Tuesday, January 4, 2011

There's Something About Thomas

I don't know a single boy who didn't go through the Thomas phase.  All boys love Thomas the Tank Engine!  It's so natural it's almost genotypical.   Some grow out of it (like Miro has), and some seem to make it part of their lives (like Kenji does).

Like all kids, Kenji's first Thomas exposure was on Disney Channel.  But the first Thomas he's ever called his own was the battery-operated Thomas and Whistle toy.  You whistle once to make Thomas move forward, and twice to make Thomas go on reverse.

Growing bolder, his next Thomas came with the popular blue tracks along with a station and bridge set up.  This is a good creative tool because you can build the tracks according to your liking.  This maintains to be Kenji's favorite.

Years passed and Kenji's Thomas world has started to branch out into books and DVD movies, including a Japanese DVD that's pretty much useless audio-wise.  Thank God for easy-to-understand images, the storytelling still got across fine.

Permutations like this hideous Thomas the Trainsformer toy followed.  It's a knock-off.  An abomination.  It died a few hours after purchase from a dime store.

Older and wiser now,  Kenji's taste has moved up.  Now, he's going for metal die-cast Thomas characters.  We have a whole fleet and more pieces should come in the future.

And even when he says he wants a Nerf Gun, a  Zhu-Zhu pet, or a full-scale Hot Wheels race track for Christmas --as soon as he sees the Thomas and Friends department in Toy Kingdom-- something in him clicks and thwarts the original plan.  We just bought the latest in the Thomas franchise --the Take-n-Play Thomas that folds into a handy case and unfolds to connect with a variety of other Take-n-Play Thomases.

Every now and then, Kenji would shift to other toys, but we're pretty sure Thomas is here to stay.  Not because Kenji hasn't matured.  But because he's evolved from a train-loving toddler to a sophisticated toy collector!  (eherm...)

Can you imagine him as an old, wrinkly man polishing vintage trains in a dark basement?  I can.

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