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What is the best train set to buy my son (4yrs)

greekmickgreekmick Member Posts: 710
edited August 2012 in Collecting
He loves trains and in a recent bulk we found a train crossing set. He would like to add a train set but the ones I have seen seem to be around £100. Is this the kind of price I need to be looking at for a basic set to start him off? And if so which sets would be the best for him?

p.s Anyone selling a train set please let me know. Thanks


  • graphitegraphite Member Posts: 3,275
    I'm not sure any of the trains would be considered basic. I'm also not sure what the average 4 year old is capable of, but would think that without help the train sets might be a year or two too advanced. Trains have been discussed before and the current offerings that are probably the best to get the whole train package (RF control, tracks, train, with playability) are the yellow or red cargo trains #7939 and #3677 . The passenger train #7938 is also available but the cargo trains offer more playability in my opinion.
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    edited August 2012
  • bmwlegobmwlego Member Posts: 819
    What about the Toy story train? Can't go wrong with Disney although this set doesn't come with working engine. I've got an extra as well I could part with.
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Member Posts: 4,027
    @greekmick Did you get a £15 off a £75 spend Tesco voucher? Brings the passenger in at around 40% off.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889
    The big Duplo train set #5609 is really awesome. My 4 year old loves it. My 7 year old still actually plays with it too. I wouldn't trust my 4 year old with a regular train set. It would be in pieces within minutes. :)
  • greekmickgreekmick Member Posts: 710
    @kevbags i will have a look for that voucher thanks.

    @bandit you are right, it would probably be in pieces in a few days.

    @bmwlego thanks but i did look at that option. Not being motorized would definitely have it in pieces. Thanks for the offer though
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889
    The duplo set is nice because it's easy for him to take apart and put back together as he sees fit, he can do the track setup easily, it makes fun noises, it has a big on/off button, and it goes for a little while and then turns off so the battery doesn't run down. He can just take it and go with it, and I don't have to worry about spending half an hour putting it back together for him the next day...

    He calls duplo 'baby Lego' and would rather play with regular stuff (and does), but he still likes the train. And also the huge pirate ship from a few years back.
  • SirBenSirBen Member Posts: 592
    I'll second the Duplo Deluxe Train set #5609. We ended up with two of these, along with a large assortment of track and a few of the older Thomas trains. Once we had #5609 I found the need to supplement it with additional straight track ( #2734 ), a few switches (currently found in #9212 ), the tunnel, and bridge ( #3774 ). The track is great as layouts can be put together in a matter of minutes and cleaned up just as quickly.
  • vwong19vwong19 Member Posts: 1,191
    My 4 yo son is having fun with the Toy Story Train set. He doesn't know how to assemble it but he does like pushing it around the tracks. He also likes all the Toy Story minifigs. Admittedly the train does break apart very easily.
  • weaselkingweaselking Member Posts: 61
    I'll echo the Toy Story set (7597). My son is now 5, but had no problems a year ago. Yes, I had to assemble it for him, but the cars are pretty solid; the engine's front assembly (if memory serves), is a different story.

    And he is easily amused by the sudden "thwup" of the magnets joining the cars together.

    Nice set overall, though, and the minifigs are great, too.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    I'll echo the duplo route for a four year old. The track is easy for them to lay and not too many pieces, so they can create a continuous circuit by themselves. Easy to use too. Track is also quite cheap second hand (compared to regular lego) and the addition of a bridge is a good idea. I bought a second hand engine on ebay for £7. The owner said it was possibly broken, but in reality it just needed new batteries. The Thomas trains are OK, but not being motorised, they soon lose their appeal.
  • byhovabyhova Member Posts: 55
    I bought my son the red cargo train right after he turned 4, he was available to assemble about 90% of the train itself. I had to do all the r/c components and the other train cars he was able to do most of them alone. HOWEVER, now that's it's built all he was to do is see how fast he can make it go around and how far it can roll/flip and crash into the other other car......not wanting to lose any pieces it drives me crazy but he is only 4 so I try to stay relaxed when I see Lego pieces crashing on the floor.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    I'm probably going to get my 4 year old the passenger train for Christmas as his 6 year old brother is getting the cargo train. He/they have the duplo train, but now that the younger one's able to play with proper lego the duplo is largely forgotten.

    Having said that, occasionally they'll get the duplo train out and both play with it and they did/do love the duplo train - its a great set. Its just the older brother thing that's making it less desirable.
  • TyoSoloTyoSolo Member Posts: 539
    I've just managed to pick up #2745 from ebay for £30 delivered. My 20mo old daughter was fascinated with the trains at the NSC earlier this summer. I was going to get her the Toy Story Duplo set, I didn't even realise there were motorised Duplo trains.

