Thomas and Friends merchandise
Thomas and Friends merchandise has been produced to capitalize on the success of the television series Thomas and Friends (formerly Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends). Large numbers of manufacturers have sought to produce Thomas-branded items due to the popularity and longevity of the series that originated in 1945 with the first of The Railway Series books by the Rev. W. Awdry.
The most popular and wide-ranging items of merchandise are the models of the characters, which have been produced in many different ranges, some including accompanying railway systems. Other popular products include videos, books and magazines, and computer games. 'Thomas' merchandise has also included such diverse items as: audiobooks, annuals, colouring and activity books, jigsaws, board games, stationery, clothing, cutlery, household items such as curtains, duvet covers and lampshades, and soft drinks and spaghetti shapes.
Thomas and Friends ranked number one in the preschool toys category in the U.S. and made the top 10 for the entire U.S. toy industry in 2010. In January 2011, Thomas and Friends ranked as the number-one preschool toy property in the U.K. for the 11th year in a row. Thomas is also a top-selling toy property in Australia, Germany, Japan and Korea. While the total traditional toy industry in the United States increased 1.9 per cent in 2010, overall Thomas and Friends toy sales increased over 47.1 per cent. Fisher Price bought every railway system under the Thomas & Friends name except for the Wooden Railway. This is because Fisher Price does not have enough money to buy these popular toys from Learning Curve. However, as of 2013 Fisher Price will own the rights to produce Wooden Railway as the Contract with Learning Curve (TOMY) has expired
- 1 Models
- 2 Railway systems
- 3 Electric railway systems
- 4 Construction toys
- 5 Software
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Models of Thomas the Tank Engine and the other characters have been around for as long as The Railway Series of books. Indeed, the Rev. W. Awdry created the original model of Thomas the Tank Engine, which inspired the character, soon after the first book of stories was complete. In 1927, while still at school, he built Annie, and in 1948, he built Clarabel.
The first ever commercially produced character was Percy the Small Engine, released by Meccano in 1967 as part of a set. However, as this predated the TV Series by at least 20 years, it really counts as 'Railway Series' merchandise.
Several companies have made models of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends characters, as a result of the TV Series. The Ertl Company, produced an extensive range of die-cast and plastic models; Learning Curve produce the Take Along Thomas and Friends range of travel Thomas playsets; and, more recently, Tomy has introduced a range of die-cast models too.
Press-out card models
The first commercial models released alongside The Railway Series, in 1957, were 'Pre-cut Model Engine Books'. These were full-colour printed cardboard kits whose pieces could be pressed out, folded and glued together to make fairly realistic models. They were produced right through the 1960s. Four titles were published:
- "Thomas, with Annie the Coach"
- "Percy, with Clarabel the Coach"
- "Gordon the Big Engine and his Tender"
- "James the Red Engine and his Tender"
The advertisements  on the back of the Railway Series books promised, "Other models are being prepared", although, even if ever prepared, they were never published.
In 1994, a new range of press-out models was released, this time drawn by Ken Stott instead of C. Reginald Dalby. Each book came with accessories, track and a station. The range comprised the following characters: Thomas, Percy, James, Toby, Annie, Clarabel, Bertie the Bus, Harold the Helicopter.
Meccano 'Percy' train set
In 1967, Meccano Ltd released a train set featuring a clockwork model of Percy the Small Engine with some trucks — a yellow open wagon and a red closed van — and a circle of blue track. The model of Percy was a fair likeness of the pictures in the books and was about the size of an O gauge engine. The box featured special artwork by Peter Edwards and included the title, "Percy the Small Engine, brought to life by Meccano".
The plastic track was advertised as: "Gauge O track that clicks together and includes Brake Rail for automatic braking. Rails specially designed to make it easy to put train on the track." In practice, although it was advertised as 'Gauge O', this only indicated the size of the model, since the track design was not compatible with anything else (the models were effectively 'flangeless').
Adverts for the set, which showed the model train 'emerging' from the book Percy the Small Engine, appeared in Meccano Magazine and on the back of the dust-covers for several of The Railway Series books in print at the time.
The train set was only produced in 1967, and is now extremely rare. It is notable as the last O Gauge train to be made at Meccano's famous Binns Road factory in Liverpool, where the Hornby tinplate trains were made.
