Common Sense Media says

Thomas fans will enjoy -- for a while, anyway.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

Links to HIT Entertainment store. Ads run at top of every page for Thomas merchandise and there are links to promotions and live Thomas shows.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although kids younger than 4 can probably use this site with some simple pointing and clicking, we don't recommend having kids online who are that young. The site lightly advertises merchandise, events, and DVD/TV shows. Most instructions are in writing, and not all games and activities are intuitive. The younger set may have some trouble finding exactly what they want to do and figuring out how to do it if they can't read. Fans will be drawn to this site's games, bright colors, and stars, but parents should get the next mode of entertainment lined up, as the site won't keep kids busy for too long.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

WWW.THOMASANDFRIENDS.COM is brought to us by HIT Entertainment (think Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and Barney). On this site, fans can play games, participate in activities, and read all kinds of information about Thomas and his friends. There are educational games as well as arcade-like choices; kids can put together train car puzzles or participate in a train race. They can also color online or print out coloring pages and mini-posters to do their creative work offline. In the History section in About Thomas & Friends, kids learn how the series was created by a dad telling stories about steam engines to his sick son. Those stories were eventually put into writing with pictures and recurring characters such as Edward, Gordon, and Thomas. The Engine Depot is a cool library feature where kids can click on each character to see pictures and learn facts about them.

Is it any good?


The different-leveled games and activities are well-suited for young fans (some reading is required), but they're simple and will most likely grow old after a few rounds. The video clips on the site are such poor quality that they're barely viewable. For the true fan who wants to learn about the history of Thomas and his pals, however, is a real treat.

As for ads, access to HIT's main store is provided by an animated ad at the top of every page as well as a button on the main page of the site. Kids can also click to get tickets to Day Out with Thomas (a real train ride extravaganza throughout the U.S. and Canada) and Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage (you guessed it…a touring theatrical performance). Other than that, references to products are kept at a minimum.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the character of Thomas started out as a story told to a son by his dad. What do you like about hearing a story told out loud versus reading stuff on the computer screen? Does playing the games with the characters make you enjoy the books more?

Website details

Genre:Brand Sites
Pricing structure:Free

This review of ThomasandFriends was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byF-Zero studios September 11, 2010

Thomas you rock
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 2 year old Written byAiva Rose June 6, 2010

Great for all ages!!!

We love Thomas!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written bysara4ever95 February 17, 2009


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