By: Christy Means-Smith | Category: Other | Issue: November 2006
Now you can purchase the ever so popular Thomas the Tank Engine Vehicle Tent with his trusty sidekicks, Annie and Clarabel.
In the world of children’s toys and books, there are trends, and then there are classics, which never lose their charm. Thomas the Tank Engine, created by Reverend Wilbert Awdry in 1943, is now 63 years old. Awdry had a lifelong interest in trains and railways, and created the stories to amuse Christopher, his young son. Christopher has continued the Thomas legacy, and the stories are widespread due to the video productions and merchandise.
In Collinsville, Oklahoma, a young mother, who also had a son with a passion for Thomas, began an online merchandise store for the popular little engine and his friends. By 2003, business had grown so greatly that Karen Hutchinson opened a storefront business under the name of “Exclusively Thomas.”
Exclusively Thomas carries items that range far into the imagination, and is a perfect place to shop for all the Thomas fans on your holiday gift list. Thomas the Tank Engine and many of his friends can be found at Exclusively Thomas in different sizes and styles including plush, plastic, wooden and die-cast. The store endeavors to provide environmental elements too, including track, freight cars, passenger cars, station homes and more.
Merchandise ranges from very small items – to very big! There are Thomas riding toys for toddlers, an indoor/outdoor Thomas pop-up tent, and even a Thomas Little Tykes bed.
“If your child is a Thomas fan, he will definitely want to sleep in this bed,” states Karen. She adds that the store carries pillows, comforter sets (which come in twin and full-size), rugs and other bedroom décor that will delight any child. Bath time also becomes fun time when one has Thomas towels and washcloths!
Don’t forget to visit the book section, as Thomas has many tales to relate. There are lots of adventures to explore, and the stories themselves are timeless. Videos and DVDs aid in encouraging very small children to begin reading, and are enjoyable to all.
Stocking stuffers abound at Exclusively Thomas. Thomas the Tank Engine stickers, small figurines, toothbrushes, train whistles, small clothing items and more will help fill your gift list.
School and home needs are fun to fill with items such as Thomas backpacks, clothing and lunch boxes. Thomas dinnerware is another popular item. Moms love how the dish sets encourage even the pickiest eater to clear his or her plate.
Celebrate the season with a Thomas Battery Powered Around the Tree Set. A festive way to deliver fun to any home. With the push of a button, little (or big!) engineers can set Thomas into motion around almost any tree (up to 2+ ft. wide). Plus, the exclusive Gift Car is sure to bring a cheerful smile to anyone’s face as it plays its merry “Jingle Bells” tune. This 20-piece set includes an exclusive snow-covered battery-powered Thomas, “Jingle Bells” gift car, festive caboose, reindeer crossing sign, and track. Place your holiday order early!
Exclusively Thomas has the largest inventory of its kind in Oklahoma. “We are the only store in Oklahoma that has Thomas items of this magnitude,” says Karen. “I knew there had to be many others out there like me, searching for Thomas.”
Let Exclusively Thomas supply your gift needs this year and enjoy a wonderful, fun shopping experience. The store is located in historic downtown Collinsville, at 1104 W. Main. For more information, call (918) 371-3142, or visit the website, www.exclusivelythomas.com