« Beadsmith Jump Ring Opening and Closing Tool For Jewelry Makers Four in Row » 3 thoughts on “Fisher-Price Thomas the Train: Take-n-Play Stephen” 8 of 9 people found the following review helpful 2013’s “King of the Railway” intro Stephen!, September 2, 2013 By Grandma Zizzy (Cincinnati, OH) – Verified Purchase(What’s this?) This review is from: Fisher-Price Thomas the Train: Take-n-Play Stephen (Toy) Stephen was one of the new characters introduced in 2013’s “King of the Railway” DVD. He’s also referred to as “Rocket”… that’s because he’s based on the real-life “Stephenson’s Rocket”, the famous train who – in 1829 – began the “steam age” of trains! Even though he’s a little slower and maybe not as strong as his “newer” friends. no one can top his positive spirit and knowledge. He looks a lot different from the other models, since his tender is moulded into his main body. We paid $5.99 for him in 2013 (same MSRP Fisher-Price lists for him as of March 2015) – that was the final year of a collection we’d begun for our oldest grandson’s in 2010… one that would eventually become a complete 4 year collection of Take-n-Play. The weighty feel and unbelievable amount of detail of these diecasts during the first few years helped us feel so good about our investment, and our grandson loved his adventures with all of his Sodor trains characters! Both my husband and I have such terrific memories of bonding with him over all of these guys and gals! Stephen is also included in two themed 4-packs (Stephen & the Treasure, Stephen’s Sticky Delivery), and there’s a “special edition” version called Stephen – The Original Steamie as well. (And just so you’re aware, Take-n-Play products are not compatible with wooden tracks.) We’ve added two more grandsons since then and had fully planned to keep our collection going. Unfortunately, we’d seen some distressing signs of a quality downturn beginning in 2013 that led us to stop collecting at the end of the year. Production was moved from China to Thailand that year, and many of the models were reissued with alterations (mostly to their faces and wheels.) In 2014, things continued on a downhill slide… windows were blacked out on once open cabs, the cabs and domes got shorter, the tender engines ALL went to only four wheels on their tenders (prior to that, most of them had six… Emily, Molly, Duke and Ferdinand were the only ones that always had four – and Hiro, Connor and Caitlin had eight!), most of the models lost their painted buffers/cylinders – it was really a sad decline to watch. Unfortunately late 2014 into 2015 has proven even worse, with unbelievably plasticized models of what used to be the highest quality diecast line of trains you could wish for. We weren’t able to afford the wooden trains, and these fit our budget. We’re glad we invested, but also glad we got out when we did! If you plan to purchase Take-n-Play, we hope you’re able to get some of the older, high quality models before they’re all replaced. You can’t beat trains for fun interaction with youngsters! Fisher-Price includes a yearly “Collector Checklist” with some (not all) Take-n-Play items, though it was never a comprehensive list and now just uses it as a sales pitch for the most recent stuff. I’m going back through all of my train reviews to provide a complete list of train characters that have been introduced into the line since 2010 (in order), not just for “serious” collectors, but also for those who’d just like to know what their other options are as far as Thomas’ “co-workers” goes (and the farther back you go, the better the quality… IF, that is, you get the ORIGINAL models!) So here ya go: Thomas, Percy, Salty, Diesel 10, James, Emily, Gordon, Henry, Hiro, Molly, Charlie, Diesel, Rosie, Edward, Hank, Victor, Spencer, Mavis, Stanley, Toby, Flora, Mighty Mac, Sir Handel, Arthur, Duke, Ferdinand, Murdoch, Whiff, Bill, Ben, Dash, Bash, Scruff, Skarloey, Donald, Douglas, D199, Belle, Rheneas, Den, Dart, Peter Sam, Rusty, Neville, Fearless Freddie, Dennis, Paxton, Norman, Sidney, Iron ‘Arry, Luke, Iron Bert, Stafford, Stephen, Harvey, Millie, Connor, Duck, Caitlin, Porter, Gator, Timothy, Culdee, Big City Engine, Class 40, Stepney, Marion, Duncan, and Samson. (And that doesn’t even include the NON-train characters!) Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? | Comments (2) Reply 3 of 4 people found the following review helpful Great toy, April 9, 2014 By John – Verified Purchase(What’s this?) This review is from: Fisher-Price Thomas the Train: Take-n-Play Stephen (Toy) My son loves Thomas the Train and we got this for him as a surprise. He plays with it and loves showing off all his Thomas toys. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? | Comment Reply Die cast, June 18, 2015 By Kaylan Brett – This review is from: Fisher-Price Thomas the Train: Take-n-Play Stephen (Toy) For my son’s Thomas collection. I like the die-cast ones better than their wooden counterparts…they just seem less likely to chip and scratch. They can’t pull very heavy loads (they’re magnetized so they all connect) but he loves them. I’d recommend Amazon to purchase just the ones you need instead of searching out stores or buying lots on eBay. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? | Comment Reply Leave a comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. 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