Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Okay, but there are better sets out there.
on December 25, 2012
I just wanted to note that last year (2012) this product's smoke system stopped working shortly after the holidays. However, since it ran well, and since we had to return it multiple times prior for other issues upon arrival, we decided to not worry about it and leave the smoking option turned off. Oddly enough, I hear that for some unknown reason, it started working again and proofed wonderfully during this holiday season (2013). I know there are issues with this model's smoking system, so be warned that this might be a problem for you. I hope this review helped.
I recently purchased this Train Set and encountered multiple issues with the product, none of which were Amazon related. The first train set sent to me had a broken smoke unit and had to be sent back (most-likely a manufacturing issue since the smoke stack had chipped paint on it while being perfectly wrapped and cushioned). The Second set sent to me had a broken decorative wire on the outer surface of the engine (most-likely due to delivery since the box was torn and punched in many places). The Third set worked great, but was missing a few small items in the set which I decided was not worth sending it back (once again, a manufacturing issue). I did keep this set since the engine worked well and the passenger car's lights look great at night. I must give Amazon credit since they took care of all the return shipping labels ASAP and increased both of the new sets with one-day shipping each time since this was a gift to be given for the holidays.
Now, as for the train set itself, I own many Lionel trains and thus will compare this set to other "sets" I have boughten over the years, rather then more expensive models. The engine is heavy in quality; however, the smoke unit is poor when compared to many other sets and the decorative wires and feature are extremely fragile (as such, this engine needs to be carefully handled and might not be best for younger children). The Passenger cars look great at night and light up well. However, it would have been nice if they added silhouettes of the children witches and wizards in the windows, but that can be easily resolved with transparent paper and a printer (make them yourself and slide them in the window slots). Sadly, the Passenger Cars do not look as good during daylight. While the engine has nice detail, the passenger cars feel lacking in visual quality, mainly via the color of the roofs since they almost blend in with the window coloration. I know every Harry Potter fan (including my wife and myself) interested in buying a Lionel Set will want this, but if you are more interested in having a heavyweight engine and a beauty Passenger Car set from Amazon, I might ask you to look at the Polar Express Set which I also purchased. In conclusion, the set is nice, but in the world of Lionel Train Sets, there are better options out there if you are not a die-hard fan of the Harry Potter books and films.
Side Note: You can add passenger cars to this set which is a nice feature (I did this). The other passenger cars are just like the ones that come with the original set with the exception to the numbers only. However, the dementor passenger cars are very interesting. They even have silhouettes of the dementors in the windows which really make the cars look sharp. However, the dementor cars continuously flash on and off and really mess with your eyes at night.