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My son loves trains.


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#1 segambit

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 01:39 PM

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Well my 3.5 old son is still a bit young for Lego. He loves Thomas the Tank Train.

However friday we went to the store and he picked a Lego set. He told me he liked the big train cargo set, but since i didnt know if he would play with it (it was expensive) we did buy a city corner kit. He loves it, we build it together and had alot of fun.

Since he likes train and now Lego i figure next thing to do is buy a train+railtrack. However, i have no clue on what to buy. I dont like to have any motors at all, since i think kids should move when they play ;)

Emerald Night looks great, but the big question is if there will be more trains in this serie? For the same money i can get the cargotrain kit.

The set we did look at was 7898. Here in Sweden it costs about 160-180 Dollar.
But i did also notice that this kit has a motor, something i would not use (Does it work good without motor, to play with?)

Edited by TheBrickster, 02 November 2009 - 03:18 PM.


#2 Duq

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 01:56 PM

At 3,5 years old I would say your son is too young for the Emerald Night. I built it with my 7 year old son and it was tough on him.
The 7898 is a great set for playability as it comes with freight and a forklift. If you don't want to use the motor I think it'll be a bit heavy to push; you'd need to get a few extra parts to build a second bogie without a motor. You can probably get them from the Pick a Brick section on the Lego online shop.
The 7898 and 7897 trains use an Infra Red control system that will probably be replaced next year, but that should not be too much of a worry for you if you don't use the motor.
Lego have said that there will be no extra carriages for the Emerald Night (look for the Jamie Berard interview elsewhere in this forum) but there will be new Lego trains later, probably next year.
I don't know how much Lego is available on eBay in Sweden but you could have a look for 10173, the Holiday train or 4758, the Hogwarts Express as both are trains without a motor. They don't come with a track so you'd have to buy that separately.

Good luck!
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#3 TheBrickster

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 03:11 PM

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Segambit:

I would strongly recommend Cargo Train Deluxe.  It's a great starter set; although a little pricey, but has very useful pieces (like plates , wheels, buffers, and track) for future use.  It's battery powered, so you would not need to worry about electricity.  The R/C unit also has a neat horn that I'm sure your child would love, plus lights on the engine.  Down the road, you could create a Thomas Train of your own with some extra bricks.

I think the Emerald is definately a little too advanced for a child/beginner.

Here's a brief article that you might find useful:

The Enjoyment of Lego Trains, For the Town Fan Who Doesn't Own a Train

As well as some train building tips from some of our experts (although more intended for you as the beginner)

Project Train Start

Good luck, and please let us know what you decide on.

#4 MetroiD

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 01:11 PM

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
or
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 ;)
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#5 Cwetqo

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:33 PM

Maybe this will help you:

Holiday train made out of Hobby Train:

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Or my WW train:

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I think that for MOC building 10183 is better choice, because you can learn a lot thru assemby of "official" models. And you can allways buy parts in other colours from Bricklink (you will have to do this in any case if you will want to build serious train)

Edited by Cwetqo, 03 November 2009 - 02:52 PM.


#6 MetroiD

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 03:47 PM

Thanks ever so much Cwetqo, that's wonderful help indeed! Think I'll be going for the Hobby Trains set after all...
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#7 Cwetqo

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 04:24 PM

No problem!

I bought my trains in the following order:

-4558 Metroliner (gift from my wife)
-10183 Hobby train
-lots of parts from bricklink which enabled me to have several 10183 models assembled at the same time.
-4564 Cargo Train
-4558 Metroliner (another one for bargain price)
-10194 Emerald Night
-10020 Santa Fe Super Chief

#8 aawsum

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 04:53 PM

If it still is available, and you definitely do not want a motorised set, the Holiday train (10173) is a very nice set. It comes with some wagons, a lot of minifigures and extra items. It is really a nice set, also for playability (and especially with christmas coming :classic:
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#9 MetroiD

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:05 PM

Thanks aawsum, I'm aware of the Holiday Train's contents and I know very well that it's a wonderful set :) If it were available, I would have picked it up by now, but unfortunately it's long been cancelled. I don't see a point in purchasing motorised (i.e. most official city-line) sets since they are way overpriced and I prefer picking up my 9V motors over eBay or BrickLink; besides most of those are too kids-oriented.
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#10 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:16 PM

My three year old loves to play with my trains, but he's far too young for most motorized sets.  He doesn't understand the concept of something moving too fast, and when I've let him play with my 9v equipment, he's always just cranked it up to 100% and it flies off the track in corners.

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My son loves Thomas the Tank Engine, and has a rather large collection of LEGO Thomas Duplo sets.  But I let him play in my LEGO room with a loop of track I've set up for him.  I give him my unpowered BNSF locomotive (which he calls "Daddy's Orange Train") and some cars and he has a blast (don't let the 9v regulator deceive you - there's no motor on that train).

