There have been several Thomas and Friends magazines printed around the world from 1987 onwards. There are many characters and stories exclusive to these magazines. Originally, they were published by Marvel Comics, who are more widely known for their superhero characters. However in 1999, by Issue #305, Marvel quietly discontinued them and Egmont took over in publishing Thomas magazines as they still do today.
Early 1990s magazine stories
During the early 1990s, there were seasonal magazines released during the spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The stories are listed below:
- A Special Treat for Thomas - Thomas gets far too much work.
- Keeping Time - The Fat Controller is cross with Thomas for being late.
- BoCo and the Trucks - The trucks cause havoc for BoCo.
- Thomas and Trevor - Trevor wants a new coat of paint.
- Daisy in Distress - Daisy learns that trucks are really useful.
- Runaway Trucks - Percy and Edward have a race to the harbour.
- Thomas, Daisy and the Watermill - A power cut puts an old watermill back in action.
- Trevor's Big Day - The Sodor Museum faces closure.
- Percy and Terence - Gordon teases Percy for being small.
- Stick with Steam - The steam engines and Diesels have an argument.
- Henry Goes Round - Henry goes for a spin on the turntable.
- Percy's Plight - Percy's brakes malfunction.
- The Lighthouse Light - Thomas collects a new light bulb.
- Picnic Surprise - Thomas takes children to the seaside.
- Thomas Blew his Whistle - Thomas helps out at the farm.
- Lost and Found - A present for Lady Hatt is missing.
- A Job for James - James boasts about taking passengers.
- Lazy Wheels - Some faulty points delay Thomas and James.
- Toby's Visitors - Daisy brings Toby's visitors to the quarry.
- Railway Open Day - The public gets to see the Fat Controller's engines.
- Percy's Spooky Tooth - Percy thinks that there is a ghost in the yard.
- Harold and the Broken Tree - Harold proves his worth to Henry.
- So Much to See - The engines find some new attractions for the Island.
- Squeaky Wheels - Duck's wheels need some oil.
- Thomas and the New Wheel - One of Thomas' wheels gets damaged.
- Behind Schedule - A troublesome goat delays Thomas and Percy.
- Thomas and the Pigeon - Thomas sees a pigeon race.
- Looking Splendid - James and Gordon boast that they are more splendid than Thomas.
Late 1990s Layout
During the late 1990s, the magazines were given a new layout:
- 1) 5-page story (may feature character[s] on the front cover)
- 2) 2-page story (with two illustrations)
- 3) "Read-and Colour" story
- 4a) "All About..." (character profile, plus a competition for an ERTL model)
- 4b) Story from the television series, plus competition for an ERTL model.
- 5) 3-page story featuring Stephen Hatt and Bridget Hatt as the main characters. These were a spin-off called "The Hatt Family".
- 6) 5-page story (may feature the character[s] on the front cover)
The Hatt Family
- Toy Trains - When the Fat Controller flies aboard Harold to redraw the railway map, Stephen and Bridget see the engines from a different point of view.
- Doctors and Nurses - Some naughty trucks cause trouble for James.
- The Flower Dome - James' old dome is put to good use.
- The Daisy Chain - After shopping with Lady Hatt, Stephen, and Bridget see Thomas and decide that he deserves a present too.
- Retirement Time - Henry's driver is retiring from the Fat Controller's railway.
- The Brown Bear - Thomas jumps to the conclusion that Stephen and Bridget have the big brown bear with them.
- Daisy and the Fish - Stephen and Bridget go to the harbour.
- Harvest Time - Trevor helps out with the harvest.
- Dressing Up - Are the Fat Controller and the stationmaster really leaving?
- The Christmas Sacks - Thomas and Percy want presents in their coal sacks, but Diesel thinks they are silly.
- Lights On - Stephen and Bridget learn about a variety of lights.
- A Hole in One - The Fat Controller proves that he is good at golf.
- Trusty Thomas - Thomas thinks Stephen and Bridget are not his friends anymore.
- The Easter Cake! - Lady Hatt needs to bake a cake for the annual engine crew's meeting.
- A Friend's Party - The Fat Controller's afternoon off does not go according to plan.
- Keeping Dry - Heavy rain gets the better of Thomas as well as the Hatt family.
- Misbehaving - Some trucks make Stephen and Bridget cross.
- Puzzles - Stephen and Bridget's visit to the workshops gives them a surprise.