    It might be 16 years old, but I reckon between her and her baby brother, we'll get another 5 years out of this set... After I've thoroughly cleaned it of course.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    ^ That's the same engine as we have. It is great fun for little ones. Just watching their coordination develop trying to stop the train is great.

    I'd also advise rechargeable batteries! You'll get through loads.
  • willkfwongwillkfwong Member Posts: 44
    My parents bought me #4558 when I was 5. It was my first Lego set and I was able to finish about 90% of it without my dad's help.

    Your son would be delighted with any train set really. :]
  • pvp3020pvp3020 Member Posts: 198
    edited August 2012
    I bought #7897 for my son for Christmas, 2 months before his 5th birthday. He loved it. I had to do most of the building, but it kept him entertained for days on end.

    But I'm sure he would love any train set. My son is currently obsessed with Hogwarts Express ( #4841 ), proving that it doesn't need to be RC for them to have fun!
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404
    Regarding the Duplo Trains, and track...

    3774 - Duplo Bridge
    3775 - Duplo Switch Track

    These are both less expensive in Europe for some reason, but if anyone in the US wants both, I'll do one of each of them for $60 total shipped within the US. I have way too many of these. :)
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    edited August 2012
    I second all the recommendations that Duplo trains are better for a four year old than LEGO trains. Your son will probably be able to assemble a working Duplo track layout by himself. I find that the LEGO tracks take more dexterity and "active thinking" to keep working since they come apart so much easier.

    You can also consider whether you want motorized or not. Four year old have plenty of fun pushing train around a track by themselves. If you can find it, the 9212-1 set can be a pretty good bargain.
  • joeejoee Member Posts: 42

    I'll echo the Toy Story set (7597). My son is now 5, but had no problems a year ago. Yes, I had to assemble it for him, but the cars are pretty solid; the engine's front assembly (if memory serves), is a different story.

    And he is easily amused by the sudden "thwup" of the magnets joining the cars together.

    Nice set overall, though, and the minifigs are great, too.

    Agreed. My son is also 5 and loves it but that front engine was poorly designed. I modified it a bit for better "play value" Is there a way to motorize it?
  • graphitegraphite Member Posts: 3,275
    I've seen it motorized and it looks like there are a couple youtube videos on how to do it. I haven't built mine yet but will be motorizing it once i do.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,789
    ^--- put an engine under one of the cars behind the Loco, or build a car to house the battery pack, sensor and use the engine for the wheels of that car.
  • punkinannpunkinann Member Posts: 16
    My 4.5 year old son is adamant that he wants the red passenger train and not the yellow cargo train that gets better reviews for track and playability. How much extra track or equipment would be needed to make the red passenger train a fun set?
    Many folks have recommended Duplo for a 4 year old, but it's hard for me to see him going for that.
  • graphitegraphite Member Posts: 3,275
    #7938 comes with 16 curved and 16 flex track pieces, which is exactly what is in the picture on the info page here. I would say minimum you'd probably want 1x #7499 straight track if buying new to make it more than just a circle. If buying used I would stick to the straight and curved pieces and not the flex track.
  • turtle1173turtle1173 Member Posts: 230
    edited August 2012
    Last year my son (who was 9 then) was wanting to get into trains (OK, I was too). We were trying to find the yellow cargo train on sale and it seemed to be out of stock everywhere. He ended up settling for the Red cargo train ( #3677 ). He loved and it and still does. It has more play functions than the passenger train. Still though, it doesn't seem as cool as the yellow cargo train. #7938 seems kind of bland, although the train itself doesn't look bad. If you go with that, I would definitely get a pack of switch tracks ( #7895 ). That really adds play value, in my opinion.

    By the way, I picked up the yellow cargo a month ago brand new for $135. I've got that put away for Christmas this year :-)
  • beegeedeebeegeedee Member Posts: 380
    My son loves trains and I remember letting him play with the non-motorised passenger train/fake engine part and it kept falling to pieces. This is my main issue with them. Yellow cargo train is superior but also falls to pieces too.

    I wanted the red train for completeness but seems overpriced to me.
  • JoinceJoince Member Posts: 8
    It depends on your budget and status. I dont think spending so much on this can be a really beneficial because there exists other alternatives.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,789
    edited August 2012
    I have a bunch of Yellow Cargo trains I got from TRU BOGOs before TRU raised the price to 200 per. They are nice for spare cars/parts, but I think they will be nice in the secondary market.
    I would say watch for TRU BOGO, or Amazon and try to get one for either the 180 RRP or for around 150 per.
    I like the red cargo train, but it just seems like there is something missing for that 160.. if you can get those on sale go for it.. Cargo trains always have interest.
    Also after getting one of these sets, do not forget about the Maersk train either.. they have been seen a few times on Amazon for only 100 (US)
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