ISO A Thomas the Tank Engine Cake
Anyone know where I can get one of these for my son's birthday? Does Loblaws or Metro have them? Know of any better places that would make one for us?
Bulk Barn will rent you a Thomas cake pan for DIY or you could trim a basic frosted sheet cake with Thomas decorations from Bulk Barn.
Any place doing a lot of children's cakes will work with you to make a great Thomas cake. I don't think Wilton has made the Thomas pans for a while, but sometimes you can find them on e-bay. We had a really nice one done last year - a large sheet decorated to look like a part of the Island of Sodor, with tracks piped on and then little plastic cake trains in Thomas characters (Thomas, James, Percy). It was made by Cristina's Cakes in Hamilton.
If you want a custom cake made, try The Cake Lady (http://www.thecakelady.ca). My usually very discerning friend had one made for an event and was amazed by the results. I saw the photos and was also impressed. I assume it would be a lot pricier than a grocery store cake, though, and you'd probably need to give a fair amount of notice. Also, be careful of the seizure-inducing website.
I don't know about Thomas in particular but Sobey's makes character cakes that are impressive-looking to kids. Just regular slab shape AFAIK, with garish icing and plastic toppers... but the overall effect gets the oohs and aaahs from the preschool set. Some of the princess toppers have mini lights in them.The cake itself is okay, grocery-store quality but not too sweet and no nasty "custard", which is what I dislike about the Costco cakes I've been served. The cakes are not particularly cheap considering the quality IMO.
I noticed recently that Select bakery on Donlands has a book of character cakes that look similar to the Sobey's cakes, so maybe the bakeries can buy copyrighted designs and toppers. Select's stuff is nothing special but maybe you'd have more options there, like a strawberry cake or something.
We got one for our son's birthday from Highland Farms in Mississauga. It's a basic slab cake with a toy Thomas train on top and the train tracks are drawn on top with icing.
I attached a couple of pics of it.