Thomas & Friends is really popular among young kids these days, so much so that I have heard parents saying it is the only thing that their child will play with. Walmart Canada has discounted this Thomas & Friends Coal Hopper Launcher complete with Thomas Engine from $16.67 down to $10 with free shipping.
This toy is for young children. Walmart suggests ages one to three but I could see it being fun for kids a bit older as well. The name of the game is 'let's launch Thomas' and you use the Coal Hopper to do so. Put Thomas under the coal hopper to prepare him for launch. Then press down on the coal hopper to launch Thomas away! The faster you push down on the coal hopper, the faster Thomas will go.
Price comparing was not exactly easy, as Toys R Us does not sell this toy and the re-sellers on Amazon are insane as they are asking over $40 including shipping. However, I did find the same toy at Sears Canada for $16.99 plus a minimum $4.95 shipping or handling depending on whether you get the toy shipped to you or to your local store. As Walmart offers free shipping and has such a good deal on the set, I doubt you will find it cheaper anywhere else.
If you are looking for other Thomas themed toys on clearance, there are a few! The Thomas & Friends - Action Trackswas $24.97 and is now $15. Action tracks are like an obstacle course for Thomas where you have to hit certain buttons and leavers to keep Thomas on his way.
My First Thomas & Friends Surprise Delivery Thomas is an interactive larger Thomas train where you help Thomas deliver ice cream, fireworks, and more. Originally $29.94, this Thomas is on sale for $20.
Lastly, the Thomas and Friends Twist N Tumble Cargo set looks wicked awesome. Unlike the previous sets, this one comes with a Dart Die-Cast Engine, Cargo Car, and Iron Cargo. It can also be connected with other play sets. Originally $39.97, the tumble cargo set is on sale for $30.
Thomas was on television when I was young, so I find it amazing that the little engine and all his friends has remained relevant to kids so many years later. I guess trains are just that cool.