THESE ARE SOLEY MY OPINIONS AND ARE NOT INFLUENCED FROM THE THOMAS & FRIENDS FAN BASE
WOODEN RAILWAY REVIEW:
SAM AND THE GREAT BELL BOOK PACK
With the popularity of Logan from 2014, Fisher Price had released another exclusive character for the Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway range. This year we were introduced to Sam, a Virginian Railway Blue Ridge 2-6-6-6 locomotive. In my opinion I think the book is better then what they did with Logan as there was more story in this despite less dialogue. The illustrations though weren't that great in my opinion, here is one of them:
The face is just...blah! It looks like a human head was placed on a locomotive's body. Some designs were out of proportion such as his cab. One page shows him his usual shape as you see on his wooden railway counterpart until the end it had a pointy roof. This is where I think Fisher Price should change the book pack to maybe a DVD pack. With the promos for Logan and Sam that were rendered by Arc Productions for the Wooden Railway website, they made the characters more visually appealing.
They should consider maybe in future of creating say a short episode, like 'A New Friend on Sodor' and 'A Friendly Farewell', except maybe at a time limit of maybe 3-5 minutes, featuring the exclusive wooden railway character and release as that or keep the book and place the DVD alongside it. As for the Wooden Railway model alongside with it, I think it's a nice design, its face is better in both the CGI promo and the toy then what it was in the book, even though I've said that I liked the face when they first revealed it but after looking at this book, my opinion had changed. The book's face was just out of proportion and just creepy to look at times. I will say I'm glad that Fisher Price didn't overhype Sam as what they did with Logan back in 2014. Logan was placed on the US Thomas and Friends website Engine Depot, before its much needed revamp and people thought it would be a new character for the TV series, as the engine depot mainly shows characters that had appeared in the television series. Even though Sam was on it, at least it wasn't a reveal and was placed on the website after his release.
Overall I think it's a good release. The book was interesting and it had much more story despite some meh illustrations. Sam doesn't have too much persona in the book but it was expressed in his first promo video 'Welcome to Sodor, Sam!' I think Fisher Price should make a short episode and maybe release it on their own with the wooden railway toy or with the book and toy. The book I think should stay so kids can be exposed into reading though.