Wooden railway play roars into life with new Bigjigs Dinosaur Train Set

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When it comes to wooden train sets, all the main brands are looking for how they can offer something different that captures the imaginations of children. One of two new lines from Bigjigs in 2015 – The Dino Range – certainly does that. Having put the Bigjigs Dinosaur Train Set through its paces though, I’ve concluded this is a mid-range wooden railway set to genuinely consider whether your child is a dinosaur fan or not.

This review will look at the 49-piece Dinosaur Train Set but there are five other accessories available within the range. The range sees railways and dinosaurs collide in a volcano-covered prehistoric landscape.

Bigjigs Rail Dinosaur Train Set 2

I have to be honest upfront: before unpacking the train set, I’m finding it hard to suspend reality. Dinosaurs did not ride around on trains over volcanoes waving their tiny T-Rex hands at each other. But Bigjigs hasn’t launched this range for a thirty-something father. It has launched it to try and appeal to boys (predominantly I would expect) who love trains, love dinosaurs, love playing make-believe. As far as I can see, this is the most fantastical train set on the market.

Unpacking Bigjigs Dinosaur Train Set

Unpacking the box, the usual Bigjigs care has been taken over packing. For example, each of the wooden pieces is wrapped in individual pieces of paper.

Bigjigs is one of the best wooden train set suppliers when it comes to accessories and scenery. Even just a quick scan on Amazon shows this. In this set, this is through a number of beautifully made trees, six large and three small wooden dinosaurs, a pool of lava and a volcano that becomes a bridge and tunnel. The volcano is brilliantly decorated, with a dinosaur’s tail arching over the tunnel exit, the inside of the volcano painted orange for lava and a flow of lava from top to bottom where the pool of lava can be positioned.

Dinosaur Train Set Volcano

Building the railway track

Building the train track based on the instructions is easy and within the grasp of a five- or six-year old. There is only one thing that tripped me up and that was one of the five curves is tighter than the others – easy to spot when you know it’s there though.

This review continues below. The Bigjigs Dino Range is just one of the sets in the Wooden Train Set Guide

Top wooden train set guide ALSO READ

Looking at the train, the engine that looks like a dinosaur is great. However, the baby dinosaurs wriggle about on the carriages (well, baby dinos are unlikely to sit down like good children, are they?) a bit, and there are three babies and only two carriages (see what happens to the third in the YouTube video).

Getting under way

Pushing the train around the track, the ride is smooth and the bridge sturdy thanks to the grips inside the bridge supports. As mentioned, the track curves over the volcano, then drops down a double height bridge. It then turns to a set of points where the train can head back up to the top of the volcano or take another route that goes behind the volcano and comes back through from the far side. The way the volcano is built, it is easy for a toddler to push the train through the tunnel.  The only snag was that curves straight after the double height bridge caused the train to derail. Given that most children would have other wooden track already, this is easily solved.

What the kids think

Two kids – Zachary, 6.5, and Jacob, 2.5 –  were unleashed on the Bigjigs Dinosaur Train Set to see what they thought. You can see for yourself at the end of the YouTube video their initial reaction (it really is a must watch) but they were absolutely fine with it being a dinosaur train set. Once an extra train – the high speed Shinkansen (from Brio, cough) no less – was added, the boys played well with it together, making the most of two routes on the track. They had loads of fun with the double-height bridge.

“It’s brilliant. I like that there are two tracks and junctions so me and Jacob don’t crash. I love the volcano because you can go really fast down it. I also like the pillars as they hold the bridge up really well. It’s really clever for the train to go through the volcano. And I think it’s a really good dinosaur train and carriages as they are really good colours.”Zachary, 6

Over the course of the next week or so, they continued to play with the set and extended it with their own track to avoid derailment. I was impressed that the volcano and bridge arrangement didn’t need any sorting out despite a toddler knocking it about. The baby dinosaurs got plenty of rides but the rest of them and the trees became overlooked. That’s not that surprising though as my boys are so focussed on the trains and tracks.

