Customer Reviews: MOTA Classic Holiday Train Set with Real Smoke - Authentic Lights, and Sounds - A Full Set with Locomotive Engine, Cargo Cars, Tracks and Christmas Spirit
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on December 27, 2012
Mota Toys Premium Classical Train Set

What you will Need to operate
1 x Small Phillips Screw drive
4 x AA batteries
Large flat surface

First of all I was very impressed by the packaging., The box has clear plastic windows on one side that show the train and the cars for the set. Outside of the box lets you know that you need 4AA batteries to run this which is nice to know before unpacking it if giving to someone as a gift.. The box is good looking and shows 14+ on the outside which I assume is an age guideline. Personally I think a child of age 10 or younger could handle assembly without an issue or limited help.

O.k. Now I opened the box and everything is in place held in by a large plastic cover that slides right off the top of the plastic tray that is holding everything. From there it is really simple. Pull out the Train engine and flip it upside down to place the four AA batteries in it. You will need a small philllips head screw driver to remove the screw on the bottom of the engine to place the four batteries in their place. The battery slots are clearly marked as to which way they need to be placed. (which is the standard way + battery terminal to flat part of receiver socket and - side of battery to spring) Just look at the picture in the socket. Anyway, Now that you have the locomotive ready to go you should assemble the tracks.

Track Assembly
There are 4 straight pieces of track and 12 curved sections. If you want a circle just use all the curved sections. These go together very easily the easiest way I found was to place them on the flat surface and put the flat backsides of the hooks on the end of the tracks back to back and slide them together. This will make more sense once you have them in front if you. They push together with very little force, you can also just visually align the rails and press each piece into each other. So for the full circle just repeat putting them together and you will form a circle. If you have the space and want to make an oval just add the straight track pieces on opposite ends of your circle and you will now have an oval. If you make the circle the inside diameter is about 3 feet 6 inches which is pretty good size. If you make the oval you can get the inside to about 5 feet 2 inches inside diameter at the widest section in the middle.

Placing the train on the tracks.
I found it easiest to line up the Locomotive with the front "steering" axle on the tracks first to make sure it is lined up and double checking that the rear drive wheels of the locomotive are placed on the rail as well. Then to add the cars it is super simple just place the next car on the track behind the locomotive and line up the guide pin that is on the rear of the locomotive facing upwards into the large hole on the car. Again this step makes total sense when looking at it. The next car you place under the pin in the hole of the car in front, once again when looking at it this will make more sense.

All that is left is to turn the locomotive on with the switch located on the Left side of the locomotive under the train sticker and slide it forward. Now your train should be moving along the track at a pretty good speed with headlights and train noises. In addition to that after a few laps if you look closely you will see the smoke coming out of the smoke stack which is pretty cool.

Overall I think this is a good simple train set that will look great under next year's Christmas tree and can be easily stored in the box that it came in which is a huge plus. The only negative I would say is I don't know how to turn off the train sounds which get on my nerves a little bit because I am not a fun child, but a lame adult. This train set is great for the price and can be used by many ages of Children with supervision. The Locomotive looks good with the gold and at a glance you would think I spent some pretty good money on it when in reality it was a great deal. Kids love it and I think you should buy one.
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on December 19, 2012
Our daughter is almost 3 and LOVES trains. I assume it started with "Thomas the Train" show but she didn't really see it or watch it much until we realized how much she liked trains. Even at 2 years old, anytime we had to stop at a train crossing she absolutely flipped out with excitement. I think it's how she actually started learning to count because we would try to count the train cars as they passed.

That isn't really part of the review but puts into perspective her love of trains, I hope. This is actually her first train set. We didn't want to go huge and "professional hobbyist" train set but also didn't want a super cheap set that would break in a week.

She got this early for Christmas and that is because we, as parents, are weak and couldn't hold our own excitement to see how she reacted to seeing her own train set. It was well worth "cheating" and letting her have it a week early. We actually also wanted to set it up around the tree so having it open early is great for the ambiance for when family come to visit. The set doesn't have a huge track but definitely enough to get around a normal sized tree.

