I was VERY excited about this set when it popped out of our final Toyologist box. I am a huge fan of wooden train sets, and have been dying to get one for ages. When I set it up, it looked BRILLIANT! Sam loves Chuggington, and immediately took a liking to the “Wilson” train.
The quality of the track, trains and accessories is brilliant. The top of the clock tower does come off a little easily, but this wasn’t a big issue for us. You get a Wilson and Koko train included with the set, and they definitely made Sam smile.
The Chuggington Wooden Over and Under Starter Set is a “Starter Set” though, so I guess you’d expect to add extra track to it at some point. Sam now has a Brio train set, with a battery operated train. I have compared the two sets, and have to say the Chuggington track does look better, the Brio track pieces are definitely bigger, though. The Chuggington pieces have more detail, and the straight pieces have Chuggington branding on them. Both sets do fit together successfully, and the trains will run on both sets of track.
When we actually set about playing with the set, I was a little disappointed. Every time we pushed the trains down the slope, they came off the tracks. This frustrated Sam a lot. So much so, he took his beloved Wilson off the tracks and pushed him along the floor instead. While Sam played on the floor, I spent an hour trying to use the included track in different layouts, which kept the trains in place – I failed to find a successful layout without using additional track. I tried Sam’s battery operated Brio train on the Chuggington track, and it stayed in place.
The RRP of the Chuggington Wooden Over and Under Starter Set is £39.99. I feel there are better wooden train starter sets available for that price. That said, I think a Chuggington fan who is age 3 or over and can keep hold of the train as they play would love this set, despite the derailing issue. Sam is only 18 months old, and got upset by it.
I like the set, and would recommend it if you already have some wooden train track, but I wouldn’t buy it for a first set, as the fact the trains derail is a major flaw in my opinion. I’d give the set 3/5. The quality is there, but the track hasn’t been well thought out in my opinion.
The Chuggington Wooden Over and Under Starter Set is available from Toys R Us.
This review was written by MotherGeek