The adorably designed Phonics Railroad captivates young learners with motion, lights, color, and lots of sound effects. Whistling and blowing its stack, it makes quick circuits around the track, controlled by command buttons that light up when pressed. But its educational functions require the included set of "smart" alphabet blocks. Five of the blocks’ sides show a letter and matching illustration. When placed face down in the coal-carrying car, the train says the letter’s name out loud, its phonetic sound, and a word for the illustration. The sixth block face is an icon that commands one of three familiar songs, or an instrumental. A bridge, train station, and wrecking ball give kids more to do with the blocks (like storing, knocking down, or putting words together) when they aren’t listening to them. Requires four "AA" batteries (not included).