Ertl was the first company to manufacture numerous models of characters from the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends TV series. They introduced the first die-cast models between late 1984 and early 1985. The range was very popular in the UK, and the nature of the subject matter encouraged collecting. Eventually the range included a large number of models, although it has now been discontinued: Ertl ceased production for the US market in 2001, and for the UK market in 2004.
Thomas, Henry and James were the first models to be released. Thomas featured a decal sticker sheet until around 1985. This was so that you can alter his face to make him happy or sad. Also a larger motorised version of Thomas came out. Later in 1985 Thomas, Henry and James were given red buffer beams to replace the older white ones and four new models (Percy, Toby, Annie and Clarabel, and Bertie) came into market. Edward and Gordon came out in 1988. Models were released almost every year up until 2004. In 1990 models were replaced with fixed plastic faces as the "sticker-face" models were prone to losing their faces.
The majority of locomotive models and some road vehicles had a diecast metal body with a moulded plastic chassis and plastic wheels. The bodies were fully painted and lined. They were free-wheeling (rather than motorised) although the chassis was rigid (locomotives were not fitted with separate bogies), and a steam locomotive's tender was part of the same moulding as its body. Models of coaches and trucks were assembled from self-coloured plastic mouldings, with some surface detail (such as coach sides) being applied using self-adhesive labels.
The railway models were designed to be coupled together, so that long trains could be formed. Locomotives had a moulded coupling 'eye' at each end, while rolling stock had one 'hook' and one 'eye'. The unfortunate side-effect of this was that an engine could not 'run-round' to the other end of a train, since, having no hook, there was no means to couple it up. This also meant that an engine could not couple to another engine until 2002. Earlier models had pin hook couplings, but later ones had moulded U-hook couplings, with less 'give', and were more prone to breakage.
Unusually for TV Series -related merchandise, the range included a number of characters who only appeared in The Railway Series books, such as those from the Culdee Fell Railway and the Arlesdale Railway.
The models released are listed on a dedicated page at Train Spotting World.
Around 1991, ERTL started to produce several miniature models of Thomas and his friends. These versions had sticker faces that were previously used in the regular models. They were packaged with random parts of a railway, and — once all were collected — formed a playset, however they were only produced until around 1992. In 2000, the miniature models were adapted into keyrings and they had plastic faces. A re-release of the range in 2004 had miniatures without the keyring on them and had new models such as Henry, Mavis and the troublesome trucks with tan (china clay) as well as those with black (coal) tops.
The models in this range were essentially the 'major characters' and popular ones from the TV Series.
The playset components included: a station and siding, a level crossing, a goods yard, engine sheds, a loop track, a windmill, and an airport. Ramp pieces and, later on, viaduct connector pieces were also included.
Ertl 'Gold Rail'
In the 1990s ERTL also started another short-lived line called the Gold Rail series. These had no tracks, and the engines and rolling stock had magnetic couplings. The models in this range were about the size of an H0-scale train, and were extremely similar to the Bandai range made in Japan. Again the series comprised some of the 'major' characters from the TV series. The following are made by Gold Rail: Thomas, Edward, Henry,(appeared on the back of the engine packaging but was not made) Gordon, James, Percy, Toby, Bill, Ben, Annie and Clarabel, Troublesome Trucks,
Another toy company, Merit, produced several sizes of push-along toys to tie-in with the TV series. One such example was a sit-on Thomas built for toddlers, which had a black handle on the rear which enabled it to be pushed along by the parent. Merit also produced large push along toys of Thomas, Annie & Clarabel, Percy and Troublesome Trucks. Another version of the Thomas toy had shaped holes to allow the child to match up the shape with the right hole. All the engines and rolling stock could be coupled up by means of hooks, much like the Ertl models. The company also produced even smaller toys of Thomas, Annie and Clarabel, which could be coupled up in a similar way, except the couplings were on pivots to make it easier for the coaches to follow Thomas when he is pushed along. Merit also produced some larger scale battery-operated toys.
Bluebird Toys Miniature Railway
In 1997, Bluebird Toys released an incredibly compact but action-packed playset featuring Thomas, Percy and Bulstrode. The engines and rolling stock had metal rivet wheels that allowed them to run on three-dimensional yellow plastic rails. Features included a tunnel, station and the ability to transfer loads from a truck into Bulstrode. Smaller sets featuring other characters such as James appeared later.
