Saturday, December 5, 2009

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Review: Disney Mickey Mouse's Magic Choo Choo Train Set

Look what Santa is bringing for our nearly 3yr old son Luke this year for Christmas! All our children love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but Luke especially. In fact, the theme for the twins' next birthday will be Mickey and Minnie.

To top it all off, we just watched the new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD Mickey's Choo Choo Express, where the kids were able to see this train in action. Now they are more sure than ever that it was the right thing to do to write to Santa asking him to please bring Mickey's Magic Choo Choo for Luke this year.

What I thought about this Disney toy train made by Fisher Price:

1) I have to point out how parent-friendly the packaging is. There are two perforated openings on the box . . . one on the back and one on the bottom. These pop open to reveal the twist ties that need to be undone in order to remove the toy from the box. This was much better than trying to pull the inner box out while it is glued to the outer box or just trying to rip the cardboard packaging apart with my bear hands just to get to these twist ties.

(Click on any image to enlarge)

2) I like that there are not a lot of small parts to lose for this toy. This train set comes with the basics with no frills, which is perfect for a young child.

3) Another parent-friendly feature is the battery compartment. It is secured with only one screw and then the compartment pulls out like a drawer.

4) The on/off switch is very prominent so your child can find it easily. This will help your toddler or preschooler to be more independent and decreases the amount of battery-operated toys that are left on accidentally at my house.

5) This toy train works in two modes . . . Magic and Classic. In Magic Mode, the train uses the two straight tracks. As the train moves forward, it picks up one track and expels it from its mouth to lay the piece of track down in front of the train. This allows the train to drive onward using only two pieces of train tracks. Although the track does not get laid down quite right once in awhile, this function still has a pretty high coolness factor.

6) Although the train working in Magic Mode is cool, it actual goes very quickly. You need to have a large space where the train can drive itself in a straight line for awhile. It did not work well on our large train table because, even travelling diagonally, it only had enough space to lay down a piece of track three times and completed this in about 3 seconds.

7) What helps the train track pieces stay in place are the rubber treads underneath that grip a flat surface or carpeting very well.

8) The pieces of track are large and chunky, making them perfect for little hands. It is pretty cute that the connection for each track are shaped like Mickey Mouse's famous silhouette.

9) During Classic Mode, the train chugs along around the track with plenty of sound effects, such as the Choo Choo Song, the train whistle, and Mickey's voice as the conductor. I think once the novelty of the Magic Mode wears off, my son will enjoy playing with this Mickey Mouse train in Classic Mode the most.

Please take a minute to watch this train in action:

10) If you choose to use the train on top of a large train table like I did, you have to keep in mind that the train barely fits. You may have noticed in my video that the train made the track correct itself by moving inward a bit when the train touched the side of the table. Other than that, it works great if you have a table at least as large as ours.

11) One thing I would not mind seeing is some related toys. A coordinating train station playset with some other figures would allow for more imaginative play and would also allow more than one child to play.

If you are thinking about gifting this toy to a child for the upcoming holidays, you should be able to find this Mickey Mouse's Magic Choo Choo Train Set at the Disney Store and most places where Fisher Price toys are sold. If you can manage it, I think this toy would make a great gift paired with the Mickey's Choo Choo Express DVD.

Thank you to Disney Consumer Products for providing a toy sample for this review.