(Written by William)
When I heard LEGO was going to release another Disney train, I got a bit excited. I had a chance to build the large #71044 LEGO Disney Train and Station, and although I thought the train was great, I felt that the station was a little bland. So, I figured that another train would be interesting. Turns out, that the new #43212 LEGO Disney Celebration Train is designed for a much younger audience. This did cause me to pause on buying the set, but then LEGO offered a review copy to theBrickBlogger and I jumped at the chance.
It is very important to temper your expectations on a set. LEGO only seems to be increasing in price so your dollars don’t stretch as far. And the best indication as to what to expect is probably hinted at by the age rating. This means a model rated for 4+ is going to be designed for two groups of people. Firstly, children matching the age recommendation, and secondly, adults who are new to LEGO. This may sound a bit weird, but the simpler building style rated for a younger age group really helps introduce basic building concepts that adults new to LEGO don’t have as a developed skill set just yet.
With that said, I do think this train has something to offer even to the most experienced builders. First of all, any decoration you see on a 4+ set is printed, which adult fans might appreciate, plus LEGO designers tend to sneak in some interesting parts you don’t normally see – like the Mickey Mouse head silhouette. But I think the most prominent factor that could get avid collectors interested in this set is the minifigures. Considering the only other time we’ve ever seen Tinkerbell is in a $300+ set, it’s easy to see why. So, let’s take a closer look at what is in store for you, by getting all aboard the Disney Celebration Train!
LEGO DISNEY CELEBRATION TRAIN – THE CHARACTERS
Many adult LEGO fans avoid sets rated for the youngest age group due to the lower skill level required to assemble them. In addition, many of the parts are considered by fans as “juniorized”. This is a fan term referring to large specialty parts moulded as one unit, instead of getting assembled from smaller pieces. However, unique characters can still make these sets desirable for adult collectors.
In this set, each of the five phases of the build features at least one character to enjoy (and in the case of Peter Pan’s ship, you also get a second minifigure). The first minifig is Engineer Mickey with a new print on the torso, featuring an engineer’s pocketwatch and train striping. As an accessory, he holds a balloon to help lift his spirits and yours!
Following Mickey are two minifigures; Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Peter is in his iconic outfit and comes with nicely molded hair, ears, and a hat piece to make him look just right. He also holds a telescope to keep an eye out for the seas ahead. But the real star of the set is Tinkerbell. She has exquisite butterfly wings for a back piece as well as a balloon to hold on to. This is a different version of this character from the one in the much larger and more expensive #71040 LEGO Disney Castle set, and is much more affordable.
Next up is the Sheriff himself, Woody from Toy Story. His hat is interesting as it has a lot of texture along the brim and hair moulded into the hat. It is also tilted at a jaunty angle, which can look a little odd when you first put it on his head. He comes with a guitar to sing an old west camp song. The only odd thing is that Woody has normal minifigure legs. Previous versions had extra-long legs, so his proportions can feel a bit off.
The next building phase brings us Moana. While we have gotten Moana mini-dolls in previous sets, this is the first time she appears as a regular minifigure. Her accessory is an oar.
Finally, we get Minnie Mouse, who is waiting for the train with some tasty treats. Like Mickey, she has a fully molded head, and she also gets a removable bow. Her skirt is cloth and may take some arranging so it can drape appropriately. She holds a balloon as an accessory.
All in all, this is a solid cast of characters. In order to give a little perspective, a LEGO Collectible Minifigure costs $5 each. This batch is pretty close to the uniqueness you can find when it comes to characters and/or prints. So that means roughly $30 of this $40 set are the minifigures. I won’t say these minifigures are as special as the ones from the LEGO Collectible Minifigure series, but I do believe this is where most collectors will find value in this set.
LEGO DISNEY CELEBRATION TRAIN – THE BUILD
The builds in this model are simple and quick. Of course, that is kind of the point. They are meant for the youngest builders just about ready to move from LEGO DUPLO into the regular LEGO System. As such, it is not the “how” this is built, but more of the interesting parts and presentation of the set.
For starters, there is a Mickey Mouse head silhouette piece on the front of the train and on top of the arch behind Minnie mouse. This is a smooth tile that is two plates thick with an interesting shape. You also get a number of printed elements.
On the train engine, there is a 2×4 brick with printing on the long sides, additionally, the printed cloth sail for Peter Pan is also new. It’s interesting that one of the crossed bones is actually a hook. And of course, the “Sherriff” sign for Woody is printed on a nice 2×6 tile.
As for the presentation, this set is arranged as if it were five sets in one. You get five numbered bags that build the engine, the three cars, and the arch. And there is a sixth bag with the bases for the train and sail. You also get five different instruction books. This means your young builder can either have five different building experiences or get together with friends and each of them will have something to build. Personally, I like the idea that a family of five can all sit down together and have a fun building experience.
LEGO DISNEY CELEBRATION TRAIN – FINAL THOUGHTS
I usually avoid sets with this age rating as I know they don’t cater to what I want in a LEGO set. However, I was sorely tempted to buy this one. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to get a review copy, but if I had bought it, I don’t think I’d have been disappointed.
I found the minifigures to be a nice variety and I appreciate that they all came as minifigures instead of a mix of minifigs and mini-dolls. In addition, as an adult fan, I can see this set working well as a starting point for parade floats to go down my town’s main road.
As an adult builder, I’m always a fan of printed elements, so I’m happy there are no stickers in this set. Plus, I found Moana’s cart with the wave to be a charming build. I’m not used to seeing LEGO designers attempting something with water this bold in a simple set, but the design works.
For those with young builders in the family, this set is an easy buy. It’s cute and charming with a wide variety of ways to play. Plus, you get more characters than most sets around this price point. As for everyone else, it will depend on how much they want these particular minifigures. This is a set that seems to be priced very well for what it is, but it’s also not going to be the most memorable set in your collection. In short, I think this is one worth buying if it fits your budget. If you would like to check it out, it’s available at the LEGO Disney section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like the new LEGO Disney Celebration Train? Feel free to share your thoughts and own reviews in the comment section below!
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