Take-n-Play Thomas & Friends
Take-n-Play Thomas & Friends (formerly Take Along Thomas & Friends) is a series of die-cast 'Thomas' models made by Learning Curve and designed for preschool children. The models have superseded the Ertl die-cast models range, which has now been discontinued. The two ranges are incompatible as the new models use special 'two-way' magnets instead of the hook-and-loop couplers provided on the Ertl models.
First released at the start of 2005, the models are generally much chunkier, and considerably less accurate, than the Ertl range. Many items in the Ertl range were passable as 'scale' models of the TV Series characters, but the Take Along products are much more obviously toys.
The range includes all the major and minor characters from the TV series and Movies, plus Mike, Culdee, and D199 from The Railway Series. The rolling stock models include many of the 'special' (non-speaking) trucks that have featured in single episodes, and the vehicles include the members of The Pack. As well as the individual characters, a number of play-sets have been produced, either containing two or more characters, or a single engine with play scene and DVD. Some specials have been produced with a metallic finish, and a few models are fitted with sound chips and lights.
In 2006, two playsets called Train Yard Set and Working Hard Set were introduced. These were`much bigger than other playsets, being more than 1x1 metres. Original sets were less than 30x30 centimetres.
In 2010, Take-Along was bought by Mattel and became a Fisher-Price line and renamed Take-n-Play. New characters were re-released and the old models were re-released with upgraded paints and faces.
Tomy have made several ranges of 'Thomas' models.
- Wind-up series
In 1997 Tomy made a range of wind-up models that 'have an action when you wind them up'. The range was small and included only a few of the 'major' characters.
In 2006 another range was introduced. More characters were modelled than previously, and some had moving side rods. Additional models from the range were released in Japan.
See Thomas Motor Road & Rail below.
My First Thomas & Friends
My First Thomas & Friends is a range of chunky plastic toys, produced by British toy company: Golden Bear Toys.
The range started in c.1994, and was advertised for young infants who enjoyed the series. The models were safe for younger fans to play with.
The range started with only a dozen or so models, and has now grown to around 40-45, the range was (for a short-lived amount of time) available in America, under the company Tomy. The toys are still available in many good retail toy shops all around the UK, and despite speculation that perhaps the range has discontinued, after the absence of three years without new products; brand new models have started to appear on Amazon.
The range included most of the major and minor characters from the TV Series.
This brand name was used in the Oscar winning short film Logorama.
- Talking My First Thomas & Friends
The talking versions of the My First models were first released in the year 2000. The models are more complex than the basic ones, their eyes move, and they speak familiar phrases from the original stock narrations of Ringo Starr and Michael Angelis.
Other than the Tomix Thomas models Japan has also made a large number of die-cast vehicles. They resembled the "Gold Rail" models made by Ertl. However, this series had more characters, although none from The Railway Series. Most characters from Seasons 1-5 were made. The last new model, to date, is Jack the Frontloader. There have been 4 sets made for this range. Other than this Bandai had made small plastic toys (as big an index finger) labelled "Pocket Thomas." There is another series where plastic models (as big as the die-casts) are sold mostly at convenience stores along with candy such as mints and feature more minor characters such as the Mailvan.
Several companies have produced ranges of merchandise where the intention is for the buyer to recreate a complete railway. Such ranges include track, buildings and accessories, in addition to the locomotive and rolling stock character models.
Learning Curve of Chicago produces and distributes the Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway System, which is compatible with BRIO and similar wooden toy trains. Tomy produce a Motor Road and Rail plastic train model set with battery-powered engines and a wide range of track types and Thomas characters.
Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway
The Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway is a wooden railway system created by Learning Curve in Chicago. This is based on the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends TV series and The Railway Series and is compatible with the de facto BRIO standard for wooden railway systems.
The majority of characters from the TV Series, both major and minor, plus some of the Railway Series characters, have appeared in the range. They have been accompanied by a comprehensive range of track, buildings and accessories. Also, in 2010 Learning Curve released a small range called Early Engineers, featuring some of the main characters. These models are less 'realistic' (compared to the original models) in that all the locomotives have no more than four wheels, and the body is taller and to a standard, short, length.
