Yesterday, LEGO announced the arrival of the #71044 LEGO Disney Train and Station (see: LEGO Disney Train and Station Coming Soon!). The set features the iconic Disney train (with a full circle of tracks and LEGO Powered Up elements to motorize the train), a highly detailed train station, and five exclusive LEGO Disney minifigures. LEGO VIP members can purchase the set starting August 21st, and wider availability will begin on September 1st. So, let’s take a closer look at what’s in the box!
➡ LEGO DISNEY TRAIN PACKAGING: As usual for large sets like this, the outer box contains an inner box that helps with distributing the pieces evenly. Inside the two boxes, you will find 18 numbered bags, 3 sticker sheets, 4 instruction booklets, plus 3 unnumbered bags with LEGO Powered Up and train components as well as some large plates.
➡ LEGO DISNEY TRAIN INSTRUCTIONS: “I just want it to look like nothing else in the world, and it should be surrounded by a train.” This quote is from Walt Disney on the original Disneyland Park concept, and is included in the first instruction booklet that comes with the set. Four pages are dedicated to Walt Disney’s love of trains, the history of the C.K. Holliday locomotive and the Disneyland train station. Some lovely pictures of the real life train and station are also included. The instructions separated out into four separate booklets allow four people to build simultaneously, turning the construction of the set into an awesome family/friends event. The first booklet includes instructions to build the train engine and coal car. The second the open train car, the third the closed train car, and the fourth and thickest one the train station.
➡ LEGO DISNEY TRAIN BAGS 1-3: The first three numbered bags build the train engine with the help of the first booklet. The construction of the train is pretty simple, although there are some advanced techniques going on at the front wheel assembly. Although the final model may not be the most interesting and intricate of LEGO train engines, it is an accurate representation of the real life engine. The details are lovely, especially the color combination, the gold detailing, the little bell, the construction of the chimney and light, and the clever use of wrenches at the front simulate attachment to the cowcatcher. On the negative side, the chimney/light assembly falls off very easily, the cabin floor weirdly moves around as the train turns, and there is not much going on inside the cabin.
It’s worth noting that the engine cabin is eight studs wide – a size that will carry through the cabins as well – making this train unusually wide. While this is accurate to the source material, I’m not a fan of eight-stud wide trains. The large size makes them look out of scale with other vehicles and minifigs, and it is hard to place the train engine and cars on the tracks, as it is difficult to see the wheels set back so far under the body.
It’s also important to mention that it appears that LEGO switched over to completely plastic train wheel assemblies instead of using metal rods between the wheels. There are concerns from LEGO fans who run their trains for long periods of time that the plastic parts will wear out and also put more stress on the engine, however for casual users the new wheel assemblies shouldn’t make much of a difference. The new system is actually more versatile with more standard connection points than the older trains.
There are no electric components within the engine. Rather, both the train motor and the Powered Up Hub (with batteries and Bluetooth receiver) is placed inside the coal car. This is a very efficient and clean arrangement because you don’t have to run wires in between cars. It works well too, although when you run the train backwards, the engine sometimes separates from the coal cart due the magnetic coupler not being strong enough to hold them together (an easy fix is to add a 1×2 plate over the coupler).
I do recommend having 6 fresh AAA batteries ready, because once you finished building the engine and the coal cart, you will likely want to try them out. In fact, this is exactly what the instructions booklet suggests you to do.
➡ LEGO DISNEY TRAIN POWERED UP APP: To LEGO Disney Train does not come with a traditional remote. You will have to control it from the LEGO Powered Up app, which you can download for Apple and Android phones and tablets. This same Powered Up app also includes controls of the two LEGO City trains (#60197 LEGO City Passenger Train and #60198 LEGO City Cargo Train), and the #76112 LEGO App-Controlled Batmobile. You can actually run the LEGO Disney Train from either of the LEGO City train apps, but there is also a new LEGO Disney Train app specifically made for this set.
