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Set Review - Holiday Train 40034

Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas may begin.  I have been rather appalled at the earlier and earlier release of Christmas items in stores, sometimes even before Halloween.  My children have been listening to Christmas music for at least 3 weeks already, and they keep looking for snow (which we don't often get) and asking how many days are left.  Slow down kids, you're killing me.

But now that the turkey's been rebaked and shoppers have been trampled, let the Christmas season begin!

Those long winter shadows...

I've never been a fan of the small polybag trains. I like model trains a lot. My dad has an HO scale train that he set up when I was a kid. That put me on a train kick. But the hobby is expensive whether scaled trains or LEGO trains and I never was able to afford it. When I got back into a LEGO big time a couple of years ago I explored the train theme again. I was hoping that I could do some 4-wide trains on the roller coaster tracks with an NXT motor. Still expensive and you're stuck with an oval as no wyes exist in that scale. And I haven't got the space anyway so what's the use in experimenting with solutions? Someday, maybe.

So anyway the next option is the 4-wide polybag trains. The Mini Hogwarts Express (while creative) is a joke to me. "Looks like your tires got jacked, man. Oh, wait, that's a train? Ah." This Holiday Train follows the same aesthetic. If I recall correctly (and I know I do) most trains such as TLG are trying to depict have at least a few large drive wheels on the engine.  Instead, these trains just receive rows of silver Hot Wheels style wheels all the same size. Certainly they have other styles of wheels that they could use, don't they? Like, train wheels?  They were able to do it for the mini Emerald Night.

I think I would prefer that the wheels were in black. At least then we could avoid this shoddy paint job. It would be fine if tires were covering up the slop but we get no tires. Not only is the paint run over on the wheels I received, but there's not enough on the spokes.

The candy canes are a neat touch. I think they would look better with round 1x1 plates instead of square.  Not quite sure how to make the crook all round though.  Maybe a new piece is in order?

I'm very impressed at the price point though. Many of these mega polybags such as the seasonal ones have cost in the neighborhood of $8. That makes sense given that the part count is around 80. But this train with it's 82 pieces and 6 extras cost me a mere $4.99 at Target. That in and of itself is a fabulous Christmas gift from TLG. In fact, it's worth getting 2 or three of these sets to expand the train. The only drawback is that you'll have to throw in a few extra hitches of your own. You'll have tireless wheels and fenders up your festive wazoo, but you'll also get scores of red and white parts as well. For some of you this may be an awesome parts pack. I plan to pick up a few more myself.

If you're creative with making some 3.5-wide track (or don't care about the track), this might make a nice addition to your holiday LEGO diorama.

Or put your train in a bauble!

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