Lego Duplo trains are an excellent way to introduce toddlers to engines and tracks.
There are two main Lego Duplo train sets on the UK market presently and this review will look at both plus certain accessories that can extend play, especially as the child gets older.
General pointers on Lego Duplo trains
The first thing that will strike you about Lego Duplo trains is how robust they are. Jacob (then just 2) has thrown one across the room before and it rolled over and it stubbornly kept driving forward on the carpet. All the pieces are large to both be safe and easy to handle for toddlers. Moreover, the design has been well thought through for toddlers, especially the big green button that makes the engines stop and go.
The second thing that you will notice takes a little more getting used to. The sound effects from Lego Duplo trains (when they are going, when they stop, refuelling etc) are high quality but they can be rather loud.
One of the best things about Lego Duplo trains is that the world around them can easily grow, whether that be with Duplo cities, airports, farms or just creations made from a massive bucket of blocks.
The engines come with a cut out that stops the motor after two minutes to save battery power.
Lego Duplo My First Train Set
One of the two sets available is the Lego Duplo 10507 My First Train Set which can be found for as little as £45. Aimed at children that are two years and older, the set includes a battery-powered steam engine, passenger wagon, driver and child. The track it comes with can form a circle and thus it is highly recommended to buy the track and points set (below) at the same time. There is also a station with ticket window, a fuelling pump and a signal.
Toddlers get used to putting the people in and taking them out of the train pretty quickly, spurring all sorts of creative railway stories such as stopping to buy tickets at the station.
I am yet to work out why Lego thought a passenger train set should come with a goat in the pack.
It says something for this train set that 29 reviews on Amazon have all given it five stars.
Lego Duplo Deluxe Train Set
The more expensive and larger set available is the Lego Duplo 10508 Deluxe Train Set. Typically it retails at £90, or twice the price of the starter set.
This time the set includes a diesel locomotive and two trucks – one that can carry fruit and another that takes rocks from the crane or quarry.
As the set has a quarry theme, there are three workers in the pack but no traditional train driver.
There is a crane on top of a building, a working quarry, a bridge and tunnel on over 1.5m of track and a flatbed truck. In all there are over 130 pieces.
Is it then worth paying the extra? In my view the answer is yes for if any of the following reasons resonate. First, you want a more interesting track layout including bridge and tunnel. Second, you want a set that has more variety and working parts. Third, you have older children (6, 7, even 8 years old) too. However, if your child is more likely to prefer taking people in and out of the train than lifting goods with cranes and so on, stick with the starter set but buy more track.
Lego Duplo train accessories
As mentioned above, buying more track can open up even more fun for kids. The Lego 10506 Duplo – Train Accessory Set is more about variety than length (just over half a metre). There are 8 curves, 5 straights, 2 points and a level crossing. Add in a man and a few blocks and this is good value at around £20 when on offer.
For £15 you can also pick up a set of six curves with the Lego Duplo Trains 2735 Curved Rails, while straights are available in Lego Duplo Trains 2734 Straight Rails and points in Lego Duplo Trains 3775 points.
Overall it is very hard to go wrong with Lego Duplo trains which are a durable, long lasting and creative way to play with trains and beyond.
Links above take you to Amazon.co.uk or other retailers should you wish to buy one of the products. I earn a small commission without any cost to you for my work if you use these links – which will be used to take two train-loving boys to Japan.
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