Jump on board this Christmas classic, crafted with painstaking detail from Chris Van Allsburg's beloved book and the Warner Bros. movie. Up front, a durable, die-cast metal Berkshire steam locomotive with a powerful maintenance-free motor, puffing smoke, working headlight, a unique whistle and more. The matte-finish engine and tender are followed by three lighted passenger cars, one an observation car with a new rounded movie-inspired deck. Includes four posable main movie characters, three straight and eight curved pieces of FasTrack for a 40" x 60" layout, FasTrack terminal section and a CW-80 Transformer. 63"L train. With beautiful craftsmanship and styling that evokes a bygone era, the Polar Express Train Set will appeal to everyone in your family. Designed for children ages eight and older, this train set is based on the Caldecott Award-winning book "Polar Express," and the movie that followed in 2004. The gorgeous train set is relatively easy to put together, although parents will probably need to supervise. Even kids younger than eight can enjoy the Polar Express, if parents help them with it.
| The Polar Express O Gauge |
Requires: AC outlet
Superbly Crafted Toy with Easy Set Up
The stylish engine bus has a nostalgic, old-fashioned design and is impressively detailed. View larger.
The set comes with figures modeled after characters from the 2004 film. View larger.
The pieces of the train set are easily assembled, from the smooth linking of the cars, to setting up the track. The instructions are sometimes vague: for example, the train needs to charge before it runs, but we didn't understand that from the instructions and spent some frustrating minutes wondering why the train wouldn't move.
Otherwise, the toy is a delight to set up and play with. Most of the parts are reassuringly heavy and durable, including the impressive transformer that powers the train. There is a small learning curve associated with learning to drive the train, especially for electric train novices, but kids will quickly catch on with their parents' help. The small figurines that can ride atop the cars are a nice entertaining feature. However, they are small and can get easily lost, as well as pose a choking hazard to younger kids.
Attention to Detail Creates a Lifelike Experience
The Polar Express has some especially nice features, like the smoke fluid that you can add to it so that it emits puffs of smoke as it chugs along. The realistic-sounding steam whistle is also a great touch. The transformer that powers the train is heavy and solid, with a big throttle that's easy for little hands to operate.
Testers found the train easy to assemble, and once charged, it went smoothly around the oval track. At 60 inches long and 40 inches wide, the track is not particularly big, but you can extend it by purchasing more track pieces from Lionel (sold separately). In general, we enjoyed the old-fashioned quality in the train set's well-crafted parts, as well the numerous design details (such as interior lighting, retro styling, and a working headlight) that made the Polar Express come alive.
What's in the Box
1 die-cast steam engine; 1 coal tender; 2 coach passenger cars; 1 observation car; 1 CW-80 transformer; Santa's Bell; 4 articulated movie characters; 1 bottle smoke fluid; 40- x 60-inch oval track (with 8 curved sections; 3 straight sections; 1 power terminal section); and instruction book.
The train puffs smoke and makes convincing whistle sounds as it makes its way around the track.