- Station Mystery - The Fat Controller is upset.
Late 1990s/early 2000s magazine stories
The stories in the magazines often feature characters exclusively found in the magazines. Some examples are:
- An Old Friend - Annie and Clarabel are upset that one of their friends is going to be scrapped.
- Special Bus Service - A big red bus boasts that he is better than Bertie.
- The Best Bus - Thomas and Bertie meet a new face to the roads.
- The Cloud Factory! - Gordon calls Percy small.
- The Dodgems - Percy takes the dodgems to the funfair.
- The Magic Spell - Skarloey thinks BoCo's story about wizards is true.
- Think Pink - After Thomas gets a new coat of paint, the trucks want a new coat too. So the Fat Controller indulges one of them.
- Thomas and the Tram Car - Thomas tries to put a horse and a tramcar to good use.
- Clever Carriages - Annie and Clarabel decide what to do with a vandalised station.
- The Unlucky Engine - Bad luck strikes when 13 comes to help Donald and Douglas.
- The Posh Coaches - Some stubborn coaches come to Sodor.
There are also other stories which did not introduce characters:
- The Great Air Race - Harold and Tiger Moth have a race.
- Size Wise - James teases Skarloey for being small.
- Oliver's Mistake - Oliver thinks he saw giraffes at the Docks.
- Double Trouble - Donald and Douglas fall out.
- Bulgy's Dream - Bulgy is smiling whilst asleep.
- Night Lights - Thomas takes children on a night train.
- April Fools - Bill and Ben play tricks on the other engines.
- Keeping Dry - BoCo stays in the shed.
- The Flower Train - Sir Handel teases James for taking flowers to market.
- Showing Off - Diesel wants to do the demonstration all by himself.
- Silly Skarloey - Skarloey proves that he is not a silly little engine.
- Rock 'n' Roll Rescue - Duncan's carelessness proves to be useful.
- The Cliff Railway - The Skarloey engines are worried about a new section of line.
- Grumpy George - George flattens and smashes things.
- Trevor's Dream - Trevor takes part in a village fête.
- The Colourful Engine - Skarloey gets covered in splashes of paint.
- The Great Statue Robbery - Some crooks steal Thomas and his train.
- The Great Race - Toad wants to carry passengers.
- Who's There? - Peter Sam thinks that there is another engine somewhere in the fog.
- Special Passengers - James gets so conceited that he tells Oliver, Duck, and Thomas to stay away from him.
- Sodor Rock - Gordon gets a surprise when he arrives at the quarry.
- The Flying Broomstick - Halloween comes to Sodor.
- Skarloey and Santa - Sir Handel does not believe in Santa.
- The UFO - Percy is unsure about what he saw in the sky.
- The Trainspotters - Percy takes two children to the airfield.
- Thomas the Magician - Thomas gets worried when his trucks and the Breakdown Train disappear.
- A Grumpy Christmas - George causes havoc whilst on the snowy roads.
- Rusty and the Cheeky Boys - Rusty gets teased by some schoolboys.
- That Caps it All - Gordon's guard has a problem with his cap.
- James and Edward - James does not like working in the rain.
- The Strongest - Gordon tries to do what George can do.
- Twin Trouble - Both pairs of twin engines finally meet each other.
- The Smugglers - Duck is puzzled about a boat covered in leaves.
- I Spy with my Little Eye - There is more play and less work amongst the engines.
- James and the Cheese - James is less than impressed to be taking cheese to market.
- Whirly and Windy - Oliver gets too hot.
- The Balloon Race - The Wellsworth Cub Scouts have a balloon race.
- A Puzzle for Percy - Percy has a top-secret job.
- The Greenhouse Bus! - Bulgy is tired of being a henhouse.
- James' Hotel! - James breaks down outside a hotel.
- The Runaway Percy - Percy is afraid of being scrapped.
- The Scarecrow Competition! - A farmer needs help.
- Duck meets Duck - Duck has a duck for a friend.
- Rhyming Engines - Rhymes are made amongst the engines.
- Tunnel Trouble - S.C. Ruffey pretends to be ill.
- Trevor's Present - Thomas discovers that Trevor is lonely.
- Special Places - Thomas helps the other engines feel special.
- Pink Cows - Percy thinks that strawberry milk comes from pink cows.
- Flag Day - Thomas and Bertie have a race with a difference.
- Percy and the Trucks - Percy learns the hard way not to listen to Diesel.
