Thomas Gets Tricked started me down a very expensive path. Trying to give my wife a break, we tried to convince my 3-year-old to come run errands with me. She didnt want to and I opted for bribery rather than brute force. I promised her a treat if she came and was good. At Sams club I thought a DVD was about the cheapest thing I could get out of there with. While trying to decide I saw a Thomas and Friends with a free car for $10 and change. I thought it was a good deal. I made the proposal to my daughter and we were happily on our way. It was an even better deal than I knew, but it ended up casting me hundreds in the long run.
Recommend this product?
I have since bought several Thomas and Friends DVDs with included wooden trains, but Thomas Gets Tricked still probably remains the best value of all of them. I didnt know it at the time, but the toy that came included was Emily, which retails for $20. Since buying this video I have become much more savvy about Thomas wooden trains. I have seen Emily on the Internet for as low as $14, but this remains by far the best deal I have seen for her. I also have to say that I have seen this video several times since, but never again with Emily included. It appears to usually come with Thomas, who is a bit less expensive generally. Whether included with Emily or Thomas this remains a very cheap way to buy the toy, let alone with a DVD as well. This is a tremendous value.
Thomas Gets Tricked is a single disc with a 40 minute run time. There is a badge on the front stating that these are the first ever Thomas episodes. It includes 7 episodes titled;
1. Thomas Gets Tricked
2. Edward Helps Out
3. Come Out, Henry
4. Henry to the Rescue
5. A Big for Thomas
6. Trouble for Thomas
7. Thomas Saves the Day
In addition to the 7 episodes Thomas Gets Tricked also comes with special features, as nearly all DVDs do. There is a sing along song titled Come for the Ride. There is also a character gallery which is probably of more use to parents than children since my daughter seemed to pick up on the characters pretty quickly. You have the option to use the DVD remote to scroll through characters and read/listen to a short bio. There is also a game you play with the DVD remote, which is a memory game. To my knowledge my daughter has never played it.
I have mentioned that the box claims that these are the first ever episodes of Thomas and Friends. I believe it. This disc has a distinctly old feel. The picture quality looks old. The narration feels old and even the labels they put on the screen seem old and clumsy. Despite all of that I am not bothered a bit. My daughter doesnt care in the least if the picture is crystal clear. She does not notice if the test on the screen looks cheesy. She likes the episodes and personally I found it curious to see how the Thomas phenomenon began (on DVD that is). If you arent bothered by some old timey feel, then this is a very nice video.
The episodes only run about 5 minute each so I wont try to summarize the plot of each. The gist is that the engines have personalities and over the course of an episode one will make a mistake and, after being helped out of it by a friend or friends, learn a lesson. It is all very wholesome, without being overly sappy.
In my experience with Thomas and Friends DVDs there are 3 main narrators over time (not counting the odd celebrity guest narration). The bulk of them seem to be narrated by Michael Brandon. I have a few discs narrated by George Carlin. Thomas Gets Tricked is actually narrated by Ringo Starr. He does a fine job, but I think he also contributes to the old feel of the videos (along with all of the things previously mentioned).
To get a Thomas wooden train and a DVD for under $11 is an excellent deal. I suppose they achieved their objective because I have since spent hundreds on more Thomas toys but this first purchase was still a great value. If your child has any interest in Thomas then I highly recommend it. For me, it has been something my daughter and I have been able to do together. Well we do a lot together, but I have enjoyed Thomas much more than her other interests and so we have bonded.