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Thomas & Friends Cranky The Crane Set

One crank turns Cranky’s head left and right, while a second crank lifts any available magnetic cargo. Cargo included.  Suitable for children aged 3 Years Plus.

Thomas Wooden Railway vehicles, track and destinations are not compatible with Take Along Thomas items.

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£45.00 Available from John Lewis, Smyths, Early Learning Centre online Amazon or click onto for local stockist

Thomas & Friends Cranky The Crane Set Reviews

Product Tested by:

Product Tested By Anna Pritchard – Humphrey & Barnaby Aged 3 Years & 2 Years

Anna Awarded The Thomas Wooden Railway Cranky the Crane set 4.8/5

When I first saw the product and saw the price I thought there was no way I would have spent £45 on a crane for a railway set.  The boys received the wooden train starter kit as a gift and although they enjoyed playing with it, it had been sitting in a box unused for some time.  However when I came to look at the packaging, the toy itself and read the instructions it became clear how special the toy was and why the price was what it was.  What this toys has done by way of the interactive element of the cranky the crane has allowed an unused toy to come to life and enabled both my sons to interact with it and enjoy endless hours of fun.  Also a great toy for adults to share with children it gave the whole play experience a purpose instead of just chugging trains round a track.  Packaging bright and colourful, easy to identify the Thomas the Tank engine product placement.  The box had an open front so you could fully view the product and its quality before purchasing and it also enabled you to try the product before buying so you could test the interactive element.  Perfect size as it can be stored in the same box as the railway track so not overly bulky can actually be used to accompany other wooden train sets which are a bonus.  The toy was sturdy but more importantly unfiddely for little fingers and both boys were able to wind the handle on the side to lower or raise the cranes magnet.  At first the boys were only interested in this element and took great fun in lifting the cargo and then discovered it would lift all the trains up and lower them down they didn’t discover the interactive talking element until day 2, instead were happily absorbed in playing with the magnet and the winder on the side.  I cannot fault it.  The boys were happy enough lowering and highering the crane initially so to discover its full entertainment value was great.  When Sir Topham Hat is showing (by pressing the shed roof), every time an interactive engine went passed it was acknowledged with positive praise or asked to do a job for e.g.  Well done Thomas you are right on time or James could you help out Rosie there are apparently over 100 phrases so never a dull moment and it doesn’t become monotonous.  What this toy essentially did was brought playtime to life and gave the whole railway a purpose also the interactive element stopped the boys from arguing the whole positive praise and job assigning meant a break for mum as peacekeeper.  When you press the shed roof a second time and Sir Topham Hat is not showing it plays sounds, as Thomas passes it peep peeps and it also plays dockyard sounds.  I was a little worried  that with my youngest son (not 3 yet)  that a piece might get broken but this has not been the case it has endured plenty of hours of play and has been dropped down the stairs on one occasion and still is intact and works perfectly.  One surprise in amongst the play, one of the boys must have switched the button underneath and Sir Topham Hat started issuing praise and orders in German which they thought they had broken but was able to switch back easily.  This toy induces play and sparks the child’s imagination.  It has provided hours of peaceful play.  Also a great toy for the whole family to enjoy and play together and bond together with.   Certainly helps with development, the discovery of magnets and magnetism, hand and eye co-ordination, playing and sharing together nicely.  Nicely spoken clear English giving orders and lots of positive praise which evokes a nice sense of play and children imitating and taking it on board.  Identifying engines, sounds, numbers and allows children to play and use their imagination.  My boys have also used this as a magnet learning what may pull or push against the magnets.  Fantastic have been raving about it to other parents and other sets will be on my children’s Christmas list as I feel they are an investment and will bring many years of pleasure and will not be easily grown out of like other toys which have a limited shelf life.  Amazing value for money.  It will probably be one of the toys we keep and get out as my mum has done for her grandchildren.  Also both girls and boys love a train set it is timeless and also fits with other similar but not same brand track so you don’t have lots of bit toys i.e. 1 small track for 1 railway a small track and station for another, 3 trains for another so this allows children to gain their full potential through play.  My children’s Christmas list has changed following the test.  I cannot wait to build on the railway collection for them and bearing in mind the hours of fun Cranky the Crane has brought I am delighted to invest in the interactive railway system.  It cleverly interlinks with what you currently have.   Brings your train set to life providing hours and hours of fun letting the imagination run riot!!  Anna Pritchard – Humphrey & Barnaby Aged 3 Years & 2 Years

