Thursday, March 16, 2006


The invasion from Sodor

I just noticed recently that the Day Out With Thomas we so enjoyed last summer is being held again this summer at the same place. It's a seven hour drive from here, but only a two hour drive from my brother's place, and just up the road from the city where I grew up. We're in the midst of trying to decide whether we could possibly recreate the magic of our visit last year, and whether it would be worth the effort to try. I'm leaning toward yes, partly because I love a road trip (even with preschoolers, god help me) and partly because I know the boys will have a wonderful time.

And now we have two bona-fide train junkies in the house. Tristan still plays with his trains pretty much all day, and Simon has graduated from track-destroying baby-zilla to not only being able to drive the trains but being able to actually build his own track. He understands the magnets, and how to fit the track bits together. I don't remember Tristan having that level of dexterity at age two, and he certainly didn't have the recall or ability to name the 300 different characters that Simon has at this age. Then again, Simon has been indoctrinated since birth, so he had a head start.

Phantom Scribbler had a post a while back with a picture of her son's wooden train collection all linked together in a single train, which inspired me to wonder exactly how many versions of Thomas the Tank Engine have migrated to us from the Land of Sodor. I'm not sure I want to admit to this level of abject consumerism and indulgence in public. We have:

- two wooden Thomases
- a wooden Thomas with gold paint
- a metal Thomas
- a Lego Thomas (and Percy, and James)
- a plastic Thomas the size of my fist with friction wheels
- a plastic Thomas the size of my shoe, where you push the conductor down to make him go
- a mechanized Thomas the size of a hot-dog bun that follows the aquadoodle scribbles (that one is kind of cool!)
- a plastic Thomas the size of a lemon that is really just a Thomas shell on a little engine thingee that also powers a Percy shell and a Terrence shell with a track that scoops up coal bits
- a breadbox-sized Thomas 'suitcase' carrying case
- a birthday-cake-topper wind-up Thomas.

That's ten different versions of the same toy!! And it doesn't even include the Thomas pillow, Thomas lunchbox, two Thomas T-shirts, Thomas hoodie and track pants, Thomas running shoes, half a dozen Thomas DVDs and videos, stacks of books and colouring books, and the Thomas backpack. Nor does it include the six Percys, five James, three Gordons, two Edwards and Annies and Clarabels, not to mention what I'm sure is close to 100 other trains name-brand and generic. And two (TWO!) rough-totes full of track and bridges and stations and whatnot.

We should qualify for some sort of award for that level of obsession dedication, no?