2018 here in the UK marked a change in the styling of the Thomas & Friends™ trains and railway track. In fact it marks a change in not just the look of the actual trains, but also the wooden track itself connects in a slightly different way. There has also been a slight name change of the brand from “Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway” to the more simplified “Thomas & Friends™ Wood”
In late 2017 Fisher-Price released their redesigned trains, track and accessories throughout the US, Japan and then other countries around the world in 2018. The track was slightly redesigned to have a new two way connector design, with adapters included to connect the new style with the old (and other brands) and the trains now feature elements of wood throughout the design rather than completely painted.
Fisher-Price has stated that the new design tested very well with parents and children during its development and although there have been complaints over the web and social media, we think that the new design is a great addition! Although we love the original design, there is something about the way that the new engines are set apart from motorised and die-cast Thomas toys. Wooden Railways and Trains have regained in popularity recently and we feel that the new design attracts a wider audience of parents and children, who may not have considered the Thomas range previously as part of their wooden railway collection.
We recently launched the new Thomas & Friends™ Wood trains on our website and from the orders we have already been taking, have noticed that people are keen to add the new style of trains to their basket, due to their compatibility with other leading brands of wooden track and sets. In addition to this many die hard Thomas fans have been embracing some of the new style engines as an addition to their collection.
We understand that the new model of trains may have lost a touch of realism, but with this they have highlighted the natural elements of wooden toys and set some distinction between the wood and other varieties available. The new trains are made from sustainably sourced premium beech wood and combined with a slightly fresher paint design and some other subtle changes to the characters.