The set then got an even better workout when it came on holiday with us to see the boys’ cousins. Once again the volcano stood up well to robust play of many more hands playing with it. We extended the tracks at the bottoms of the bridges and the boys loved rolling the trains down them.

More in the Bigjigs Dino Range

I’ve not seen any of the rest of the Bigjigs Dino Range myself. Judging by photos and online reviews where available, I think the Bronto Riser looks like a great twist on a simple bridge. While the Dino Crane looks amazing, there would only be one thing – the dinosaur eggs in a carriage that come with it – that we’d be able to lift. That is unless you have similar carriages in your collection already or bought the additional Dinosaur Train which has the same engine but different carriages to the one in the Bigjigs Dinosaur Train Set. The T-Rex Tunnel and especially the Ribcage Tunnel would be nice to haves for most kids: the exception being those who love dinosaurs as much as they love trains.

In summary: Bigjigs Dinosaur Train Set

Overall the Bigjigs Dinosaur Train Set and its companion pieces are an extremely fun extension of normal railway play. For those kids that love dinosaurs and have particularly creative minds this railway set is a must have. Comparing the Dinosaur Train Set (which costs £44.99) with other mid-range sets from Bigjigs, I also think it is worthwhile considering over the other more traditional ones. The Town & Country Train Set is a little more expensive and has a more simple bridge. The same is true of the Rural Rail and Road Set, which also has less track and more roadway.

Ultimately when I look at what the kids go to again and again once trains and train sets get bundled into one box it is the parts that turn a simple track into an interesting one. The volcano from the Bigjigs Dinosaur Train Set stands out as doing that here, making this a great set without putting yourself into the top tier (£80-110).

Bigjigs provided me with the Dinosaur Train Set for free to review. All opinions are my own or those of the kids. Certain links above take you to Amazon.co.uk should you wish to buy one of the products. I earn a small commission without any cost to you for my work if you use these links – which will be used to take two train-loving boys to Japan.

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What do you think your child would like best about the Dino Range from Bigjigs? Let us know below.

Thanks for reading. You may also like to read the Wooden Train Set Guide

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127 Comments on “Wooden railway play roars into life with new Bigjigs Dinosaur Train Set”

  1. Joanne Rice

    My son would have endless fun playing with this dinosaur track. I love the dinosaur mountain where trains can be pushed up and down. I also like the tunnel made of dinosaur bones. The track is exciting as it leads off in different directions and doesn’t just round in.a circle.

    1. TFK

      Thanks Joanne – I think it’s one of the coolest bridge/tunnel combos Bigjigs does. The ribcage is the cheapest add on.

  2. sophie taylor

    My little girl would love this she’s obsessed with trains we go to the train station at least once a day!!! And she just developed a new dinosaur interest after daddy let her watch the jarasic park… I love the volcano section cause they can be daring and go through or over

  3. Julie c

    It opens up a whole new world if imaginative play! Roaring the dinosaurs and going off to new lands

  4. anne Jenkins

    Its Colourful, imaginative, child friendly. My Nephew could play on his own or with others 10/10

  5. Danielle Graves

    my little boy loves dinosaurs and loves trains, the fact this combines the two he would think is awesome. also wooden toys are great and so robust and when your child is as boisterous as mine you need it

    1. TFK

      Danielle – thanks for the comments. Sounds like a perfect fit. I cannot guarantee the structural rigidity when jumped on from the dining room table!

  6. sandra ralph

    My grandson loves trains so he would love this set but what he would love most is the fact that it has dinosaurs with it as he is mad about dinosaurs . he would have hours of fun with this lot

  7. Simon

    Looks like a great set. Dinosaurs are always interesting for kids and combining them with trains is a sure fire winner. My son is just getting into trains and would love a set like this

  8. Rebecca Phillips

    oh my goodness, how amazing does this look!? my little boy is quite the typical boy and he is obsessed with both trains and dinosaurs. this is like his perfect toy! if i don’t win your fantabulous giveaway i may have to buy him this!

