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Thomas and His Friends

Updated on November 11, 2010

All Aboard!

Trains have been popular toys (especially with boys) for decades. Thomas trains are especially popular with young boys now. Thomas and His Friends have been around since 1945, when Wilbert Audry published the first book, The Three Railway Engines. The television series has been around since 1984, and the earliest Thomas and Friends toys came out as early as 1967 (although it was Percy, not Thomas).

The Thomas & Friends series (and merchandise line) have grown since those early days. There are now several different types of Thomas railway systems that you can purchase. Thomas is also available in movies, on clothing, on party plates, and even Legos. If you have a boy that likes Thomas, then you probably have heard them asking for some of them.

Thomas has a lot of friends. Here is an introduction to the world of Sodor.

Thomas at Thomas Town, Six Flags Magic Mountain (photo copyright 2010 Brooke Lorren)
Thomas at Thomas Town, Six Flags Magic Mountain (photo copyright 2010 Brooke Lorren)

Meet Thomas

Thomas is a blue tank engine, and is the star of the television show and movies. He seems like a good-hearted train, but he sometimes gets into trouble. Sometimes he'll get into a race with one of his friends, forgetting that he has a job to do. He does try to be a useful engine, but it is sometimes hard to be good.

In a way, Thomas reminds me of my little boy, who tries to be good, but ends up getting into trouble at times. Perhaps that's why he's so popular.

Percy
Percy

Meet Percy

Percy is a small green engine, and he is eager to please. Sometimes the other engines take advantage of him. He may be the youngest of all the characters, but the very first of the Thomas and Friends engines to become a model train was Percy, so that would give him something to brag about (if he ever thought about that sort of thing).

The Thomas Television Theme Song

Thomas and Friends Take and Play Rescue from Misty Island

Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends DC Return From Misty Island
Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends DC Return From Misty Island

This foldable toy set comes with a Thomas engine. One side of the play set features Misty Island, the other features the Island of Sodor. The Shake-Shake bridge will rattle Thomas as he crosses.

 
James
James

Meet James

James is another one of Thomas's friends. He thinks highly of himself... sometimes, a little too highly. He is a bright red color and is handsome; perhaps that is where his vanity comes from. He is a medium-sized engine that can pull both freight and passengers. James has a matching coal car.

Gordon
Gordon

Meet Gordon

Gordon is older than the other trains, and he is fast and powerful. Although he is a proud engine, he is kind and is willing to help the other engines when they get into trouble. Gordon is blue just like his friend Thomas, but he has the number four painted on his side, and he comes with a coal car.

A Real Gordon Engine!

Thomas and Friends Emily
Thomas and Friends Emily

Meet Emily

Emily was the first female steam engine to join the team at Sodor. She sometimes can be a "big sister" type figure to the smaller engines like Thomas and Percy. She is kind-hearted, but in later seasons, she has been a little bit bossy. She arrived on the Island of Sodor during season 7. She is green and comes with a coal tender.

Thomas and Friends Henry
Thomas and Friends Henry

Meet Henry

Henry, another one of Thomas's friends, is a long, strong, and fast engine. He can haul quite a bit of freight. Although he is strong, he does suffer from illness at times. There was initially some controversy over Henry's looks; Thomas's creator, Wilbur Audry, had some issues over some of the episodes that he appeared in because it did not have enough realism.

Favorite Train?

Out of the main 8 engines, who is your favorite Thomas Train?

See results
Thomas and Friends Edward
Thomas and Friends Edward

Meet Edward

Edward is an older engine; the years have given him a dose of kindness and patience. He helps the smaller engines when they get into trouble, shows patience with the older engines when they are grumpy or cross, and avoids bumping into trucks. Like his friend Thomas, he is blue, but he comes with a coal tender.

Thomas and Friends Toby
Thomas and Friends Toby

Meet Toby

Out of all of the main eight engines, Toby is the most unique looking, as he is square. He is a tram engine that was nearly scrapped at one point. He is generally happy to be able to work. Toby originally came from a different rail line; he was sent to the Island of Sodor when the railway shut down.

More Thomas and Friends

Thomas the Train: Follow Me Thomas
Thomas the Train: Follow Me Thomas

This Thomas toy comes with a red light that Thomas will follow.

 

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