Product Tested By Akiko Carotenuto – Leonardo & Riccardo – Aged 3 Years & 21 Months

Akiko Awarded The Thomas Wooden Railway Cranky the Crane set 4.2/5

Well made, high quality product.   Lots of wires attaching the toy to the packaging, it was difficult to unpack but I know this would ensure that there will be no transport damage.   Not too small, not too big, just right size for my 3 year old.  Love the fact that there are so many phrases Fat Controller speaks when the engines pass through, even picking up a few German phrases! Also the crane is very well made, my son is loving ‘rescuing engine’ with Cranky’s crane.  There is no concern, this is for +3 years, and I think it is appropriate.  The only thing is that my younger son who loves Thomas wants to play with it and I think he’s definitely too young to play with it.  We usually leave Cranky on a table; Riccardo climbs up the chair, reaches out to Cranky and throws it on the floor!  As Fat Controller speaks lots of phrases, Leonardo spends ages running through the engine and listen to what he’s saying.  Now he wants the rail tracks and other engines to go with it.  There is no counting or nursery rhymes and my 3 year old coordinate his hands & eyes well already but this toy is definitely helping the younger to develop his skills.  He loves winding up & down Cranky’s Crane.  Maybe too simple for 3 year old, he seems to get bored after a while but the younger one is absolutely loving it, although it’s not meant for under 3!  Leonardo did find the switch under Cranky to change languages between English and German but found no other way to play with the toy.  Quality of this toy Simply excellent!   Pricey but it’s worth it if you can afford it.  £45 is a lot for a toy, if it’s on offer (e.g. 30% off), I would consider buying it. But I understand why it’s expensive… Fat Controller recognises the engine passing through, how!?  High quality product, children are loving it, now they’re demanding to get a set of tracks and more engines!  Akiko Carotenuto – Leonardo & Riccardo – Aged 3 Years & 21 Months

Product Tested By Nadia Springthorpe – Jacob Aged 4 Years

Nadia Awarded The Thomas Wooden Railway Cranky the Crane set 4/5

Interesting, colourful and kids couldn’t wait to open.  The item was very secure in the packaging, both trains were well secured with ties and were protectively packaged, the crane was well secured also with ties but open to the front so you could try the item.  Trains are perfect for little hands and compatible with brio and ELC train track, perfect, the crane is quite a big toy though but not unsightly.   Kept my 4 yr old entertained when his brothers were watching television which is unlike him, he is usually the first to put the television on; however it was short lived once he had got bored of hearing the phrases over again.   Definitely age appropriate, the trains are aged 2 + and my 22mth old had a quick play with them and loved them, the cranky the crane is definitely more suited to those that can understand the concept of having to run the trains along the track to get it to recognise the engine.  Held their imagination for a fair while like most new toys but I have to admit I think if they were fans of Thomas the Tank Engine they would have been more enthralled by this.  It did stimulate their imagination as I watched them create scenarios with cranky lifting up the wooden box, had we had the train track I could imagine them making up little stories.  I personally would not classify this as an educational toy but did help them to share well together.  Very simple toy to play with, mine however lost interest quickly as they were asking for the train track to go with it, with track I would say it would keep their attention for approx 30 mins in one sitting before they would get bored.  They definitely thought the toy was clever as it recognized the engines and also thought the fat controller hiding behind the door was funny.  I think the toy is well made, no scratches to the paint work happened after play, no loose wobbly wheels, good solid word and plastic very good quality.  I think £9.99 is quite expensive for an individual train and the crane retails at £26.99, I suppose its quite expensive due to the special engine recognition, its not cheap but its not mega expensive so an in-between vote on price.  I would recommend it to those friends who have Thomas fans, as it’s such a well made colourful product.  Well made, colourful, interactive and stimulatingNadia Springthorpe – Jacob Aged 4 Years

Brings your train set to life providing hours and hours of fun letting the imagination run riot!!


Anna Awarded The Thomas Wooden Railway Cranky the Crane set 4.8/5

Thomas & Friends Cranky The Crane Set Stockist Information
  • Website:
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Tel: Consumer Helpline +44 (0)1271 336172
  • Address: RC2 UK, Hembury House, Pynes Hill, Rydon Lane, Exeter EX2 5AZ
  • Opening Times: Mon - Fri 9am - 9pm - Sat and Sun 9am - 5pm