The app includes a summer and winter Disneyland Park theme, both with their own background Disney music and train sounds. The app allows you to run the train forward and backward, control the speed (in either direction), and add train whistle and train crossing sounds. The sounds get old pretty fast, but I think kids would enjoy them.
You might consider picking up a traditional remote (available at the LEGO Powered Up section of the Online LEGO Shop) so you don’t have to use your smartphone or tablet every time you want to run the train. The traditional remote also allows you to run the train longer. When you run the train from the app, it will stop when your phone/tablet goes to standby mode.
➡ LEGO DISNEY TRAIN BAGS 4-5: The second booklet gives you instructions for building the open train cart from bags #4 and #5. The cart is specifically built to include the maximum amount of Disney characters and other minifigures in two rows of seats. In itself, the cart is not so interesting, but when filled with minifigs it’s delightful! Two sections of the roof open up wide, so you can easily place in the minifigs you want. Although technically there are 14 seats in the cart, you can only really sit 10 minifigs because of their arms, plus one more standing in the middle section. However, you can also get creative and add a few extra minifigs hanging onto all the railings. (Speaking of railings, look at all those red lightsaber hilts!) The roof of the cart is tall enough to seat even tall minifigs like Goofy with his hat.
Building this train cart is quite repetitive, especially the roof section, but overall it looks nice, especially when filled with minifigs. On the negative side, the eight-stud width and loose wheel assemblies makes it especially awkward to place this cart on the tracks. I’m really tempted to make a six-stud wide version.
➡ LEGO DISNEY TRAIN BAGS 6-7: The third booklet includes building instructions for the covered train cart. This is an elegant build with red, dark-red, dark-green, brown, and black pieces. The roof doesn’t lift up like in the open train cart, but instead one of the sides is removable. This is a clever way to build LEGO train cars to easily reach into and display the interior.
Inside, there are three nicely built and comfortable looking seats and a small table with a teapot, teacup, and vase with flower. I quite like the construction of the vase, and you also get an extra teacup. The most interesting building techniques are in the seats. It’s a nice train cart overall that could be easily used as is or modified some to add to other trains.
:arrow LEGO DISNEY TRAIN STATION BAGS 8-18: Once you finish building the train and tracks (4 straight and 16 curved) and had some time to play around with it, it’s time to tackle the biggest instruction booklet. Booklet #4 is 220 pages, and contains instructions for building the train station. Fist, you build the base with plates and angled plates. It is 40 studs wide and 16 studs deep (at its deepest) The walls are mainly built of 1-2 dark-red masonry bricks, 1×1 headlight bricks and 1×2 tiles. Although the walls look nice, it is extremely repetitive to build them. Consider that you have to attach 64 1×2 tiles to 120 headlight bricks to create the light-gray brickwork at the corners!
Repetitiveness is going to be the theme throughout the train station. The five door frames are all built the same way, so are the eight upper level windows, and not to speak of the fancy black “iron” decoration on top using 32 droid legs and 32 handcuffs. They are all nice builds, but it’s just a bit boring to keep building the same thing over and over again. On the positive side, you will really have the techniques down by the time you finish. Some other positives are the construction of the outside lights. The designer really nailed these!
The monotonousness of building the exterior is occasionally interrupted by switching to building some of the interior details. The chandelier, the front desk, the bench, the scale at the lower floor, the seat (same as in the train cart), curtains, and display shelves on the upper floor are all nice little builds. The highlight of all these interior decorations are the two model trains displayed on the first and second floors, and the miniature Disney Castle way up in the attic.
The roof work, although repetitious, looks beautiful. The combination of dark-red, light-gray, and black with a little bit of dark-green and brown for the door and windows, goes perfectly with the tan and nougat (medium-flesh on BrickLink) of the roof. I can’t emphasize how nice all of this looks together. I would love to see this color combination used in other buildings as well.
