Thursday, June 20, 2019

LEGO 2126: Train Cars - REVIEW

Last week, I placed a bid for LEGO 2126:  Train Cars on eBay and happened to win the auction.  I have been watching auctions for this particular set for about a year (maybe longer) now and was definitely happy to finally have the set in my possession.  The seller claimed the set was 100% complete (which was a big reason that I bid on it) and while that turned out to be not quite true, I'm still happy with the set as a whole.

First up, this was a used set and so all the pieces came packed up in a single Ziploc bag.  The original set came with 378 pieces, five minifigures, and retailed for about $70.  Today, you'll be lucky to get a used copy for about $40 more than the original retail price.  From what I could tell online, this set was a limited release which probably contributes to its fairly high markup (the set was actually released in 1997 despite it looking more in line with the early 90s LEGO Train sets).

Unlike in most newer LEGO sets, the Train Cars set begins with you assembling the five included minifigures.  As you might be able to tell from my set, the guy in the middle clearly had his sunglasses and smile drawn on (or at the very least, "touched up").  I particularly like the train conductor in the yellow jacket as well as the lady in the blue hoodie.  Getting a pair of train workers (complete with the LEGO trains logo on their work vests) is a nice touch as well.  In fact, getting five minifigures for a set like this is great all around!

The meat of the build begins with the red Christmas tree wagon.  The wagon hauls three trees in total (two small and one large tree) and each half of the train car has its own separate compartment.  There are a total of eight doors that swing down which allow for easy access to the trees (perhaps for a not-included LEGO forklift)? 

Next up, the blue tanker car.  My copy of the set was missing a long blue piece that was to connect the tops of the three barrels (you can sort of see the piece in question in the instructions that the car is sitting on in the above photo).  Other than that, I have to admit that I'm sort of confused as to what this car is meant to be hauling.  What do you store in wooden barrels besides whiskey?  I have no idea - but I can admit the car looks kind of cool nestled among the other cargo train cars.

After building a pair of train cars, we switch gears momentarily to build a truck.  This is a simple little dump truck with a working bucket - but at least for my copy the back bucket comes off way to easily when you actually try to play with truck.  Still, the dump truck is a nice inclusion because of the next train car you build...

That's an awesome rock (gravel?) carrying car complete with a pair of tipping hoppers.  The color scheme on the car looks great for a construction train car - and actually the set as a whole looks nice with a red car, blue car, yellow car, and a gray car. 

Three train cars down, one to go.  But before we get to the final car, we have some other builds to complete beginning with this little train repair car that is meant to travel on the train tracks.

The little car is mostly notable for the full complement of LEGO tools that it holds as well as the Octan oil drum in the back (complete with the iconic white, green, and red color scheme that LEGO still uses today). 

The repair vehicle isn't the only small car to build though - next up are a pair of small sports cars that will eventually go on a flatbed train car.

The two cars are built virtually identically other than the back spoilers.  My second missing piece was with the white car (a missing 1x2 plate in white but luckily those are super common pieces and I had a spare to use).  The two cars don't work in scale with the new LEGO City stuff but they do work with the current LEGO Creator sets (especially many of the 3-in-1 Creator sets).

Finally, we build the last train car which is the flatbed meant to hold the two convertibles.  This is by far the simplest train car (and in my opinion, the least interesting).  I suppose real trains have plenty of flatbed cars but they don't make for overly exciting models to build.

For me, the set build ended with a bit of a thud (two small cars and a flatbed) but otherwise it is a great set, even for today's inflated prices on the aftermarket.  I believe LEGO train cars are always in demand and this set offers up some truly unique cars (the blue barrel car and the dual hopper especially). 

Overall, I give the LEGO 2126:  Train Cars set the following rating:
The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  9
Play Value:  7
Kid Value:  7
Adult Value:  9
Overall:  9

The play value suffers slightly since you don't get a train engine but otherwise this is an awesome set.  The extra trucks are a nice touch and each train car is suitably different from the others to make for a much more varied cargo train.  If the set wasn't so expensive on the aftermarket, I could see myself going after another copy or two, that's how much I like this set!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool set. I think my favorite thing is the dump truck and the gravel car. I could picture myself as a kid having a lot of fun playing with this set.