BigJigs Play Patrol Mission – BigJigs Rail ‘Signal Box’

For the first time Ethan wasn’t home when our BigJigs Play Patrol delivery arrived! I thought about not opening it but I was too excited to know what it was to wait – Thankfully the box was very well taped up so I was able to open it and re-stick it for Ethan when he got home.

The child is obsessed with opening post and whenever we get anything for him in the post his first guess is always a hopeful ‘BigJigs?!’ so this time, when I could say yes, he was very very excited, as you can see above.
It was quite funny, he spent a while looking at it without saying anything, which is very unlike him. Once he turned the box around and saw the picture of the ‘Signal Box’* in the context of a track it suddenly hit him as to what it was, as you can see in the above photo I actually managed to capture that moment of realisation in my picture. The amazing thing about the toy that we got for this mission is that it’s something he’s been asking for ever since we got the catalogue with our last package. He’s been obsessing over it, somewhat, so his excitement, once he realised what it was, was fantastic. 

Yup, that would be the aforementioned excitement. As you can see in the photos BigJigs have got a new style of packaging for their Rail range – The blue box makes a big change from the standard white and red. I quite like the blue, though, it’s a nice shade and it stands out really nicely (maybe that’s just because I’m not used to it, haha) – The photo on the back is really nice, as you can see it provides a great illustration for the child, when it comes to parts of a track a lot of them aren’t very distinctive without context so that photo can make the difference between a confused child and a very very excited child.
He actually sat and played with it like this, without a track and without any trains, for quite a while. His favourite piece, that he already has, is his level crossing and he’s a little enthusiastic about seeing real life level crossings, too, so all of the barriers on this one were bound to be a big hit with this boy – It has two red barriers which are to control the traffic flow of cars on the road way part and then there’s a smaller, yellow barrier which is to stop either one fork, or the other on the rail part. It’s a really nice feature that there’s just the one barrier for the rail part which moves in order to block which ever line the child chooses; it adds an extra element of interactivity and means they really have to think about where they want the trains to go.

You can also see, to the top of the signal box itself, there’s a cylindrical yellow part, this has the ability to twist – In the photo you can see that it’s turned to show a red train, for stop, and then it can be rotated to show the green train, to go. As always, there’s that element of learning within the BigJigs toys, teaching our little ones about road, and rail safety which really can’t be taught too early.

Ethan’s got so many pieces for his rail track now that it’s getting harder and harder to make a track that fits on the coffee table – It’d be nice to make it on the floor but he insists that it has to be on the table! This new piece is great for providing a central point to the track, as you can see in the track I made for him, once he decided he actually wanted to play with it properly, though as you can see I just didn’t have the space to connect the road way up – Maybe one day Ethan will let me make him a track on the floor and I’ll be able to make something big enough to encompass everything that he wants!
This was how Ethan left his trains as he went off to get a drink, he’s already got the hang of how it’s meant to work as the barrier in the signal box is down so that Salty can go past before Rusty pulls out – Clever boy!

You can see the attention to detail that, I’m sure, you’ll have come to expect of BigJigs if you’ve read any of my posts about them in the past. I love the foliage painted on the side, winding up the wall of the signal box as well as the little sign saying ‘Kingsmead Junction’; I’m planning on teaching Ethan the name so that he can narrate for his trains as he takes them around the track. He already makes up little stories for them so this can add to that as he can include the place names in his story.

It’s a really complicated piece but well thought out and gives a lot of scope for any track, and road way if you have that too – Though, of course, if you don’t have a road way it’s still perfectly usable as BigJigs have included two pieces to make ramps up and down for cars to use the crossing without the actual road pieces needing to be in place! I think this is my favourite of Ethan’s train set buildings, it’s just got so much going on and will make his tracks more exciting than ever (if you read my post about some of our favourite tracks HERE, you’ll see how much we enjoy making them) – Daddy Azii hasn’t made him a track with the Signal Box in it, yet, so I think that’ll be a job for the weekend as I think he’ll do a significantly better job than me, he’s got a real flair for wooden track building!

You can check out the wooden tracks, and lots of other ranges, on the BigJigs site HERE – There’s some really exciting new additions to lots of their lines.

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*This item was sent to me for the purpose of review, but everything I write about it is with total honesty* 

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