History, design and construction
The company "Learning Curve" was founded by John W. Lee in Chicago, 1992. In 2003 the company was acquired by "Racing Champions Ertl" that was renamed in the same year to "RC2". Learning Curve introduced some new designs for the track surface of wooden toy railways, such as the "Clicketyclack" rails patented in 1995 and the newer tracks with a relief to supply better traction grip for battery powered trains patented in 2003. They also introduced a road track that uses the same gauge as the railway tracks.
The original models were constructed mainly from painted wood, with metal used in the coupling magnets and axles, and plastic wheels and faces. These models were relatively primitive having simple wooden stubs for the funnel and dome. Details such as windows, whistles and buffer beams were omitted.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s (decade), the models were upgraded. The wooden funnel and painted smokebox were replaced with a separate plastic smokebox with a more realistic-looking funnel. The tender engines received an additional upgrade of moulded plastic 'coal'.
These improved designs were manufactured until 2002 when they were replaced with a third generation of design, which included new and more detailed faces.
Learning Curve continues to expand its lineup of locomotives, rolling stock and locations, although older, less popular, items are 'retired' when appropriate. Every year, beginning in 2003, 1-3 retired models are re-released, with upgraded, more realistic shape and paint. These models are only available for one year.
Although a number of manufacturers produce ranges of 'Thomas' characters, the TAFWR range is particularly extensive, and includes some models not featured in any other range.
Special model types include "Sights and Sounds" locomotives and buildings, and some battery-powered models. (The majority of locomotives are hand-propelled (push-along).)
Several "Special scene" sets have also been released, modelling significant events in the series, such as "Thomas Comes to Breakfast", with a specially modelled Thomas with a sad face, adorned with a window frame and bush, "James Goes Buzz Buzz", featuring James covered in bees, and one year later "A Better View for Gordon" with flags all over him. These three special edition came each with a thing from the story: The stationmaster's house with Thomas, Knapford with James and the new station came with Gordon. These were brought back in recent months, but they were from newer episodes and are two-car packs. In June 2010, Story Packs will be released, and will contain one or two characters, a destination, a wooden figure, and some track.
The TAFWR includes characters from The Railway Series that have not been televised, such as Ada, Jane, and Mabel (coaches from the Skarloey Railway), Mike and Frank, (from Small Railway Engines), Wilbert (from Wilbert the Forest Engine), the Green-and-Blue Henry (to celebrate the 60th anniversary), D199 (Spamcan), Ivo Hugh, Big City Engine (Foreign Engine), Catherine the Mountain Coach and Culdee (from Mountain Engines). The Flying Scotsman was also released, and only his tenders have been seen on the TV show. His model is considered very rare, and often sells for up to $300 in the box. Learning Curve has also made up some of their own models, such as the zoo cars, the Sodor Water Works cars, the chicken cars and a few more.
Battery-Powered engines were released in the early 2000s (decade) and are still available. The line original included Thomas, Percy, James, Lady, and Bertie (Lady and Bertie are discontinued). In 2006, a Salty was released. Charlie and Rosie were introduced in 2011, and in the coming months a Stanley will be released. A set is available that includes Thomas.
In 2008, a range was released called the Talking Railway Series, which features several major and minor characters from the series and when placed on certain destinations they would be addressed by name by Sir Topham Hatt a job to do. Engines, destinations, and sets are available and the line is still growing. Normal engines can be placed on these destinations, but their name would not be said.
Several of the new characters introduced in Season 11 and Season 13 of the TV series were released by the company some months before the programmes had been broadcast anywhere.
Product recall (June 2007)
On June 13, 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, with RC2, jointly issued a voluntary product recall notice for a number of the models in the TAFWR range. Tests had discovered lead present in these models, and hence a risk of lead poisoning was recognised. About 1.5 million units are affected, mainly models with red or yellow paint, sold between January 2005 and June 2007. (See recall notice for details of which models are affected.)
Thomas Motor Road & Rail
Thomas Motor Road & Rail is a battery-operated system that was introduced by Tomy in March 1992. It was based on the "Plarail" system introduced in Japan in 1959 and made into an electric toy train system in October 1961. As such the toy line is compatible with other Tomy Tomica Road & Rail sets, known as "Plarail system" in Japan and "Tomica World" outside of Japan. The engines run on a plastic blue track, and the roadway vehicles run on a dark gray road. Thomas Tomica Road & Rail is not compatible with most other brands of model railway. It does though have a similar gauge to the wooden toy train systems so that rolling stock may run on both systems to some degree. "Choo Choo Track & Toy Co." for example offers track adapters to connect the wooden tracks with similar gauge such as the blue plastic tracks from Motor Road and Rail with the dove tail connectors and the tan tracks from TrackMaster.
