All Aboard for the Wonderful World of Disney [Announcement 71044 Disney Train and Station]

Disneyland is often described as the Happiest Place on Earth, and one of the evergreen attractions is the recently reopened Disneyland Railway (following a diversion during the construction of Star Wars Land). Today, LEGO® announce the arrival of the 71044 Disney Train and Station, recreating the Steam Locomotive, Tender, ‘Blue holiday train carriage’, and a Parlor car, as well the American Main Street station. The set comes with five minifigures: Mickey, Minnie, Chip’n’Dale – in new outfits – as well as Goofy: until now, a gaping hole in the Disney Minifigure range.

The 71044 Disney Train and Station is recommended for Ages 12+ and has 2925 pieces. $549.99 AUD. Available August 21 VIPs, Sept 1 For general release in LEGO stores.

US $329.99 – CA $379.99 – DE €329.99 – UK £299.99 – FR €329.99 – DK 2499DKK –$549.99 AUD 

A new train of thought…

I love the look of this new train: A 4-4-0 Locomotive, with a tender big enough to disguise the electrics

The canopy over the van opens up, to make it easy to put minifigures in and out. While there are 14 seats overall, the dimensions of a minifigure means that you will be hard pressed to sit more than 8 minifigures in the carriage.

The side can be removed from the detailed parlour car, featuring luxurious armchair accomodation.

I think the train looks magnificent, but there is something else that I am concerned about…

Recent trains that we have seen released: Harry Potter/Hogwarts Express75955 in 2018; and the Hidden Side Ghost train Express 70424 have been more designed as display pieces, rather than to spend days running around tracks. They have no bogies on the coaches; they both feature non standard couplings between engine/tender/cars.

This train is different: There is no doubt that this train is designed to run on tracks. It comes with a Powered up Smart Hub, as well as a Train motor. This hub can be controlled by an app on your iOS or Android device, or using the Powered Up Remote Control 88010. Unfortunately, the remote is not included in this set, but can be purchased from shop.lego.com. We also have a return to pivoting bogies on the cars, as well as magnetic couplings.

I am, however, concerned about the wheels used on the cars: With the new Hidden Side set, we have seen a new type of train wheel: made of plastic, they just plug into the wheel base, compared with the previous axle plugging into wheels (seen in Harry Potter, amongst others.) This is the first time that these wheels have been released in a train set that is designed to run under power. At this stage, we know very little about their durability, although it would seem likely that there will be additional friction and wear in running them for a prolonged period. I wonder also what effect this might have on the battery life seen with the hub, if there is additional drag.

The markings on the inner side of the the wheels seem to be consistent with the new plastic plug in wheels rather than the firm axle, and I look forward to hearing some first hand reviews. I suspect that the Train Fan Community will not be impressed with this change.

Standing on the platform on Main Street USA

The railway station bears a terrific resemblance to its source material, and more than a passing nod to both the Winter Village as well as the Modular Building style (I am particularly thinking of the fire station here).

There is a detailed interior, to provide somewhere for your figures to be at work:

Minifigures

There are five minifigures in this set, and all are exclusive. Chip’n’Dale appear as conductors and Mickey as an engineer. Minnie has a new skirt: fabric rather than plastic, and Goofy is all new!

There is room for all of these figures to ride on the train, along with many more.

Here’s the official press release:

Gather the family for a rewarding build and play experience with the LEGO® ǀ Disney 71044 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, 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!

Includes 5 uniquely decorated LEGO® ǀ Disney minifigures with accessories: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip, Dale and Goofy minifigures.

The LEGO® ǀ Disney Train and Station includes 16 curved pieces and 4 straight pieces of track, locomotive, tender, passenger car, parlor car and an iconic station building.

Locomotive features a large red fender, red wheels with working coupling rods, a big smoke stack and a driver’s cab.

Tender contains a LEGO® Powered Up 88009 Hub and a LEGO Powered Up 88011 Train Motor.

Train and sound effects can be controlled via a smart device. Connect via Bluetooth from the LEGO® Powered Up app.

Requires batteries (not included). Please refer to the product packaging for type and quantity.

Passenger car has seating for the LEGO® ǀ Disney minifigures.

Remove the panel on the parlor car to access a rich interior with table, armchairs, teapot and cup.

Station exterior features a detailed facade with balcony, clock and 2 flagged towers.

Station interior features a ticket counter, café corner and an array of brick-built furnishings and details, including draped windows, wall clock, ceiling chandelier and a tower room with a little LEGO® ǀ Disney surprise.

Easily connect the cars with the included LEGO® magnetic couplings.

This LEGO® building toy includes more than 2,900 pieces.

The LEGO® ǀ Disney train toy (in total) measures over 4” (12cm) high, 30” (78cm) long and 3” (8cm) wide.

LEGO® ǀ Disney train station building measures over 15” (39cm) high, 14” (36cm) wide and 6” (16cm) deep.

Oval rail track diameter measures over 37” (96cm) long and 27” (70cm) wide.

The train also comes with a full loop or railway track, with 16 curved and 4 straight rails: hopefully enough to allow it to run around the entire Disney Castle 71040, but perhaps you might need a little more track to allow that to happen.

This is a premium set: both models are detailed, the minifigures are brilliant, and it is motorised (Powered up elements used here add just over $100 on their own). Add to this the Disney license, and the I can see why this set is priced the way that it is. At $AUD549.99, it is expensive. But you can see where the cost goes.

I am a little concerned about the durability of the new train wheels, and while they may not be up to running for day long displays, will probably be fine for most consumers. I look forward to seeing how they run after prolonged usage.

What do you think of this set? Is it a no brainer? an instant purchase? Or one that will need a little longer to invest in? I think can see this arriving under the trees of a few Disney Fans this Christmas…

Why not leave your thoughts in the comments below, and until next time,

Play well.

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