In fact, the only motorized train my son can play with without much supervision is my massive 10-wide Allegheny steam engine.  Because I've geared it the way I have, it goes far too slowly to ever derail, and I give my son the standard, non-train, power functions remote to control it so that it only has three settings - forward, backwards and off.  He doesn't have to worry about increasing the speed incrementally, and if he gets distracted and walks away the train stops, saving battery life.

Given that the cargo train cannot be used as a non powered train without buying extra parts, and the locomotive's base comes with a non-removable section of a battery box and a IR receiver, I recommend the Emerald Night.  It's a fun push train and watching the pistons move is a lot more fun, in my opinion, than any diesel or electric locomotive.

To the question of Hobby Train vs. Holiday train - I would choose both (I did!), but if I were forced to make a decision between the two I say Hobby train all the way.  The small black steam locomotive designed by Ben Beneke is much better than the Holiday Train's locomotive, and the passenger car in the Holiday Train set looks strange to me with the 1x2x3 white slopes.  The Hobby Train has a lot more useful parts, but it doesn't come with figs or accessories.

Of course I solved the problem long ago by building a Polar Express, which I most biasedly find to be a better Christmas train, anyway.   :laugh:  

--Tony

Edited by SavaTheAggie, 03 November 2009 - 09:21 PM.

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#11 Duq

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:18 PM

Guards! Guards! Remove these topic-hijackers please!
I've got CDO. It's like OCD, but with the letters in alphabetical order. As they should be!

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#12 segambit

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 10:26 AM

View PostDuq, on Nov 3 2009, 10:18 PM, said:

Guards! Guards! Remove these topic-hijackers please!

No guards please ;)

Great posts and great advices!

#13 MetroiD

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 10:37 AM

Thanks Tony, helpful as ever :))) Duq, don't worry, I'm not going to continue this any longer, I hereby peacefully give up my attempts of hijacking this thread :P

View PostSavaTheAggie, on Nov 3 2009, 10:16 PM, said:

Of course I solved the problem long ago by building a Polar Express, which I most biasedly find to be a better Christmas train, anyway.   :laugh:

Btw, I am soooo going to copy that :wink: (as an idea of course, not the train design itself... although I must admit, the cars are very Christmasy...)
P.S.: And yes, of course, it is the best Christmas train I personally have ever seen - in fact, it was probably your first MOC I ever saw ;]

Edited by TheOtters, 04 November 2009 - 10:38 AM.

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#14 Helmantel

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 11:19 AM

View Postsegambit, on Nov 4 2009, 11:26 AM, said:

No guards please ;)

Great posts and great advices!

I agree that kids should move around, but so should trains :) The cargo train looks really nice and although it may not be intended for 3,5 year old children, I don't think that's a big problem if he's enthousiastic about it.

I also understand though that you prefer a non-motorized train at this age. Replacing the motor with wheels and some other parts is entirely possible, but a bit of a hassle to order separately. Also, your son may be a bit upset if you take out the most interesting parts and hand him a separate bag with wheels (although you can probably find a way so that he doesn't even notice :))

Maybe the Holiday train #10173 is a better option. It looks like a fun train for young kids, has no motor and you can just hand him the box and let him play with it. It's not available anymore, but you can find several new ones on www.bricklink.com from $120 (probably cheaper used on Ebay), which is a bit cheaper than the cargo train. It doesn't come with track though, so with two boxes of those to make an oval and shipping cost added, you probably didn't gain anything. Also, motorizing it later on won't be easy. There are basically two options: using the old 9V system that Lego stopped producing (although you can find used track and motors rather easily) or using the new Power Functions system, which Lego is going to introduce next year (at least that's what they say, so nobody knows all the details yet).

Maybe it's easiest to buy the cargo train after all. Or wait until he's five and play with the yellow bus in the mean while :)

#15 segambit

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 11:57 AM

I'm sure he got no problem with the motor really. He is very careful with his toys, and i play alot with him.

I found the following used old stuff on auction in my country:
4551
10022
10205
4560
4511

Not sure what once to bid for. 10205 looks nice.

#16 MetroiD

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 12:18 PM

The 4551 (Classic Town Crocodile Loc) and 10105 (My Own Train Black Engine) are both are very nice models which are very MOCcable, on the one hand, but should also appeal to your kid. However, if you go for one of those, you'd need to buy rails, 9V motor, etc. separately, which could prove to be a bit of a bother, especially if you want to run the train straight out of the box. Now if your child enjoys "fast" trains, you should probably go for 4511 with its biggest advantage over 4560 being the fact that it comes with a speed regulator and transformer and so is absolutely ready to run.
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#17 Duq

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 02:43 PM

"segambit" said:

I found the following used old stuff on auction in my country:
4551
10022
10205
4560
4511

Not sure what once to bid for. 10205 looks nice.

10205 would serve your needs as it's a push train. You'd have to get seperate track in that case, which can be the cheaper plastic track that's available at the moment.
10022 although intended for the Santa Fe Super Chief would go nicely behind 10205.

Edited by Duq, 04 November 2009 - 02:46 PM.