- Bulstrode the Engine - Bulstrode's dream to take passengers comes true.
- There and Back - Thomas breaks down at the starting line.
- Special Treats - The engines learn what "special treats" really means.
- The Mystery Tour - Bertie goes the wrong way.
- The Blue Engine Club - Thomas, Edward, and Gordon form their own club.
- Percy's Stories - Percy tells very silly stories to the other engines.
- The Camel Train - Percy breaks a siderod whilst pulling camels, but the camels get the job done.
- What to Do? - A message for Gordon gets mixed up.
- Sea Sick - James goes to the Mainland by boat.
Fun to Learn with Thomas the Tank Engine
There was also a magazine series called "Fun to Learn with Thomas the Tank Engine". They had stories, mathematics, picture questions, and poems, as well as pictures from the television series. These magazines were originally published by Redan.
- The Best Engine - The engines argue about their ranking on the railway.
- Percy's House - Percy gets the goods trains whilst James takes the passengers.
- Dirty Coaches -
- Diesel Becomes a Coach - Diesel's breakdown makes him part of Thomas' train of coaches.
- Diesel Causes Delay - Diesel puts the trucks in the wrong places.
- Diesel's Nasty Turn - Diesel thinks that only steam engines are careless with the turntable.
- The Lost Parcel - A parcel amongst Percy's post train goes missing.
- Diesel and the Trucks -
- James and the Tunnel -
- The Big Ship - The engines have a very busy Sunday.
- Duncan Has a Spill - Duncan ignores Duke's warnings.
- The Very Important Job - Donald and Douglas play a trick on James.
- Gordon and Edward - Gordon learns that Edward is really useful.
- Thomas and the New Bridge - The old iron bridge is too weak to take Thomas' weight.
- Too Much Luggage - Thomas' guard has a very busy time at the station.
- Henry's Secret - Henry refuses to leave the shed.
- Edward's Scarecrow - Edward gets a scarecrow.
- Henry's Busy Day -
- What Is a Name? -
- Terence Helps Trevor -
- Engine Colors -
- Percy's Accident -
- James Needs a Push -
- Chilly Diesel -
- Is Thomas Rescued? -
- A Hot Day for Toby -
- Duncan Gets Upset -
- Ben in the Station -
- James Bumps His Trucks -
- Timetable Trouble - Gordon decides to work without a timetable.
- Percy Saves the Day - Percy proves his worth to Diesel.
- Bricks and Tunnels - James delivers bricks to an old tunnel.
- The Old Bridge - Thomas and Gordon get covered in brick dust from an old bridge.
- Tired Engines - The engines complain about how tired they are.
- Gordon the Town Engine - Gordon gets a surprise on his journey.
- How Does Percy Work? - Bertie wants to know how Percy works.
- "Numbers" - Troublesome Trucks
- "Houses and Homes" - Edward
- "Turntables" - Sir Handel
- "Annie and Clarabel" - Annie and Clarabel
- "Passengers" - Donald and Douglas
- "Harbours" - James and Henry
- "Pulling and Pushing" - Culdee
My First Thomas
Aside from the fortnightly Thomas and Friends UK magazine, the Play and Learn magazine, and the Express Special magazine, for a short while, My First Thomas magazines were published fortnightly. They contained rhymes and simple illustrations and stories.
- Welcome page with map showing a different location on Sodor per issue
- All about... (character page)
- Activity page (drawing or colouring)
- Spotting/Spot the Differences
- Story from television stories
- 2-page Bedtime story
- 3-page story
- Jumble story
- Sodor Quiz
- Thomas World
- Annie and Clarabel's Old Friend
- Bennett and Co.
- Carols on Wheels
- Little Barford
- The Open-Topped Double-Decker Bus
- The Special Bus Service
- The Animal Sanctuary Coach
- The Ice-cream Van
- The Naughty Pink Truck
- The Old Tram Car
- The Posh Coaches
- The Station Coach
- The White Van
- Farmer Collett
Thomas magazines around the world
Egmont's Thomas and Friends magazine has been released in other European countries too.
The magazines are not just translated. The local editors choose what stories, posters, and games they want to put in them. The magazines are not released in the same order as in the UK.
The magazines are still available in: Czech Republic, Poland and other countries. However they were discontinued (along with the books collection) in: Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and maybe other countries too. In Romania the first issue was released in September 2008 and the last in December 2013.