  9. Elizabeth Misselbrook

    Sophie would probably currently most enjoy pulling apart the track but she’s just started to really enjoy playing with her cousins’ train set so we are planning to get her one!

    1. TFK

      Thanks Elizabeth. That’s a great way to see if she likes trains. Bigjigs has a fairy train set if she’s a girly girl. Or brio, bigjigs or others have starter sets with foam bridges etc.

  10. Neil

    I think Sophie would enjoy the colourful Dino Train, she’s not yet developed a true taste to trains or dinosaurs so this could be the start of something imaginative.

    1. TFK

      Thanks Neil. You may be blessed and avoid having to build new train tracks each morning to trip over for the rest of the day!

  11. Anna Hibbert

    My son loves trains, I prefer the wooden to plastic , lovely and traditional and be hours of role play here, lovely set x

  12. Nicola Young

    My twins are dinosaur and trains crazy so this would be perfect for them! I just love them playing with wooden toys as they feel so timeless, the colourfulness of this set is just beautiful! I know that they would love to push the trains through the T-Rex tunnel (they are our favourite dinosaurs!) Such a lovely giveaway x

    1. TFK

      Train sets are a great way to learn sharing – whether with your twin or a friend. Good luck Nicola.

      (Just so people are clear the t-Rex, ribcage tunnel, etc at the bottom are extras and not in the main set – Ian)

  13. eloise mccarthy

    I think they would love the fact they can build the track however they like so its a different toy each day :) I also prefer wooden toys to plastic – they are more enduring and just look and feel nicer

    1. TFK

      We build a new track most days! Can be fun to do a new theme like the longest bridges from all our track. Thanks, Eloise. Ian

  14. melanie stirling

    I think Thomas and Honey would like the trains going the tunnels and seeing if there is dinosaur the other side! They both love trains and dinosaurs so this is a great set!

  15. Jo Boyd

    Chunky and colourful, but most importantly it’s got dinosaurs – going through the anything related to dinosaurs phase!

    1. TFK

      Thanks Jo. All the dinosaurs are really recognisable. Don’t ask me to name them though – not my forte!

  16. Louise Doyle

    My little girl would be obsessed with this, she absolutely loves dinosaurs and is forever pushing them around the living room floor, what other better way than to have a train carry them around on a mini adventure, Also love how easy this looks to assemble which means less impatience from my little girl and also less of mummy pulling her own hair out :)

    1. TFK

      Yes, I couldn’t help myself have the mini adventure with the lost baby dino in the video. The child in me. I think for the younger ones the stability of the volcano is perfect. Trust me – Jacob is willing to throw anything across the room that doesn’t work properly (the ipad generation in a nutshell at two-and-a-half). But yes easy to assemble – even I did it…

  17. Liam payne

    Me,and my wife have toddlers,and run an after school club this is an amazing set not only helping to teach them about the world.
    There creative play will be wild with this,and really help to develop there skills while having bundles of fun.
    It really looks like an amazing train set one Idk if the children would have more fun or me!!!
    Trains and dinosaurs!!! Perfect combo what’s not to love.
    Great concept I can see all the parents from nursery asking about this one.
    Bookmarked
    twitter competition brought me here

    1. TFK

      Thanks Liam. I’ve got lots of ideas to keep improving things for the kids on the site so stay tuned! Yes, the set is a great combo. Thanks for spreading the word and good luck in the comp.

  18. Sarah Sims

    My nephew is dinosaur mad – and I’m sure he’d roar with excitement seeing trains & dinosaurs combined!

  19. Carly Wopling

    Wow this is awesome!!!! Dino action and train combo what more could any little want!! My little man (and big man) would absolutely love this especially as you can go over and through it, great for imagination and fab colours. Hours of fun to be had.

