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on November 29, 2014
This is my first train - and I love it! it was just what I wanted for under the tree! It is the perfect size. I love the sound effects, the whistle, bell and espeically the "All Aboard!"
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108 helpful votes
109 helpful votes
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on December 13, 2015
We REALLY wanted a cool train to run around our Christmas tree during the holidays, but just couldn't justify paying $300-$400 on a real, metal train...even though they look, sound and feel much more like the real thing.

So, we looked at the reviews for this one and decided to "give it a shot", hoping that, because it's plastic (and I'm sure on a MASS production assembly), we didn't get a "lemon".

Well, we were PLEASANTLY surprised! It was delivered in great shape, packaged well & when we opened it, our almost-5yr old lit up like our Christmas tree!

It took no time to get it out of the package, assembled and running around the track! It sounds good, looks good and seems to be running smoothly. Better than expected actually.

Batteries were not included (as expected), so be sure to have 6 "C" batteries for the train & another 2 "AA" batteries for the remote, on hand and ready to go.

I would recommend this purchase if you are on the fence trying to decide as I was đź‘Ť
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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My 3 Y.O. boy almost fainted while opening the box :) and, despite the 14% of 1-star reviews, the train is running fine!
No derailing so far (used only the curved tracks due to the space around my Christmas tree). You better find a flat surface (hardwood or tile floor) to avoid track-caused problems though.
The train slowed down and stopped on its own, which freaked me out, but it turned out that the train stops if it loses connection to the remote control. If you lay the remote down on the floor, even right next to the track, the train will stop. Keep the antenna high.
I agree that the build quality is not good esp. for a $80-$150 toy (certainly not a collector item), but if your child is as crazy about Polar Express as mine (and if you are lucky to avoid a lemon), this may worth the money.
1 helpful vote
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on March 9, 2015
Lots of good things, bad things.

Pros:

I don't see the track issue like other reviews. The tracks required some force to get together, but the stayed solid.
The wheels rotated and cycled as a real train engine would
Cool special effects, although the whistle and "All board" sound effect were confused on my remote control.
I like the special effects as it slowed down and stopped.
The disappearing hobo effect is manual, but he is well-articulated and the figures are fun to use.
Not train related, but the silver bell ornament was top-notch...better than the Hallmark polar express bell ornament IMHO
The light was decent in brightness.

Cons:

My biggest dislike was when I saw the stickers on the passenger car windows right out of the box. Some of the stickers were peeling off and I think stickers are super-junky. This con alone brings my rating from a 4-star down to a 3-star.
Overall, the plastic was so-so in quality and had some scuffing.
The couplers were horrible and fell apart all the time. Once you finally got the got the couplers to stay, don't touch it and it will be fine.

Overall: i will look good around my Christmas tree if the child doesn't knock it over and I have to spend 30 minutes getting the couplers to stay. Ill just hand her the remote.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on December 14, 2015
I was initially a little disappointed in that my train set did not come with the two little figures (conductor and little boy) or the rechargeable battery connection as advertised on Amazon. I called Amazon and Lionel to tell them about it. Amazon has still not corrected their "Product Description". Lionel was as nice as could be. Lionel sent me the two figures and a tender car that had a connection for the rechargeable battery at no charge.

I would not have been at all disappointed if the Product Description had not listed these features. The two little figures are very small and the train ran nicely on the c-size batteries - although it does run much faster on the rechargeable battery pack. Lionel said their latest trains do not have a connection for a rechargeable battery pack.

The train has nice detail, noise synchronized to the speed of the engine and an easy to use remote control. The train speeds up and slows down slowly - like a real train. I put the track on carpet (around the tree) and followed the advise in another review to use black ties to hold the track firmly together. I would guess the track would stay nicely together on a wood floor without the ties. Setting the wheels on the track and the car couplers do take a little effort as other reviewers have mentioned.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on December 25, 2014
Wow, I have two Lionel pre-war trains that still run perfectly. This train didn't make it once around the track before the internal gears started grinding while going forward. Reverse works ok.

The train track is hard to get together, but comes apart real easy.

