The Origins of Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas the Train originally started out as a children’s book, like many modern day children’s shows.  Thomas the Train is based on The Railway Series by Reverend Wilbur Awdry and his son, Christopher Awdry.  Wilbur Awdry began to tell stories to his son to entertain him when his son had measles.  The Railway Series was the resulting book of his stories.  This book has since became an inspiration to many, and has helped many people through their difficult times just like it helped Christopher when he was young.

Wilbur drew his inspiration from the trains of the Great Western Railway.  At night he would lay awake and hear the sounds of the banking engines helping a freight train up the steep hill.  He imagined the trains were having a conversation and talking with one another, encouraging each other up the hill.  He imagined the freight train saying, “I think I can, I know I can,” while climbing the hill.  The conversation continued, with the two trains encouraging each other up the hill.

The book was later turned into a show which closely followed the book’s storyline, at least at first.  The show details the adventures of Thomas and his anthropomorphized train friends who live on the fictional island of Sodor. Ringo Starr actually helped to narrate the show from 1984-1986. Research reveals that he at first was reluctant to take the part, because he had never read any of the books.  However, he later changed his mind and accepted the part.  He, out of all of the narrators, is the one that is most frequently associated with the show.

Although no new TV episodes are currently being produced, Thomas is still a classic show and piece of children’s literature that is not bound to disappear anytime soon.  If you are a long-devoted fan of Thomas, or enjoy watching the reruns, then don’t hesitate to check out our Thomas the Train Toys. We also have Thomas’s friends Gordon, Edward, Henry, James, Percy, Toby, Emily and many more. For more fun and to play games with Thomas and Friends, click here.

Chuggington Makes Rails

Meet Wilson, Brewster and Koko, three railway locomotives, from the fictional town of Chuggington.  These three fancy locomotives share important values with children such as friendship, honesty, and listening.  Children also learn to resolve conflicts, be persistent, and finish tasks that they began.  These episodes are designed to teach important social-emotional skills in a way that helps preschoolers prepare for their beginning years of  childhood.  Honestly, with all of the wonderful children’s shows out there, you can’t help but be impressed with this one.

Although the show is computer generated, you know that you are getting a high quality show from the same creative team that helped to produce Bob the Builder.  The show is produced by Ludorum plc, a company that was founded in 2006 by Charlie Caminada, Rob Lawes, and Dick Rothkopf.  Rothkopf was the previous chairman of Learning Curve International, a company which designed and manufactured educational toys for children.

What’s most impressive about this series is the unique toys that are out there on the market. I have to admit, when I was a child, I absolutely adored trains.  You can physically move the trains anywhere, which helps to develop children’s kinesthetic skills. You can use your imagination to create a story where the train saves the day.  Your child will truly benefit from this toy.  There are so many options on this website. Check it out, we offer some pretty cool trains! Not to mention games, engines, and much more, perfect for any time of the year. In the words of the three “Trainees,” “Wheels to the Rails!”


Licensed Merchandise from Ty’s Toy Box

Years ago, Ty’s Toy Box was an idea that sprang out of a need to find character products for the founders daughter that did not exist in the United States.  As we roll into the holiday season, we are reminded of our humble beginnings.  If you are looking for something special for your little on this holiday and they have a favorite character – like Thomas and Friends, Yo Gabba Gabba, Olivia or Super Why – we are working hard to locate and stock products for these characters that we represent on our site.  If you are having trouble finding what you seek, we would appreciate if you would contact customer service – either using our live chat, toll free number or email – and let us know what you seek.  If we do not have it now, we will look for it and see what can be done to locate the hard to find items.

Many of our items are specialty items that we create using print on demand technologies.  These items include hats, t-shirts, sweathshirts and any of the personalized items we offer on our site.  Even if you do not personalize the item, it is still printed on demand and will take a few more days to produce before we can ship you the item.  Please be aware that, as we enter the busy season, we are doing our best to print your items on the same day we receive the order.  If there is any question about our being able to deliver on your deadline, again, contact customer service and they can assist you with your purchase.  As we have more than one warehouse location, it is also possible that your order may be received in more than one shipment from us so if you get the book or dvd you ordered but have not seen the t-shirt yet, don’t panic, it is also on its way!

Thanks for your interest, your business – we appreciate your product and experience feedback!

Mattel Includes Thomas the Train on List of Hot Holiday Toys

Thomas and Friends Trackmaster Zip, Zoom and Logging Adventure.

Thomas and Friends Trackmaster Zip, Zoom and Logging Adventure.

With the holiday season coming up soon, Mattel recently shared their picks for Hot Holiday Toys. Among several great gift ideas on Mattel’s “must-have” list of licensed toys, they included the Thomas and Friends Trackmaster Zip, Zoom and Logging Adventure.

Whether you’re new to Thomas the Train or a long time passenger, the Trackmaster is a perfect holiday gift. Kids can relive Thomas’ most thrilling moments from the “Misty Island Rescue” movie and create new adventures on Misty Island.

We invite you to explore more holiday gifts at our official Thomas the Train shop on Ty’s Toy Box. And make sure to sign up for our newsletter so you can get more holiday toy specials delivered right to your email inbox.

What’s On Your List?

We’d like to know what toys are on your children’s wish list this year? Post your favorites in the comments below!

Have a lovely day out, with Thomas

When my son was about two, he entered the Thomas Phase. I think many boys do this—it’s like they hit a magical age where a switch flips in their brains, and all they see, everywhere they look, is talking trains. We watched the Thomas show, he never wanted to play with anything besides his Thomas trains, and if you had the gall to place any other sort of toy in his hands, he would immediately pretend they were trains. (And really, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a small boy conducting a conversation between two markers. “You naughty engine!” etc.)

As parents we grew a wee bit tired of the All Thomas, All The Time thing, but we also enjoyed his enthusiasm; so when the Day Out With Thomas tour came to a nearby town, we took him to meet Thomas. And that child just about lost his mind with glee. He kept squealing and exclaiming and pointing and just generally acting like this was way better than Christmas. If you have a little Thomas fan, I cannot recommend this event highly enough. It’s something they’ll remember for a lifetime.

You can view the current Day Out With Thomas schedule to see if Thomas and his pals are coming to a locale near you this year. (I love the way they have this set up, now—you can even buy tickets online! You couldn’t do that back when I took my son years ago.)

Of course, if you want to have the ultimate Thomas experience, surprise your little fan with a personalized Thomas shirt before you go! Ty’s has plenty of styles in stock, although I recommend the Really Useful James shirt. (There was an entire year, there, where “Really Useful” was the highest compliment my kid could offer. Heh. I sort of miss that.) Anyway—go enjoy. The train phase only lasts a few years, so enjoy it while you can!