  20. stacy sorrell

    This looks amazing, not sure who would love plying more, my hubby, or our little one, i love the details in the painting, such as the larva running down the volcano. Perfect for big adventures & big imaginations! good luck everyone xx

    1. TFK

      Thanks Stacy – especially for your best wishes to all. It is a beautifully detailed set – whoever wins will be a very lucky little one.

  21. Lynsey ward

    My daughter loves dinosaurs so I think this set would really appeal to her. It’s looks very detailed which adds to its appeal. Lovely set.

  22. louise worsell

    It’s a very imaginative concept to have trains and dinosaurs within the same game, but it works in my eyes.
    My grandchildren would love this, even the girls they are mad about trains and dinosaurs alike, well done the review is fantastic x

    1. TFK

      Thanks for the kind words on the view. I was sceptical dinos and trains but kids, others on here and twitter and now me are convinced. Cool concept. And loads of girls love train sets – great toys to share.

  23. Victoria La Mon

    My 2 year old is train & dinosaur mad so a combination of the two would be heaven for him, he is particularly interested in train bridges so I think he would really love pushing the trains under and over the volcano. Wooden train sets are sooo much nicer and tactile than the plastic sets ☺

  24. Mel brolly

    My son has one set that’s he’s played with for last two years. Would be fab to win a new set for him. This one looks amazing

  25. Jo carter

    My grandson would amuse himself for hours playing with this he absolutely loves dinosaurs and will love the colours

  26. Cathy Prescott

    my son Toby would love these as dinosaurs and trains are his favourite toys, this would be perfect being wooden as him being 3 years old enjoys to play with these types of toys.

  27. Jo carter

    My grandson would absolutely adore this, his 2 loves (apart from food!) are dinosaurs and trains, he would make hours of fun with this, it’s so colourful and has aspects to it that his other train sets does not have, the volcano is fantastic and all the little details just add for more of his inquisitive imagination

    1. TFK

      That’s my favourite too. Watch out for our next review – it’s a very cool US product that joins lego and wooden railways to make great bridges and tunnels. Ian

  28. jules eley

    I think my son would most like the hill part and the colour detail, he adores trains always has and most probably always will.

  29. Kayleigh-Anne Watkins

    My daughter Megan whos 3 on the 14th august would love this as she loves trains and dinosaurs, shes told me when shes a grown up shes going to be a tooth fairy or a dinosaur :-) bless her xxx

  30. Hayley Todd

    My little girl would absolutely love this! She is obsessed with dinosaurs and after our visit to The Natural History Museum has decided she wants to be a ‘dinosaur investigator’!

    1. TFK

      Great Hayley. Hope she’s the first to uncover dinosaur bones next to an old chassis of a train engine!

  31. Joanne

    Dinosaurs and trains!! My little one (3) immediately commented on the trains that could carry dinosaurs, so that would be loved. I know from experience that sturdy track supports make for much happier playtime too!

  32. Evette Williams

    I’m entering for my little disabled adopted brother in law aged 6. He is in a wheelchair but could have hours of fun with this train set at a table. Just perfect to keep him occupied.

    1. TFK

      Hi Evette. It’s great you’re entering on his behalf. Best of luck in the comp. Wooden trains are brilliant for occupying kids.

  33. Sue Carter

    I would love this for my grandson. He’s still a little young for it yet but his dad loves both dinosaurs and trains so would have great fun helping him!

    1. TFK

      You’re never too young to chew on a piece of wooden railway track! Good luck – if you win it would last ages. Ian

  34. Michelle Murphy

    I would be absolutely thrilled to win this for my 3 year old little boy. He adores train sets and dinosaurs, so this set is the perfect combination. Thanks so much for the chance. Fingers are firmly crossed :)

  35. andy collard

    my little one would love this , i can see him singing “roar” whilst pushing the train through the jungle !!!

    1. TFK

      Thanks Andy. We got a lot of roaring with this from the boys. That and weeeees down the bridges. I guess dinosaurs went weeeeed too.