A large number of models have been released in the range, including the majority of major and minor characters from the TV Series.
This range appears to have changed names several times:
- Tomy Trains
- Tomica World
- Thomas Motor Road & Rail
Since 2007, the Motor Road and Rail range has been superseded by the Thomas TrackMaster line, with the same engines but with a different track system.
In 2007, HIT Entertainment's subsidiary HIT Toys picked up the license to produce the Tomy range formerly known as Thomas & Friends Road & Rail System. The TrackMaster engines are compatible with Tomy's Motor Rail and Road merchandise. TrackMaster's light brown coloured track is easily connected to existing blue track from TOMY by track adapters, which were included in every set until new releases after 2008. An innovation in this range is the special face-changing engines that are included in some sets. In 2010, the rights were put under the ownership of Fisher Price.
Electric railway systems
Electrically powered model railways have been popular for many years, and several companies have produced ranges of 'Thomas' merchandise to take advantage of this. As for other railway systems, the ranges include track, buildings and accessories, in addition to the locomotive and rolling stock character models. These ranges have the added advantage of being compatible with other, non-'Thomas' models, providing even more variety and play value.
Hornby Railways produce a range of 00 gauge electric 'Thomas' models. The models, based on moulds of real engines, are not finely detailed but are thus suitable for younger enthusiasts. In the United States, Lionel offers a range of Thomas models in the larger O scale. Lionel had previously manufactured Thomas and James models in G scale but dropped this line in 2001. In Japan where space is at a premium and small size is important Tomix have introduced a series of N scale Thomas models.
Hornby Thomas & Friends
Hornby Railways produces a series of 00 gauge model engines, track, accessories and box sets, based on the characters from the TV series (plus some that only appear in the original Railway Series books, such as Bear). They are designed to be compatible with other Hornby trains, thus allowing an easy migration to more prototypical modelling.
The models are designed for somewhat older children than most Thomas toys, as placing them correctly on the rails requires a certain degree of dexterity, and the plastic-bodied rolling stock may break if dropped. However, the level of detail is more basic than the 'real' models produced by the company, with the result that the trains can be handled safely by inexperienced hands without fear of damaging delicate parts.
Hornby launched its range in its current form in 1985, roughly one year after the debut of the television series. It mainly utilised modified versions of existing Hornby engines, rolling stock and lineside accessories. Over the following years, the range was expanded to include a large number of the characters from both the TV Series and the Railway Series books.
In addition to the two-rail electric versions, Thomas and Percy were also released as clockwork 'Playtrains'. Percy used the same moulding as his electric counterpart, but Thomas had an entirely unique body which ran on an inaccurate 0-4-0 chassis.
A battery-powered set featuring Thomas, Annie, Clarabel and Bertie the Bus was released, which allowed children to recreate the popular story in which Thomas and Bertie have a race. Thomas was unpowered, being pushed along by a motor in Annie.
Bachmann Thomas & Friends
In 2002, Bachmann USA made their own H0-scale electric Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends range for the US and Canada markets. The models are made with new body tools, to resemble the characters in the TV series. So far over two dozen models have been produced, along with character-themed train sets. Unlike Hornby's products, Bachmann's models have moving eyes.
In January 2009, Bachmann announced that, in an agreement with HiT Entertainment, a line of large scale Thomas electric trains will be produced, under the title "Large Scale Thomas & Friends".
Märklin, a German model train maker, released a limited range of Thomas and Friends merchandise in HO scale. Because of copyright reasons (using Hornby's toolings), they were only available in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but they did leak out to other countries. They are designed for young children as they have metal frames and plastic shells. They are compatible with the rest of the Märklin range, but are extremely basic and have no extra features.
They were only released in 2006.
Thomas Tomix Rail
From 1998 onwards, a significant range from Tomix has been introduced providing an electric N gauge Thomas system which was still unique in 2007 and which then included 4 locomotives: Thomas, Percy, James and Henry. Some of the rolling stock looked similar to Graham Farish items.