➡ LEGO DISNEY TRAIN MINIFIGURES: The five minifigs included are Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip, Dale and Goofy. All of them come with exclusive printing for this set. Mickey comes with front and back torso printing, printed legs, and dual-moulded arms. Minnie also has front and back torso printing, dual-moulded and printed arms and legs, a removable printed bow, and a round cloth skirt (new piece). Chip and Dale wear the same suit, with Chip wearing his suit jacket and Dale just his west. They both have movable short legs. The most exclusive of all the minifigs is Goofy, as this is his first appearance in LEGO form. He comes with front and back torso printing, printed legs, and a specially moulded head that includes the little cap (not removable). The LEGO graphic designer went all out on these minifigs and they certainly look exclusive worth of such an expensive set.
➡ LEGO DISNEY TRAIN PART SELECTION: The LEGO Disney Train and Station comes with a total of 2,925 parts including a good number of unique elements. While most of the decorations are stickers, we also get two exclusive printed pieces; the clock face, and the 2×3 tile with Disney Castle print (representing the box of the #71040 LEGO Disney Castle set). Other welcome pieces are the large white flags, the 40 tan and 10 brown decorative 1×1 scroll bricks, the 8 red lightsaber hilts, 1 red minifig roller-skate (+1 extra), red train wheels (you get some extras too, as these come a pre-packed bundle), red cowcatcher, 2 red old style train doors, teal brick-separator, three umbrellas (2 black, 1 pink), 32 black droid legs, and 32 black handcuffs, tons of train windows with glass, dark-green door frames and window frames (both rectangle and arched), 152 dark-red 1×2 masonry bricks, 28 dark-red 1×2 bricks with grille pattern, many new pieces in nougat used for the roof (slopes, arches, bricks, plates, curved plates, and tiles), 20 track pieces (4 straight and 16 curved), all the specialized train bases and wheel assemblies, and all the LEGO Powered Up elements. Although this set would be too expensive to be just a parts pack, if you do get it, you will definitely get a huge number of very useful parts.
Overall, the #71044 LEGO Disney Train and Station is a nicely done set that is accurate to the source-material. The train is not the best or most interesting LEGO train I ever had the chance to build, but it faithfully represents the real life Disney train. It’s a big plus that motorization is done so simply with both the hub and the motor placed in the coal cart. The train station looks beautiful, especially on the outside. For Disney fans, the building is an accurate model of the real station, and for architecture fans, it’s a fabulous looking structure. And, the included minifigs are gorgeous! On the more negative side, both the train and the station have many repetitive steps that do not provide the most enjoyable building experience. The price of the set is very high, no doubt because of the expensive train and power components. It’s not a bad price overall, especially considering what’s included, but it’s something that LEGO fans will have to budget for more consciously. Below, I have included a full review of the set by Beyond the Brick, so you can see all the details and functions, as well as also hear their opinion on the set.
And here is the official description: Celebrate the magic with the LEGO Disney Train and Station! Gather the family for a rewarding build and play experience with the #71044 LEGO Disney Train and Station. Kids will love to join Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip, Dale, and Goofy for magical adventures with this awesome LEGO train set, featuring a motorized steam-style locomotive with tender, passenger car and a luxurious parlor car, plus an oval track and an iconic Disney Parks-style station building. This set comes with an array of cool details, including app-controlled functionality. Use a smart phone or tablet to drive the locomotive forward or reverse, and emit realistic sound effects. Joining up the train cars is simple with the magnetic LEGO couplings, and the panels on the parlor car open for access to its detailed interior complete with table, armchairs, teapot, and cup. And the fun doesn’t end there! Inside the toy train station building there’s an array of intricate brick-built furnishings and details, including draped windows, wall clock, ceiling chandelier, and a tower room with a little LEGO surprise! The LEGO Disney train toy (in total) measures over 4” (12cm) high, 30” (78cm) long and 3” (8cm) wide. The LEGO Disney train station building measures over 15” (39cm) high, 14” (36cm) wide and 6” (16cm) deep. The oval rail track diameter measures over 37” (96cm) long and 27” (70cm) wide. 2,925 pieces. Price: $329.99. Available at the LEGO Disney section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Disney Train and Station set? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!
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