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Lionel Thomas and Friends Review

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued.

Our Verdict

The Thomas and Friends train is not only one of the most popular trains around, but it has one of the best paint jobs of all trains we reviewed.

For

  • This Thomas and Friends train has a flawless paint job, and it looks great as it circles around the track.

Against

  • The train's speaker is too quiet; the speaker's sound gets lost in the noise of the train circling around the track.
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Thomas and Friends image: Annie is one of Thomas' friends and is a passenger car.

Thomas and Friends image: Annie is one of Thomas' friends and is a passenger car.
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Thomas and Friends image: Clarabel is another passenger train and one of Thomas' friends.

Thomas and Friends image: Clarabel is another passenger train and one of Thomas' friends.
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Thomas and Friends image: Thomas features one of the most flawless paint jobs we evaluated.

Thomas and Friends image: Thomas features one of the most flawless paint jobs we evaluated.
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Thomas and Friends image: The remote controls the train's speed and the sound effects.

Thomas and Friends image: The remote controls the train's speed and the sound effects.

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

This Thomas and Friends train set comes from the Lionel LionChief. These trains have a remote control that is specifically paired to the train it comes with. This gives you the ability to separately operate multiple LionChief train sets on the same track using different remotes. This is one of the unique features of LionChief train sets.

Thomas, the locomotive, comes with two friend cars, named after the Annie and Clarabel characters from the popular "Thomas and Friends" television show. The cars have removable roofs so you can load and unload cargo. The locomotive also comes with three interchangeable facial expressions that you can snap into place. Thomas’ eyes also look around as the train circles around the track. Although Thomas has many working features, this train does not puff smoke or have an operating headlight.

The Thomas locomotive features one of the best paint jobs of any train that we reviewed. It's primarily powdered blue with red and yellow trim. The paint is smooth and vibrant. Clarabel and Annie also boast flawless paint jobs. Both are dominantly orange with white writing. Each of the passenger cars has faces painted on the front of them that are smooth and highly detailed.

This electric train set has a speaker built into the locomotive that chuffs along when it's in operation. It also makes whistle noises when you press the button on the remote control. The engine chuffing and whistle sound good, but when the train starts moving fast enough, the noise of the wheels on the track begin to overpower the speaker. The speaker isn't as loud as other sound-making trains, like the Lionel Polar Express.

Aside from the interchangeable facial expressions, this toy train set only comes with Thomas, two train cars and no additional accessories. Accessories can help to create an entire world around your train set. At the price point, it’s a surprise to see a lack of additional pieces.

Like the other LionChief tracks, these rails are wider and longer than other trains. The track boasts three rails instead of two, and all the wheels of the train have to be on the track properly or the train will not run. Even though these are snap-together track pieces, they take a little more force to push together compared to other tracks we assembled. A child will need help properly putting the rails together.

The Thomas and Friends LionChief set features the classic Thomas locomotive and his friends Annie and Clarabel. This train set is a favorite in train set communities but doesn’t include any additional figurines or accessories to decorate your train set with. However, this locomotive has special features and sound effects that will make both adults and children excited.