If your little one likes Thomas and Friends, then you can probably relate to what I’m about to say.

“It’s ridiculously expensive!”

I mean, anything and everything that has the Thomas and Friends label on it means that you have to pay double, triple, or more for the same piece of merchandise without that brand on it.

“How can they charge so much for miniature trains that are ‘Made in China?'”

My boy started getting exposure to Thomas the Tank Engine on his 2 year birthday party 3 months ago.  He’s received from our friends, his aunts and uncles Thomas and Friends merchandise such as bath toys, wooden trains, and my wife even bought him Thomas and Friends underwear (oh, wait until I tell you that story!).

I think all in all his entire Thomas and Friends collection probably has a retail value of over $1,000!

So yeah, he’s pretty much “Thomased out” if you know what I mean.

Now, he’s been such a good boy lately that I felt like rewarding him with his very own wooden train set and train table (and no, I don’t spoil my kids :-).  I went over to Amazon.com and to my surprise (or should I say no surprise there) the Island of Sodor wooden table alone is already $200!

Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Island of Sodor Wooden Play Table

Then I scroll down a bit further to see if Amazon would recommend the table top and the train set to go along with the table, and for sure they are frequently purchased together… for a grand total of a little over $600!

Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Island of Sodor Wooden Play Table and Set

Now, don’t get me wrong, I mean, I love my son, but $600 for some wooden table and toys?  So I looked for alternatives and found that KidKraft also has their own wooden train set and table, at a much more affordable price.  And guess what?  It’s compatible with his Thomas and Friends engines!

You can check it out, for $138 at Walmart both my son and I are happy campers (and my wife was really proud of me for finding such a great deal – something she thinks men are generally incapable of):

KidKraft Wooden Train Table With 3 Bins and 120 Piece Waterfall Mountain Train Set

So there you have it.  These toy makers are smart – they hit them early on. They brainwash them everywhere they can – TV commercials, toy stores, theme parks. It’s quite sickening if you ask me – and they know parents are suckers for their children when it comes to spoiling them.