A few months back, we took advantage of having missed the train to pick up a replica F train for Little G for Christmas. It was in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central, in those booths they set up for Christmas shopping.
Created by “Munipals“, the little F subway car cost $10 and was compatible with the trains and tracks. Little G promptly worked his new “Effy” train into the lineup along with Thomas, Percy, Spencer and the rest of the Sodor cabal. Effy seemed to give some Noo Yawk attitude to the quaint Brit world of Thomas.
One thing about the Thomas trains–lead paint notwithstanding, they’re expertly crafted. The Thomas trains we first started playing with a year ago run every bit as well as the day we opened them, and seem like they’ll continue to do so for years. Far as I can tell, they last forever.
Alas, not so much the Munipals F train from Grand Central. After maybe a month of moderate use, the F train’s wheels started locking up. He’d be pulling a big line of cars–Percy, Diesel, Little Henry–when the wheels would lock and the whole line would tumble like the New Haven Line on black ice.
Effy spent more and more time on the Sodor sidelines as the rest of the Thomas gang did the heavy lifting around our family room.
And Little G stopped calling him “Effy” or “F train” or anything with an F in it. Instead, he dubbed the crappy Munipals toy “Old Slow Coach”–after one of the wheezing old retro train cars from the Thomas & Friends catalog.
Old Slow Coach