Enlighten, BanBao, & Other Clone Train Brands
Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:42 AM
Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:50 AM
After having the unopened set box hanging around for some months I decided it was well time to check out the set's contents and make a start on putting everything together.
The currents sets seem to have the 'Toobee' figures in them, but my set had the hybrid minifig type figures that made use of the Toobee torso and pivoting waist which makes them look very heavy set. Not so bad for the males, but the ladies look like they're keen bodybuilders or wrestling champoins. There are six figures in all in the set so it has good play value.
When I purchased this set I was given an extra passenger coach for free and it must've been an old stock set because it had two of the older clone minifigs in it. So it's actually possible to find set #8221 with potentially three different kinds of figures depending on how long it's been on the shelf. Otherwise the sets are the same.
The set box contains a powered loco, a centre coach and an unpowered loco, a small station with three signs, 6 people figures, 18 curved pieces of track, 8 straight pieces of track, a left hand point and a right hand point. All the parts necessary to make the powered loco operate are in the set box except for batteries. All in all it's a big sized box with not much free space inside it when I came to unpack it all. As I said with the Banbao Freight set I reviewed earlier, you get a lot of trainset for your money.
There are two trays inside the set box and one of them has two cardboard pockets built in which contain the motor bogie, the RC controller and the powered loco's battery box. The train base that contains the RC receiver is tied down to the bottom of the tray so it won't slide about in transit and get damaged.
In addition to all the bricks and track the set box also contains a single sheet Banbao pamphlet showing the other sets they make, a very nicely printed sticker sheet, a small instruction booklet for the station and one larger instruction booklet for each of the main pieces, the powered loco, the centre coach and the unpowered loco. As for the Freight set the instructions booklets are clearly laid out and are easy to follow
The sticker sheet for this set looks to be a lot more of a good match for the contents and nothing like so strange as the sticker sheet for the Freight set where I only used about a third of them and then only the ones that were essential.
I've already reviewed the centre passenger coach and there were no real surprises with assembling this one, except that the white bricks to complete one corner of the passenger coach were missing. All the parts for the centre coach are sealed in their own bag so it was very easy to see that while the part count seemed to be right, some of the parts were extras and definitely not the particular white bricks I needed. Fortunately I do own quite a few Banbao bricks so I was able to find replacements, but for a casual purchaser who wasn't a 'brick nut' they would have been feeling very disappointed about then.
This was the first Banbao train set box that I've found to have missing parts. Some years back when I was into brick wargaming it was common for Banbao military series sets to have missing bricks, but it looks like they are still having quality control issues despite there being some improvement in more recent times.
As is usual with Banbao wagons and coaches though this coach rolled as smooth as silk on the track as Banbao's wheels and axles are highly finished and very accurate.
Having already assembled the Banbao Freight set I was surprised to discover that the train base and its associated battery box for the passenger set is a completely different plastic molding with the RC receiver quite open and exposed once the battery box is removed. The motor bogie is different too with a lead with a small computer-type plug issuing from it that plugs into the RC receiver. The Freight set was completely the other way around with the lead issuing from the RC receiver and plugging into the motor bogie. I don't know if the more recent sets have the same motor bogie as the Freight set or not because I've only ever seen this older passenger set of mine up close, but it does seem daft to me to have two different motor bogies each with differences in their top body molding due to the electrical connection when you're a company that only makes two trainsets anyway.
The two locos are of the 'duck-nosed' species of streamlined train and the plastic moldings for the nose are accurately shaped and fit together firmly and perfectly. My only moan is that the hinged windscreen won't fit into place without having the molded pin ends on the windscreen relieved back a little so that they will clip into place. Otherwise it's all good and the nose-piece fits well onto the front of the train base without any problems. As for the rest of the loco body it goes together in a very similar way to the passenger coach without any surprises.or difficulties.
Passengers fit into their seats and stay there because the inside surface of the roof touches the tops of their heads. Other makes of minifigs will fit into Banbao coaches provided close attention is paid to hair styles and headgear because there is precious little room to be had in the way of clearance.
Overall this is a set that has more pluses than minuses and I consider it to be good value for money.
Edited by Locomotive Annie, 27 March 2013 - 08:53 AM.
Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:15 AM
I got my first look at one of those Tobee figs a few weeks ago, I wasn't so impressed although it's nice they're trying to do something different. A nearly Duplo-sized head on a regular minifig body looks a bit odd to me. The swiveling waist is a nice touch however. I defy any child to put those d@mned arms on though!
Have fun, Joe
Check out my 1st review; 10250 Creator - Year of the Snake here
Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:41 AM
Yeah, have all my LEGO from when I was a kid, apart from the random teeth marks, they indeed do clutch like new.
Bought the Enlighten 'Frisco Fe' and about 6 boxcar/tanker carriages. Not too bad for a clone brand. (all up about $80 AUD, free postage) I have a ton of their track as it is a whole lot cheaper.
Of course though, the two brands will never mix
LEGO train track is far too expensive, even more so as I live in Australia.
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