  36. Danielle

    If I were going to sum up my son’s top 10 favourite things in the world it would be:

    1. TRAINS, TRAINS, TRAINS – any type of train – steamies, electric ones, diesels, miniature ones, broken ones…. he is OBSESSED!

    2. Dogs (we have 2 cats)

    3. Volcanoes (or whirlpools) – basically any “cool” natural occurrence that is big or “maffsive”

    4. Steam Rollers – they flatten stuff, that is “cool”

    5. Ice cream – specifically mint choc chip

    6. Did I mention trains?? Okay the Bluebell Railway – literally THE best place in the world for my little man.

    7. Watching reviews of toys (train ones obvs) on youtube – even if they are in Japanese.

    8. Prawns – favoruite food as of today (who knows about tomorrow)

    9. Mummy

    10. Daddy

    I think it’s fair to say that this toy would tick most of the boxes on his list – he could add the ice-cream, wooden bluebell train and dogs to make it perfect!

    1. TFK

      Phew, I am glad that Mummy and Daddy sneaked in at the end. Thank you Danielle for the funniest comment so far! I’m sure it will resonate for many of us on here. I wake many mornings to youtube videos of surprise eggs being opened by Thomas. Steamrollers and prawns have not hit our household yet. Still time.

  37. Caroline MacKinnon

    I think my grandsons and nephews would love due to the creativity opportunity.no longer does a train set have little box wagons,these are inventive and allow a child’s imagination to develop as they do.Great opportunity.

    1. TFK

      Absolutely Caroline – fertile little minds as happy with high speed trains as ones that look like dinosaurs! Good luck

  38. Jane Henshaw

    My neice loves trains and would play with this indefinately. She would enjoy playing with the dinosaurs whom I think would have to get used to being amongst her Anna, Elsa and Olaf Frozen figures but I’m sure they would all play nicely!

  39. Kersti

    My little girls would love this – they practically fell over themselves to scream “choo choo” and “roar” at the top of their lungs when they saw the pic. Definitely on our wishlist!

    1. TFK

      Brilliant Kersti – you should see my two boyss’ reaction in the vid if you haven’t already. Class. Best of luck in the comp.

  40. Joanne O'Neill

    My girls would just love this. The little one would love the bright colours and mu eldest would love all the little details. And both of course making dinosaur noises! Fab set

    1. TFK

      It is really great detail on the set – especially the volcano, trees and dinosaurs. I like brio a lot but bigjigs pips them on the accessories in my opinion.

  41. Mari

    My two would love this. My little boy is train mad and my little girl also really likes playing with the train set too. They also both love dinosaurs so this set is a definite win win!

  42. Kimberly goldsmith

    I think this is fantastic trains and dinosaurs are a brilliant combination, my little boy would love it and have hours of fun x

    1. TFK

      I was concerned at first – but the boys and a lot of parents love the idea. Good luck in the comp for your little boy, Kimberley.

  43. Nic

    My girls love playing trains and a Dino themed train set would really offer a change to their ‘pink’ toys. It is a toy they can play with together, using their imagination to make up stories about the friendly dinosaurs and their life on the Dino express. Lots of bright colours and chunky pieces for my youngest (18 months) and a world of adventure for my oldest (4 years). Love it!

    1. TFK

      Dinosaurs ate pink fairies – FACT. Your two have a similar age gap as mine and they are forever playing together with their wooden train sets. Great way to bond.

  44. Dawn Harrison

    My son loves trains and dinosaurs – its the perfect combination for him!! He loves the tunnel and bridges on his train set so would think the dinosaur bridge is AWESOME!!☺

    1. TFK

      Sounds perfect. The volcano in the set is a bridge and tunnel = very cool. Well not cool, because it’s a volcano. The bronto bridge is an add on in the set.

  45. David Porter

    My little boy would love the dinosaur railway – it combines learning and creativity with the sheer fun of romping around and roaring with such a great set

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