It's been awhile since I've done a proper review of a LEGO set - so let's jump right back into the thick of things with a look at one of the last trains to be released by LEGO - the High-Speed Passenger Train (set #60051).
The High-Speed Passenger train comes with 610 pieces, plus enough track to make a decent sized oval (and the power functions necessary to make the train move). You also get three minifigures to go with the train (which basically consists of one engine, one fake engine, and a single passenger car). The only other accessories of note is a small (very small) waiting area for the passengers, along with a road crossing and red bicycle.
Upon opening the box, you are greeted with the usual assortment of numbered bags, plus four instruction booklets. And, because it is a City set, you also get a big ol' sheet of stickers.
Seriously, you better like stickers if you intend to build this set! And, frankly, the stickers are necessary if you want your train to look good at all.
Moving on to the builds, you begin with the smallest booklet and the easiest build - the train crossing and waiting platform.
Honestly, this feels like an afterthought to the set. I would have liked to have seen a small station included (with at least a ticket booth). I was happy to get some more train crossing signs (stickers) and the LEGO City train map sticker is a nice thing to have for my own personal city.
Next, we build one of the two engines of the train (only one side has the actual motor, the other side is just for looks).
As you can see from the "in progress" photograph, there are a bunch of transparent window pieces included in this set...but otherwise it's a fairly simple exercise in brick stacking in order to build the engine. The front looks a bit odd in the above photograph but that's because the nose piece for the engine is all one giant mold (with stickers).
Next, the passenger car...
The passenger car was a nice surprise in that there are more seats included than there are minifigures in the set. Of course, other than the tables and chairs, there isn't anything else of note in the car...no food or drink service, no newspapers, no nothing! It should, however, be noted that the top of the passenger car pops off quite easily (notice the relatively small number of studs) allowing access to the inside of the car.
Another view of the almost-completed passenger car. Notice that there is a bit of a "step" in the front of the car - you actually can't add in any more seats given the way the car is constructed (a bit disappointing if you are a fan of modifying your LEGO sets).
And finally, the back engine.
The back engine looks pretty much like the front one, except it's empty inside rather than holding the battery pack and power functions parts.
And that's it - that's the entire set. At $150 from LEGO Shop at Home, I would honestly say that this set isn't worth the cost. There isn't anything wrong with the passenger train...it is just too small. I would have loved to get one more passenger car, plus a couple of extra minifigures. With the lack of any sort of meaningful station or other accessories, this train simply doesn't add up compared to the cargo trains that are also currently available.
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Play Value: 6
Kid Value: 7
Adult Value: 9
While trains are always a fun set to get, the High-Speed Passenger Train simply doesn't offer the amount of play features that one would expect from a $150 LEGO City set. The build isn't particular exciting (the front and back engines are virtually the same build) and you only get a single passenger car (plus only two passengers and a conductor). I think this set is better suited for adults with a larger collection of preexisting pieces (and minifigures) so that they can add to the set (such as by building a train station). In the end, I'm glad to have this set since it's my only passenger train to date...but I'm also glad to have gotten for less than retail (and I would suggest you try to do the same for this one).
And now, how about a peek into my custom city to see the train "in action?"
As you can probably see, my city has two levels - the passenger train on the upper level and the cargo trains on the lower level.
I used the tiny platform that came with 60051 and made it a small waiting area for the passenger train (I also have a proper train station as a second stop for the train).
And finally, one more shot of the passenger train as it goes over my custom cave (complete with parts of the gold mine set)!
Thanks for joining me for the review - I'll hopefully have more LEGO related content on the blog soon!