I was happily surprised at the size of the engine. For some reason I was thinking it would be smaller and more "toy hotwheel" size but it's a pretty decent sized engine. And although I like how it has the oar carts/boxes so my daughter can put her own passengers or supplies in for their ride around the track, she said it was missing the train cars lol. We had to explain that there are different types of trains for different uses and that was enough to get her over it immediately.

The engine is, although plastic, pretty cool and "shiny" looking. It's well made for a toy train. The smoke is a great feature and really gives a sense of quality...also happens to look really cool rounding the Christmas tree with smoke coming out. The lights and sounds are well done as well.

I do agree with a previous review that it would be nice to be able to turn some of the "features" off sometimes. I'm sure my daughter would have just as much fun without the sounds going non-stop but after a few days of non-stop play with it, I can see how us adults may go mad. It's not terrible, just, like any kids toy that makes noise, it gets old lol.

Overall, after only a couple days with it, this set is a great starter set for any kid that has even a little interest in trains. The manufacturer recommended age is 14+ but with supervision there is no reason why a toddler with a train addiction couldn't absolutely love this. I think it's a great first train set and it seems like it will hold up for quite a while. Hopefully it will be an annual thing we can set up around the tree!
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on September 28, 2013
This is a very nice train set, especially if the noisemaker and the smoke are removed.

The smoke comes courtesy of a heater assembly that burns some mystery oily goo. As other reviewers point out, it truly does smell horrible and stinks up the room for hours. Enjoyment increases significantly if the smoke emitter is removed. It increases even further if the noisemaker is removed or muffled, and maybe even further if the locomotive is adjusted to drive properly so that it does not periodically derail.

You will need wire cutters, a screwdriver and small piece of electrical tape (office tape with do if unavailable). Follow these easy steps:

- gently unscrew and remove the decorative side rods on the wheels (the golden side thingies will flex enough to take the rods out and to put them back in)
- prop the engine upside down so that it doesn't fall
- unscrew the front floppy wheel assembly, unscrew the screw that's underneath
- unscrew the opposite screw that's on the bottom piece near the battery compartment, the bottom piece should now be loose
- gently lift the bottom piece. the two front axles are loose, the front one will fall out and that's ok
- located the smoke-generating assembly -- it is the one with tube to the smoke stack. pull on the smoke assembly exhaust tube to disconnect it from the smoke stack
- gently continue lifting the bottom piece until you can get to the stuff that's attached to it without ripping out any wires
- in the particular set being reviewed, power wires from the battery pack were white and the smoke assembly was connected in parallel with the motor. Using the wire cutters, cut the leads going into the smoke assembly proper (these look like two tiny copper wires going into the black casing, not the insulated wires that supply power to the motor and the assembly). This should leave one loose wire going to the motor and two connected wires floating in the air. Cut and discard the single loose wire, insulate the 2-wire junction that was cut from the smoke assembly with electrical tape.
- unscrew the two screws that hold the smoke assembly and remove it
- (optional) if you wish to muffle the noisemaker, it is towards the front of the engine, experiment with tape on it until the desired volume level is achieved
- (optional) if you wish to remove the noisemaker, locate its circuit board. it has power coming in and multiple sets of LED wires on one end (input), on the other end are 2 wires to the actual noisemaker (output). On the input end, using suitable sharp and large wire cutters, carefully cut the wires right next to the circuit board so that the wires are still connected to themselves as they previously were, but not to the circuit board. Remove and circuit board and the beeper that's still attached to it. If your wire cutters are kind of large-ish, you may elect to simply cut the corners of the circuit board off. Insulate both junctions with tape.
- (optional) install the now liberated noisemaker outside to annoy the neighbor's cat that wants to visit the flower area. it runs on 6v dc.
- (optional) readjust the distance between the wheels on the front axle. in the particular example it was way too narrow. This is done by brute force.
- (optional) remove the middle axle. due to the rubber bands on the rear axle, the middle axle is unable to bear weight, but it does get tangled up in curve transitions. this must be done carefully and best way to do it is to twist off one of the wheels, very carefully (not for kids, requires considerable physical effort)
- test operation, make sure the top light LED didn't fall out of its housing, reinsert if it did
- reinstall the bottom, secure with two screws
- reinstall the floppy front axle and the decorative side rods

Note: there are no hazardous voltages inside.

