Lego’s latest train set might just have gone off the rails.
Over the years Lego have released some memorable train sets like that of the Crocodile Locomotive 10277 and the Emerald Night 10194 that are absolutely stunning. This new release is neither. The 284 piece High-Speed Train set is clearly not in the same league and retailing for $34.99 with a recommended age rating of 7+, Lego is obviously targeting a different demographic. With those caveats aside, I still find this set lacking so much of the spirit and energy found in Lego’s other sets on tracks.
The build is straightforward and should only take 30-60mins depending on age and experience. The two carriages are nearly identical save for the front end containing the driver’s cab. At a total length of 36cm, 3cm wide and for the most part 5cm tall (6.5cm at its single tallest point), there’s not a lot of train here. There’s not a lot more on offer really in terms of challenges, neat features or clever parts usage either. The result however is a very solid, robust construction. For playability, this was the right call. In busy little hands, the set is unlikely to crumble or give way. The wheels are sturdy too, and with no tracks available at this scale they’ll be surely tested. Its only potential weak point is the justifiable use of a 2×2 tow ball plate connecting the rear carriage to the front locomotive.
If you, like me, feel like this set falls short of its potential then I suspect the designers may agree themselves. The instructions, spare stickers and rear of the box packaging suggest 2 sets be bought and joined together to form a complete looking train. It’s really a shame the commitment wasn’t made here to make this set something…more. Perhaps choosing a more iconic or recognisable locomotive could have helped as well but this set has a very narrow focus. That is, be a budget-friendly entry point into trains for younger Lego fans.
The concept of building sets at what is approximately ‘HO’ scale (in hobby train lingo) is honestly a great idea but unfortunately in this instance executed half-heartedly. I can envisage a whole array of trains at this scale looking wonderful on a shelf and being loved by all ages. In the meantime, I can only recommend this set to those who want to introduce the younger folk in their lives to the wonderful world of Lego trains and don’t want to fork out for something like the City Passenger Train set 60197 just yet. In this scenario, I can imagine the High-Speed Train being a suitable gift to test the waters.
Words by Lukas Mack
Photos by Lukas Mack
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This set was provided free of charge from The LEGO Group. Opinions expressed in the review are those of the reviewer.