If you can afford it I think it's worth the money.

Good Luck.

M.

1 mom found this helpful

K.A.

answers from San Diego on

It all works well together. We have tons of the name brand Thomas as well as the Target brand and our train table came from Costco. We also have parts that have come from the $1.00 section at Target and a generic brand the Totally Thomas store near us carries. It's best to get the basic parts cheaper from elsewhere and save your money to get the name characters from Thomas. One hint, if you get Michael's ads they often carry Thomas in their stores and the weekly 40% off coupons go a long way to making it more affordable. I use them for holiday shopping for my boys.

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M.G.

answers from San Diego on

Hi S.,

My son loved the wooden train sets and we got Thomas the Tank engine and also Brio which is really great quality. They both worked well together.
What is coincidental is that my son no longer wants his tracks and trains (he has a large tub filled with probably a $700 worth of tracks and trains in great condition). If you are local perhaps you might like to look at our set for your daughter. I am in Carlsbad. You can email me at [email protected]____.com

with warmth,

M.

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L.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Not sure if the Circo track fits, but you can find less expensive track pieces in stores like Toys R Us or online that will be interchangeable. Just make sure you stick with the wooden track/trains because there are other types of Thomas trains (i.e. Take Along and Track MAster) that don't fit on the wooden track. Also, if you're going to invest in one of those wooden train tables you can usually buy different landscape mats to fit under the track. My daughter is 2 1/2 and has had her Thomas set for almost a year - she started with the little beginner sets and played with them on the wood floor and we have since built it up on the wooden train table and she LOVES it. I think it's a good investment and something that will get a lot of use. You should be just fine if you buy some of the less expensive track pieces and mix them in with some of the Thomas bridges and tunnels and stuff. Have fun!

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Do not buy the Thomas set... TOO overinflated/expensive.
My sister, bought this one for my son:
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3140254

AND my friends who have Thomas train table sets, says that they WISH they got this one instead... it is CHEAPER, more fun, better all around, AND their kids like my Son's train table set better too.
This brand, Imaginarium, is VERY well made & we have had NO problems with it whatsoever and my son LOVES it. AND it comes with EVERYTHING you see in the picture. AND the train noises are not OVERLY loud... just cute train sounds that are fun for kids and does not even bother my ears. My sister got it from Toys R Us as well .
AND yes the Thomas tracks and this one, IS interchangeable. I even bought extra wooden train tracks from Ross.... and it still fit my Son's set.

I really recommend this one.
I don't know about Target's set, but I know Circo makes great kids clothes.

All the best,
Susan

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't believe the different brand tracks fit together. Yes, Thomas is expensive but the quality is great and can be a great investment. We've had our Thomas set for 9 years and 2 kids and looks almost like new. At age 10 and 7 my kids ( and sometimes me and my hubby!) still play with Thomas. When it is finally time to say good-bye to Thomas, we are going to pack them up in the attic for the grandkids.

C.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I bought a quality Thomas Set for my niece when she was 5. She played with it for years & other kids played with it when they came over. I stored it in the garage when she left for college & brought it back out when my daughter turned one. She loves it.

We have some of another type of track. It fits together okay, but not great. The cheaper track is smooth rather than notched and looks less like a real train track -- if that matters to you.

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M.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Dear S.:

Yes, they're interchangeable and later, Lionel offers adapters that can link them to Lionel sets. That's what we used.

Best wishes,

M.

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M.P.

answers from Denver on

If your seeking out a wooden set I would look at the Toys R Us brand called Imaginaruim. They're fun for the kids with lights and sounds and they are affordable and well built. Thomas trains work on their sets too.

On the other hand, I would recommend looking at Fisher Price Geo Tracks too. They have more potential for imaginary play as they have people that go in and out. They have some remote control ones that are simple to oporate with just one handle to move forward and back and in the middle to stop the train. They are a bit more expensive but you have far more flexibility to move the train to different areas, take it down when you want to and it's just as durable. My son has both and he spends alot of time with trains but for us the Geotrax were a better buy.

Hope this helps, good luck!

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K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

not all Thomas trains are created equal. you need to see who makes them if you are going to buy them. we have Thomas trains from target and some from the actual Thomas store they do not fit on the same tracks. my boys ended up preferring geo trax over any of the thomas as time wore on because they come with a remote control to move the trains around the track and they clip together and stay much better on carpet.
good luck trains are a ton of fun!

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M.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, I have the target circo tracks and Imaginarium tracks. All work with Thomas the trains

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S.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I just bought a train table/set for my son for Christmas. He's almost 2 and is in love with trains. I bought the KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Table online from Costco. It was cheaper than buying it from Toys 'R' Us. And shipping was included in the price, which is fantastic. I haven't put the table together yet, but I did go through the box to make sure all parts were there. Yes, they were. The little trains, people, signs, etc. are adorable. We'll see about the stability of the table. However, to answer your question, the Thomas trains will go on the wooden tracks.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11313633...

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S.S.

answers from Dover on

I had both, but mostly went with the Circo brand because its cheaper..but we were able to interchange both sets...be careful with the Thomas stuff, there were recalls because they were using lead based paint! 9can't tell you which models but you could probably find articles on the recall)

My kids love the GeoTracks sets..i think its by Fisher price...very sturdy and some trains have battery operated controls...there are TONS of cool accessories for this item too and most are inexpensive. I have found them at Target and Walmart.

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

My personal experience so far is that everything seems interchangable. We have some Brio, some Imaginarium, and some Thomas trains. Check out Costco, too. We got this set for my son's second birthday and he loves it. Mostly he just pushes the trains around the track at this point, but I hope he'll grow into the rest.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11486015...

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J.C.

answers from San Diego on

We debated about the same thing last year. We ended up buying the Fisher Price system called "Geo Trax." It is interchangeable with some of the other train systems and very durable but costs minimal amounts and you can expand it by buying other playsets.

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

S.,

Yes, the wooden Thomas trains will fit on any generic wooden track.

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