THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND NOT FROM THE THOMAS AND FRIENDS FAN BASE
WOODEN RAILWAY REVIEW:
LOGAN AND THE BIG BLUE ENGINE BOOK PACK
On July 7th 2014, although really it was July 8th, HIT Entertainment and Mattel had revealed a brand new character named Logan on the official Thomas & Friends website as part of the improved wooden railway brand. However fans were wondering if Logan is a new character for the television series or if he's a merchandise only character, I can confirm that this book is not based on any upcoming episode, Logan will only be a merchandise only character. I have to say about the fans complaining about the newbie being an exclusive character for the merchandising, there are many Railway Series characters that weren't in the television series and are used in the wooden railway brand such as Flying Scostman and D199. If Mattel is reading this maybe they should consider on using the RWS characters for these 'Sodor Story Collection' sets?
Logan pretty much has no personality though in the book, however the story is about patience and not to be fooled by appearances according to an activity sheet, the former, which is also provided in the book pack and the train set, which is the same title as the book along with a standard Gordon. The story is short, of course it's focused at a pre-school level which is good as children at the recommended age group will get into reading and also learn to read.
The book contains everything that is provided in the train set, the Sodor Brass Band coach, two coal wagons, Logan, Gordon and pieces of track and buildings, however they should've add Edward as he's in the story too, what I'm glad to see what Mattel is doing with these sets is that they're not putting every set with a standard Thomas, unlike previous sets. I'm sure parents that bought a set was given each Thomas? However the turn track station is not featured in the book and the bubble trucks are exclusive items on the Thomas wooden railway website.
I believe also that this stuff is also great for kids to act the stuff that comes from the book with the train set. The illustrations in the book have some errors, however they're OK. Some errors like Gordon's wheel arrangement which he's a 2-6-2 locomotive, in one page of the book he's a 2-6-4. They have used some CGI elements from the show, in the first page they've used Thomas, Percy, Edward and Gordon's model from the Nitrogen era and some workmen, though one was floating around.
I am surprised since the reveal that Mattel, an American toy company, had chosen a British basis, usually when toy companies do toy trains it's usually a very Americanised locomotive with a cow catcher and 4-4-0 wheel arrangement, no offence to Americans though.
Nowadays shows like Thomas & Friends are now considered as a brand and as SiF says in their blog about Logan, toy sales are the lifeblood of the franchise and I have to admit it's like that. However I'm glad that they're using this when it comes to one-off's instead of placing them in the series hoping that the popularity of the character goes well with toy sales (e.g-Billy, Dennis) new characters need to have personalities and reasons like in S17 and when it comes to characters like Logan I think it's better that kids can give any persona towards Logan. Incase if you're wondering where I got it from, I got mine from Totally Thomas via Amazon US as they do ship internationally, so credit goes to them.
MORE SODOR AND STORY COLLECTION ARE ON SALE NOW AT 20 EXCLUSIVE STORES ACROSS THE US AND ON THE THOMAS WOODEN RAILWAY WEBSITE