For the money you pay, I also expected better attention to detail. The sliding parts that synchronize the wheels is clearly metal in the pictures, plastic in the video. Rest assured, you get plastic with this product, not the metal in the pictures. I wish I would have paid attention to that detail before I ordered, I might have been more prepared for this.

As for detail it goes to the sound as well. The loop is not seamless, there is a clear break as the train sits at idle and you are listening to the engine idle...it should be seamless. I mean you went to the trouble of having the train SLOW down when moving instead of just stopping to act as if it had some weight.

I ordered this for my son and he is so frustrated with it as am I. Amazon can't exchange this one, only apply what I paid toward the purchase of another one, which is significantly more now, surprise. For this plastic set, I feel that I should have paid about $70, not what I did (Over 112). Now the cheapest online is $125ish PLUS shipping.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on November 25, 2016
Buyers beware!!! Extra plastic track sets for Lionel G scale Battery Train Sets are no longer in production by Lionel. If you plan on expanding the track layout, you are probably not going to find any! These train sets are for sale and they do not produce extra track sets for this item.
I love the way this set looks, although it is for my nephew. I am trying to get more straight track sets for it, but the price here on amazon is double what it was last year currently at $49.99 - Lionel 11039 G-Scale Plastic Track (4-Pack) for Battery Train Sets. I contacted Lionel because their price was around $19.00, and they told me they have none in stock, and to top it off, they stopped manufacturing it. Unbelievable. Nice going, Lionel.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on May 4, 2016
We got this for Christmas, and my kids (almost 5) love it! I'm not quite as impressed as they are, but it is a good train. Very accurate details on the train itself, but the track comes apart very easily. It must be on a flat, solid surface in order to stay together. I wasn't willing to put it in my tile kitchen, so we tried putting it on our large living room rug. Unfortunately, the track wouldn't stay snapped exactly as it should have, and the train derailed frequently. Fortunately, I was able to teach our boys how to fix the track when it comes apart (so I'm not doing it every 10 minutes) and how to make sure the wheels lined up correctly on the rail.

I am a little disappointed in the quality of the track. I expected something a little more sturdy for the price. Overall, I would recommend it because my kids LOVE it, but I would lower my expectations just a little as far as durability goes.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on December 21, 2013
I am very disappointed with the product. Within seconds of installing the track and coupling the trains I realized what a piece of junk the whole set is. I did not return it because my child is crazy about the Polar Express and there is no better substitute.

Overall, the coupling and track issues are so severe that my child will get frustrated trying to set it and that is why I am asked to do it each time. Pair that with the train derailing at the slightest touch or bump on the track and you have issues to deal with.

Here are the pros/cons:

Pros:
* Once assembled it runs around the track as advertised.
* The controller controls the train and it whistles, signals its bell, and makes the boarding announcement.
* Overall look of train and cars are nice and look identical to the box picture

Cons:
* Train and tracks are cheap plastic
* Assembling the tracks only requires snapping the tracks together but if you're not careful you can break the inserts and they do come apart quite easily for something that seemed to have snapped hard into place.
* Train coupling mechanisms are HORRENDOUS. You have to lift the train to couple because they don't snap. They decouple with the slightest touch since the surface area of the couplers is quite small and narrow. Terrible
* Setting the train on the tracks is another disaster. The wheels do not easily snap into the track grooves. You have to manipulate the swivel wheels into place and once you have it in place good luck coupling them because you have to lift the car to do so.
* The Coal Tender coupling kept coming apart and the only thing holding it is the power cable between it and the main engine. Again the weak link is the coupling design.
* Train uses 6 D batteries and 2 AAA batteries for the controller. Too early to tell how much life the train has until replacements are needed but I can see this getting a bit expensive but at least I knew the battery quantity required beforehand.
3 helpful votes
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on March 5, 2017
I simply can't say enough about how wonderful this awesome train is. We have had it for 2 Christmas's now! The lights, the sounds, the little characters, are such a great touch to this masterpiece! It is built well, it's very strong, the tracks fit perfectly. We LOVE this train. Makes the perfect addition to our Christmas tree. I suggest getting a flat board to go under it so it has a smooth surface to go on. You won't be sorry if you purchase this terrific train!
1 helpful vote
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