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#18 Topsy Cret

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 04:46 PM

View Postsegambit, on Nov 4 2009, 12:57 PM, said:

I'm sure he got no problem with the motor really. He is very careful with his toys, and i play alot with him.

I found the following used old stuff on auction in my country:
4551
10022
10205
4560
4511

Not sure what once to bid for. 10205 looks nice.

I think I may be able to give you some good advice (I live in the same county as you and I enjoy trains).

4551 - I never owned this one, but it doesn't seem to have very much playability. From what I've been able to understand this set is more of a display piece - the front and back are too light to played with vigorously. Plus it's only one, that one being an engine.

10022 - Again, I wouldn't recommend this one. You can only build one car, and-hey-it's only one car. Although the multiple building choices seems to be quite a bright idea.

10205 - Definitely recommend it! It's a cute, little detailed engine. The tender is also very nice. Just pile in minifigures like coal and take her for a spin! Also, it acts as a nice starter kit for train enthusiasts.

4560 - This is a truly wonderful set. You get a fine assortment of train cars and accessories. I can tell you from personal experience that it is great fun loading in and taking out the cars from the train and pushing it around. Like I just mentioned, included are cars as well as containers; a great source of entertainment when one is temporarily bored with the train.

4511 - This one I can't much comment on. Though it seems to have great swooshability, it is very small and (from my standpoint) is pretty... Well, plain. There's not much detailing, not many figs etc.


Personally, out of all of these, I would choose 4560. Simply put, it's a joy to build and play with.

I hope this helped in some way.

#19 Piranha

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 05:01 AM

Cheapest and simplest way is probably to buy a current RC train.

The Passenger Train 7897 is an excellent starter kit.

However if you would like something nicer but more expensive than there is a deluxe starter  kit
Cargo Train 7898

:classic:

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#20 *thomas*

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 11:44 AM

Hi,

Even tough the 7897 is less expensive than the cargo train 7898, I would still go for that last one.

For young children the playability of a cargo train is far more fun and, it would me easier to add extra cars from the 9V era...

Cheers !

#21 segambit

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 07:38 AM

Thanks for all the advice.

the cargoo train looks god, and on the + side i can buy it here in a store. Its still electric however, and i'm not sure if its fun if i turn off the batterys..

I also check the net and found some favorits:
10173-1 - Guess this will be expensive!

4560 - Thanks Topsy Cret, i will look for this.

4564 - Love the design.

4535-1 - Also hard to find.

10205 - Thx again Topsy cret :)

So whats best way to get older sets, ebay or brick?

#22 segambit

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 12:49 PM

Ok. Now i have start reading about 9V, RC and Power Functions.
I almost got a headache...

Well i always "love" the new stuff. But WOW Power Function for a Emerald Night cost me without track 215 dollars here in sweden. Without the train or track! So with train its about 385 dollar but still without track. Sure i got the money, but still... and if i like to expand with 2 more trains there will be almost the same cost everytime.

Is Power Function the future of Lego train? Or will the RC still be around when next set is released (Since RC is only cargo+passanger right now, it feels like wrong thing to buy)

Still i can go with both Emerald + holiday train without motors i guess.

#23 segambit

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 03:55 PM

Alot of posts from me now!

I was lucky and found a Holiday train for about 115 dollars sealed and new (i did buy 2, i will sell one here in sweden and i think i will get a bit more). Atleast i think it was a good price.

Can i use this train with the flex tracks, or is it better to buy a cheap RC motor? (Can the RC move this big train?) Also not sure if a PF motor fits inside it.

Since my son loves christmas (What kid doesnt) i'm really trilled about this item :)

#24 Helmantel

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:40 PM

You can use flex tracks, but those are mostly intended to fill gaps between track sections that don't line up. Regular track is cheap and looks much better.

The current power functions set intended for the Emerald Night is indeed expensive. A cheaper and (much) simpler alternative for the Holiday train would be to use the train motor (12 Euro) and the big battery box (around 10 Euro I think). Combined with the remote and receiver, that would cost about 50 Euro.

Alternatively, you could use 9V track, motor and transformer, but that limits you of course to the second hand market and they aren't giving that stuff away for cheap (although for the price of the current PF kit, you can buy quite a lot of it).  

Lego is going to introduce new regular trains (=not like Emerald Night but intended for kids) next year, which are said to have (some version of) power functions, so you can always wait and see what they offer next year and then determine how you are going to power the train. Your son can probably wait untill then, but I'm not so sure about his dad    :classic:

#25 aawsum

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 05:10 PM

View Postsegambit, on Nov 17 2009, 04:55 PM, said:

I was lucky and found a Holiday train for about 115 dollars sealed and new (i did buy 2, i will sell one here in sweden and i think i will get a bit more). Atleast i think it was a good price.
Can i use this train with the flex tracks, or is it better to buy a cheap RC motor? (Can the RC move this big train?) Also not sure if a PF motor fits inside it.
Congrats!

Yes you can use the flex track together with this train.
Also an RC motor fits inside. I build mine in the passenger wagon.
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PF motor will also fit, but is much more expensive.



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