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Introducing our Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Battery-Operated Spencer Engine! The Battery-Operated Spencer features powerful four-wheel drive to help James climb any hill or sloped track on the Island of Sodor! Battery-Powered Spencer also features a working light! Works great with any Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway sets and provides endless hours of play! 3Y+
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Thomas & Friends - Wooden Railway - Battery-Operated Spencer is rated
2.0 out of
Rated 2 out of
Battery-Operated Spencer - The Silver Streak?I purchased this item in 2015 as an addition to my Thomas Wooden Railway collection; I had noticed the item on sale and thought the deal was a good one to make the purchase worthwhile. As I had not owned a Spencer beforehand I thought that this one would be an ideal purchase; as a Battery-Powered locomotive it would be able to have multiple types of playability, and it was a unique engine I had not had before. Unfortunately, this product is lacking in several areas which makes it an unpleasant deal in hindsight compared to other options. At first, the model appears to be built rather well; the construction appears durable and solid with a metal body and metal components in the chassis - making for one solid and hefty locomotive that should grip the rails well. The drive mechanism pulls well and the push-button operation on the roof is very simple and easy to operate. The tender is a standard one from the main-range Spencer, and is detailed fairly well; the paintwork is also nicely applied to both locomotive and tender. However, the locomotive falls flat in several key areas. Firstly, the use of a standardized battery-operated chassis hinders this locomotive in terms of appearance; Spencer appears squashed and very disproportionate to how he should look. Spencer should be bigger than Thomas, not the same size as him; though the looks attempt to recreate his sleek shape he looks more boxy and square than sleek and streamlined. The face is well-done on Spencer, which is always important, but the rest of his body is misshapen to accommodate the standardized chassis. Even more unfortunately, when operating my Spencer I noticed the chassis has several limitations compared to older battery-operated models. Firstly, the freewheeling mechanism of older battery-operated engines has apparently been removed from the newer design of engines; both Spencer and my Battery-Operated Toby cannot freewheel and be pushed along when the power is off, and forcing this will undoubtedly result in a broken toy. Older models made by Learning Curve or TOMY have this feature intact; it seems that the Fisher-Price locomotives do not have this feature. Secondly, and more worryingly, the Spencer I purchased makes grinding noises when it runs; when picked up and running it is silent like Toby, but when on ground and running, the gears and mechanism are clearly heard and noise is very much present. Perhaps this was a poorly-built example; unfortunately it does not endear me to this product whatsoever. This is especially odd when compared to Toby, who runs almost sans-sound. Without any way to test the locomotives in-store one has no way of knowing whether their locomotive is good or bad; receipts should be retained in case of poor examples being bought. It should be noted however that this noise and the looks do not hinder Spencer's performance; he is a powerful performer and can operate well, running at a fairly decent pace and pulling weight very well. Trackwork must be carefully laid to prevent derailments, and sometimes he can derail on sharp 3.5" curves because of his size and weight, but overall this model can run well, vis a vis the aforementioned issues with size and noise. Ultimately, when examining this Spencer it seems that Fisher Price have dropped the ball in this case. The chassis results in a poor look, the mechanism is not built well on this particular example, and the overall presentation is not overly convincing as Spencer. Fans of Spencer or battery-operated engines should possibly look elsewhere for better examples of engines; the standard Spencer is a far better representation of the character in my eyes and makes me wish I had purchased it instead. As this was purchased at a discount to begin with this is not a good note to end on, but one that must be made nevertheless - there are far better engines to purchase for your collections than Spencer.