Top critical review
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RTR? For 3 Hours Maybe. (edit 1/6/14) - (edit 1/9/14 REPLACEMENT IS GARBAGE)(edit 1/11/14)
on January 1, 2014
I was actually quite happy with it as I ran it for an hour or so after opening it on Christmas day. It ran good but with being limited on space(kids toys everywhere), I decided to package it up for a later date. I came back today to read some current reviews and to write a review but noticed many complaints and that Amazon actually pulled the product from sales. So being I only had till 01/08 to return it I decided to run it for a few hours today. Like many others, my train ran for maybe a few hours then sure enough it just quit. Something to do with the power source with the track that accepts the power. It just won't work however sometimes the red light will blink when the track is tapped. It seems to me that this connection became faulty from the train vibrations and it just won't connect now.
The train had some other issues also but nothing to major.
Overall it was built nice but the seams on the train weren't very tight. I seen a lot of light leakage from the front light in several different spots. Not a huge issue but it does take away from the 'realism' of the train.
No on/off switch is kind of silly.
There seemed to be sound issues as far as having to shut the sound off or turning it on. It had to be reset by unplugging the set.
Edit 01/06/13: I've decided to try another copy of this set as the set its self is very nice and detailed. I'm just worried about the longevity being there seems to be many of us who received sets that died in hours/days of being new. If my second set works good I'll raise the stars to where I think it should be.
EDIT 01/09/2014 REPLACEMENT: Replacement arrived, would not work out of the box. Upon inspection I noticed it looked like the train derailed off of a 5 foot high platform. It had scratches all over from the locomotive all the way to the last car. The locomotive even had black touch up paint covering some of the nicks and scratches. Also the gold whistle is super flimsy, was sideways, and nearly is broke off. I have no doubts this was a refurb put back on the shelf to sell as new. I ended up figuring out that the contact bars on the bottom of the locomotive weren't touching the track. Pulling them down a little ended up giving the train the contact it needed for power. The abuse this train looked like it went through is to much to keep. I mean it's suppose to be NEW. It's going back...
Luckily I haven't sent back my original and as I suspected it was an issue with the piece of track that accepts the power. So I'll just switch them out and send back the 'used' replacement I was sent. However, I have very little confidence that this train will last of the coarse of time. I just have no faith in this product but it is neat, I'll give it that. At $200 I'll take the chance. At the very least if it doesn't hold up out of warranty, I'll have a cool shelf piece for my office.
I can't give this more then 2 stars though. 2 bum copies isn't a good sign and my replacement is real bothersome as it look like it's been through a rough life already. Plus it does feel like an unfinished product with it's quirks I pointed out in my first part of my review.
Edit 01/11/2014: Returning the item. I have a couple of issues outside of what I went through above and even asked here on the question section of this product and I have comments saying it's not normal. My locomotive seems to struggle at low speeds, the motor is making an electrical buzzing sound at low speeds(like the motor has too much strain) and when entering the corners will even come to a complete stop at times. I've cleaned the track, cleaned the connections on the bottom of the train, reassembled everything and even moved it to another power outlet. Nothing mattered. Also I have a ton of light leaking from all the seams of the locomotive in the front by the headlamp. It's super annoying and make the set look extremely cheap and it does take away from the realism a bit.
Solution, buying a MTH RTR set.