Now, this fine toy is recommended for ages 14 and up. My toddler is having really good time with it. Somehow I doubt she'd be interested in it when she's 14. The aforementioned procedure, however, should be doable by a 14-year old.
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on December 1, 2014
 Video: The train under my tree with the smoke, sounds and lights on (circle shape track).

This was my first train set so I just wanted something under $50, that will stay on its tracks and add some fun to the Christmas tree. This set surpassed my expectations. As someone already mentioned you can create a circle (50 in X 50 in) or oval (50 in x 70 in) shape with the train tracks. As long as your tracks click into place when you attach them and you line up the wheels of the train correctly, you shouldn't have any derailment issues. For those concerned about the smoke, there's a separate switch so you can have it on or off. Note, the smoke smell is not lovely but my husband liked it. He said it reminded him of his childhood train set. There's also a separate switch for the sounds and lights. If you choose you can have the train go around with no sound or smoke. Finally, the train comes with three empty carts that you can fill with whatever you want. My carts are currently filled with a miscellaneous Christmas items. Overall, excellent first train set I have no complaints.
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on December 25, 2014
My 4 year old loves this's been going around the tree almost an hour now and hasn't derailed at all..only problem I have is I can't figure out how to make it smoke.
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on October 28, 2015
It's a decent set. It's very large and seems well built for the most part. Some of the plasticy parts did seem like they would break if handled just a bit too roughly.
I like that it can run with or without sound as that could get on my nerves very fast.
It does produce steam but nothing like you see in the pictures. It's more of a thin whisper of steam. The instructions say that it's burning mineral oil and that it can be replaced however it never shows how to refill it.
The online price is in the forties but I honestly don't see it worth more than thirty. But overall it's a decent set and would look cute moving around a Christmas tree. Though since it runs on batteries, and the smoke feature seems to really drain the batteries, you may be replacing them daily. Get some rechargeables.

A more detailed review of it in action can be seen in the attached video.

(I was given a complimentary product by MOTA in exchange for an unbiased review)
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on December 4, 2015
Our Son loves it and he's 4. It's a pretty train. It is light weight and it is plastic but for the price I hope you wouldn't expect dicast.
1. Our train stays on the track and still pulls when our 4 year old loads the carts up with toys (Legos, toy dragons, ext)
2. It has an ON switch. OFF switch and a no lights or sounds option which I love.
3. Lights are bright, train sounds are clear, smoke is smelly. Lol. So I wouldn't leave it on for long as it will smell a room up.
4. The track that came with it fit around our 12 foot tree with room to spare.
5. The button to turn the smoke off is on the opposite side of the on/off switch. I saw someone who didn't know where it was.
6. The train is sensitive however on the track. A slight bump will derail it. However when our 4 year old was eating dinner the train ran for over an hour without any problems at all.

I'd say it's a great buy for those first time, non collector people who would just love a train for their tree or for the holidays. Wouldn't recommend it at all for playing with.
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on July 14, 2013
This train is the perfect size and looks durable enough for a Toddler. However, there is a MAJOR issue with the product that overwhelmingly overrides any positives about the rest of the design -- the smoke. Imagine an electrical fire, or the smell of burning plastic. That is the odor that this train emits. And the smoke looks to be real smoke caused by some unknown chemical reaction within the unit. The look on my son's face when he first smelled it was "why are you trying to kill us, daddy?" There is enough smoke put out by this train to fill a small room. And the worst part is that there is no setting to turn off this feature!! It produces this smoke whether it is in the "smoking" mode or the "lights and music" mode.

So unless you plan to use this machine outside, unless you and your kids appreciate the foul smell and unknown health effects of mystery smoke.
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on December 31, 2012
Great quality toy. The real steam is a very cool feature and makes it fun for everyone. My son loved this train!
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on January 1, 2015
This a GREAT toy for my kids. Received it on Christmas eve and they loved it. The packaging was clean and nicely put together. The train sound was realistic. The smoke wasn't intense but that's probably a good thing as I don't want it to be intense. But my kids were playing it for hours and on Christmas day, made tunnels and a scenery with their Christmas toys. The train itself was pretty decent in quality, especially for its price.
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