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(Pocket-lint) - Every so often here at Pocket-lint we like to dabble with the inner-child in us and with Christmas coming what better way to get excited than with Steam Along Thomas, one of the top ten must have Christmas toys this year.

Why should you get excited about a train set designed for 3-year-olds and over? Because it will give any father the chance to play with a steam train, that’s why.

Created to celebrate Thomas’ 60th Anniversary all you have to do is slot the track together, load the train up with 3 AA batteries, fill the small reservoir with de-ionised water and turn it on. The result is when pushed - or set to auto mode, i.e., pushes itself - the train puffs out real steam from a glowing red funnel as Thomas chugs around the track.

The results aren’t spectacular - you certainly shouldn't be expecting your living room to turn into a steam room, but nonetheless the puff of steam and the bright red light to help show them up is enough to bring a smile to a little one's face.

Parents fearful of boiling water and small children shouldn’t be - the train never gets too hot and the steam is surprisingly cold when it comes out. However with water involved and only a small hole in which to feed the reservoir in the train expect to have wet carpets.

One fill up supplies enough steam for about 25 laps of the provided track - certainly enough before the attention span wares out and of course you can add to this set with more track and scenery with standard issued pieces.


This is great fun and adds that little extra to the standard set. We can see why its been suggested as a top ten toy for Christmas.

Things to bear in mind however are that you will need three AA batteries and a bottle of de-ionised water to avoid disappointment on the big day.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 17 November 2005.