As an answer to your question, segambit, I too would recommend the current Cargo Train. It looks like a wonderful set and seeing as its R/C should be easy for a kid to handle. Besides, it would be a great thing to start with, whereas a Harry Potter set would require searching for the set itself on eBay and then potentially motorising it - and I don't think your son would enjoy a train which can't actually "run".
Now, I was planning on starting a new thread for this, but I might as well use this one for my question, I hope you won't mind it, segambit...
I own the BNSF and the Santa Fe and I'm also planning on purchasing the Emerald Night soon(ish). I've also got a nice 9V track which I'm planning on expanding - that said, I will slowly start incorporating PF elements into it. What has really got me thinking lately is the following question:
Which one do you guys think is the better Train set,
10173 Holiday Train
10183 Factory Hobby Trains
I personally can't seem to be able to make up my mind. First off, I'm put off by the price of the Holiday Train on Bricklink, where it costs more
than the Hobby Trains, even though it has less bricks and doesn't seem to be so "usable" in AFOLs terms. Its design is more child-like and I probably won't be keeping it in its original form. That said, I do however want to use some train for my Christmas layout - we're going to try and "modularize" our Toy Store a little bit, add a few more buildings and a train - but the BNSF and the Santa Fe just look too big for that kind of scale. I think the Holiday Train would fit in perfectly there, but I still don't think it's worth in excess of $140.
On the other hand, the Factory Hobby Train has a very limited colour
selection and that's the only thing that really bothers me. I was planning on using this set to create a tram for our city, but I'm not too keen on having a black-and-red tram. I am however far from being a train pro and the MOCs I'd build out of the Hobby Trains set would be my first ever train MOCs, so that could be a very useful set to actually start off with... I'm not too sure if I can come up with a plausible Holiday Train out of that though, seeing as it lacks appropriately coloured elements. The good news is that the Hobby Trains set costs a bit less on Bricklink and commands a price which I find justifiable.
So what do you guys think - which of these two sets is more worth it? Oh, and if anyone has a 10173 or 10183 for sale, let me know ;)