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Thomas (released as Thomas the Tank Engine until 2000) is a small blue tank engine.


Character Card

The most famous of all the vehicles on the Island of Sodor, Thomas the Tank Engine is considered by all to be a "really useful engine". He is a cheeky, fussy little engine who is always eager to help.

2018 box description

Meet the story-starter. Every child's imagination has stories to tell – and this cheeky steam engine is the perfect helper. Children create the stories, Thomas just delivers inspiration.


  • 1992
    • skinny flat topped funnel, smokebox not connected to front bufferbeam, no black lining around the cab doors, staples, flat magnets, undated wheels
    • shorter flat topped funnel
    • smokebox connected to front bufferbeam
    • beveled funnel
    • speckled coal instead of solid
  • 1994
    • made in China, no staples
    • beveled magnets, undated wheels
    • wheels dated 1994
    • rounded magnets
  • 1996 (smaller round magnets, new face, curved funnel and dome
  • 1997 (larger round magnets, thicker wheels
  • 1999
    • moulded plastic funnel with wooden smokebox
    • plastic smokebox, smaller font on wheel dates
  • 2000 (name added to chassis)
  • 2001 (larger font on wheels)
  • 2002 (redesigned face, larger smokebox and boiler, removed back ledge, no stripes on boiler, wheels dated 2003)
  • Late 2004 (striped boiler, wheels dated 2003)
  • 2011 (CG style face, wheels dated 2003)
  • 2013 (new face, curved edges, longer magnet guards, other minor details, wheels dated 2012)
  • 2016 (redesigned smaller face)
  • 2018 (printed details on exposed wood, flat dome, shorter length)
    • Mid-2018 (metal pins in chassis, darker paint)



  • Thomas has the most variations of any character in the Thomas Wooden Railway, with more prototypes, changes, and variants than any other character in the range.
  • Thomas is included in more sets and multi-car packs than any other character in the Thomas Wooden Railway.
  • The very first prototype of Thomas seen featured red wheels held in by nails, no coal bunker details, and a different face.
  • Roy Wilson's original third handmade Thomas had a much thinner funnel and dome than later models.