Lego Duplo Thomas & Friends
In 2005, LEGO introduced the first sets in their Duplo 'Thomas' series. Four sets were made, featuring: James the Red Engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, a Troublesome Truck, Toby the Tram Engine, and Percy the Small Engine. Subsequently, in line with usual Lego practice, new sets had been released each year, featuring different scenes and characters, until Mega Bloks picked up the license in 2010 and have produced Thomas sets of their own.
Duplo is designed for very young children, so the sets have relatively few pieces (between 7 and 62) to assemble.
Thomas character builder
In 2006 MV Sports made their own self-assembly Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends engines and buildings. The range consists of the following models:
- Thomas, Toby and Mavis Three Pack Set
- Percy Track Set
- James and Station Set
- Edward and Engine Shed Set
A number of different educational software packages and video games, all based on a 'Thomas' theme, have been released for a variety of different computer platforms.
A Commodore 64 game was produced in 1987 whereby Thomas was given a series of seven missions (invariably picking up a coach and taking it to a destination) and a time limit to complete them in. The game featured a fair rendition of the show's distinctive theme tune.
Two PC-based DOS-scrolling games were developed by Peakstar and published by Alternative in 1992 and 1993:
- "Thomas the Tank Engine"
- "Thomas the Tank Engine 2"
Info about these games can be found at Home of the Underdogs.
There was also a game for Super Nintendo which featured a variety of activities such as creating a track for Thomas to get to his destination, races with Percy and Bertie, and three other stories, two of which were based on original stories by the Rev. W. Awdry.
Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (THQ)
"Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends" was an educational one-player video game, developed and published by THQ. Released 1 May 1993, it was available for the Super Nintendo and Mega Drive/Genesis platforms. The SNES version featured the classic Thomas characters in eight adventures, and included "tricky" trivia questions. The Genesis version was a completely different game. It included a sort of career mode-esque Game Mode, where players had to pick up a wagon, coach or any combination of the 2. There was also a Race Mode & a free roam Explore Mode. Players had a choice between 5 engines: Thomas, James, Percy, Toby and Duck. Gordon, Henry and Edward appear in Game Mode to tell the player how he did, as well as Thomas and James. Sir Topham Hatt gives the player their task in Game Mode.
Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Pinball (Spidersoft)
"Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Pinball" was is a pinball-based video game developed by Spidersoft Limited and published by Alternative Software Ltd. for the Amiga, Amiga CD32 and DOS operating systems. It was released in 1995.
Hasbro Interactive / Infogrames
All of these games were designed as educational games for young children.
Games released by Hasbro
- Thomas & Friends: The Great Festival Adventure
- Thomas & Friends: Trouble on the Tracks
- Thomas & Friends: Thomas and the Magic Railroad Print Studio
Games released by Infogrames
- Thomas & Friends: Building the New Line
- Thomas & Friends: Railway Adventures
- Thomas & Friends: Thomas Saves the Day
A Day at the Races
- My Thomas Story Library — extensive new series featuring a different character in each book
- Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends annuals
- Thomas & Friends Magazines
- List of Thomas the Tank Engine pictureback books
- http://www.ltwmag.com/ news/thomas_friends_is_number_one.aspx
- Clutterbuck, Martin; et al. "'Awdryania'". (includes photos of adverts for card models). The Real Lives of Thomas the Tank Engine. Retrieved 2007-05-09.
- W. Awdry; Ken Stott (September 1987). Thomas the Tank Engine Press-out Model Book. Heinemann Young Books. ISBN 978-0-434-92758-6. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- "Miscellaneous Awdryania (Merchandising)". Pegnsean.net. 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- "Railway Series Characters: Percy the Small Engine". Pegnsean.net. 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- The Timeline of RC2
- "US Patent 5,454,513 from October 3, 1995". Retrieved 2007-04-02.
- "US Patent 6,648,237 B2 from November 18, 2003". Retrieved 2007-04-02.
- "US Recall of Various Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Toys". Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- PDF (4.09 MB)
- Track adapters to similar gauges by Choo Choo Track
- "Bachmann expands 'Thomas' rights". Playthings. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- Lists of models: Train Spotting World, (TSW)
- TSW Category:Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends merchandise
- 'Awdryania' - Description of the merchandise spawned from The Railway Series before the advent of the TV series
- Official Website of Hornby's Thomas the Tank Engine models
- Learning Curve, manufacturer of the Thomas Wooden Railway