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Click meThe Christmas Tree
By Lando Da Pimp


If you love Christmas, or the holidays in general, then the one thing you look forward to—besides presents—is decorating for Christmas. Most people put up the "traditional" Christmas décor; angels, holly, and dull ornaments. Well I am bored with the traditional stuff, so this year I put together the ultimate toy collector Christmas tree.

Each winter I set up my Lionel O-guage train around the Christmas tree. Last year I built a platform to encompass my HO scale trains as well. Over the summer, I moved and lost the open space I had for the yearly Christmas layout. I had to rethink an alternative to using my Lionel train as well as create a toy collector tree décor.

Click meMy first decision was to put a LEGO train around the bottom of the tree. LEGO train sets are the company's oldest building sets dating back to 1965. They ran on battery power and were somewhat crude. Today LEGO trains operate very similar to the typical electric train set. LEGO sent over a great selection of train sets lets take a look:

Click meSanta Fe Super Chief
Set 10020

This set is a great replica of the Santa Fe Super Chief locomotive, one of the most recognized engines of all time. The original engine first launched in the late 1930's, taking passengers to different destinations throughout the southwest.

Click meThe color scheme is perfect with great details enhancing the realistic look. The roof opens up revealing the inner workings of the engine along with two train engineer mini-figures that are included. Train cars and additional engines connect by a very powerful magnet in place of the coupler. I found this to be very affective and would love to see electric train sets use them for the couplers as well.

To make the engine run you need to purchase a Train Motor (Set 10153). The motor receives power through the track and moves the engine. The benefit of this is that you can make your own train without needing to buy the engine set as well as keep costs down by not having to include a motor in every engine set.

Click meSanta Fe Train Car Set II
Set 10022

You can't have a train without a couple of train cars to pull. The Santa Fe Super Chief pulled along a number of different aluminum train cars passenger cars, mail cars, sleeping cars, and dining cars. LEGO has two sets that construct five different train cars.

The train cars pictured here are constructed from three LEGO Santa Fe train car 10022 sets. Each set comes with instructions to build three variations of train cars, two passenger cars and a dining car. Each train cars roof opens up to reveal the inner workings where you can populate the car with mini-figures.

Click meSpeed Regulator
Set 4548
LEGO train sets use a speed regulator, or power pack, just like an electric train to run the engine. Once plugged in, the track receives power by a series of connectors. The train can be moved forward and in reverse and surprisingly at high speeds without jumping!!!

Click meWorld City LEGO Train Track
Set 4520 & 4515
You can't run a train without the track so you also need to purchase sets of curved and straight track. Switches and cross track are also available to create train yards.

After I placed the train around the tree, I realized that it was missing something, scenery! LEGO sells World City products that would create a great small town. I decided to use the LEGO sets I already own around the tree to give it more excitement. I populated the train with a number of the Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Spider-Man mini-figures. The Stormtroopers sleep in the passenger cars while Lobot and Chewbacca share a cup of tea. Spider-Man and Doc Ock battle on the locomotive, while an Ewok struggles to hold on. Around the track Hogwarts castle, Yoda's hut, and Jabba's palace provide trackside scenery.

Click meThis is a great alternative to using electric toy trains. The size of the trains is about the same size of O Scale trains with a smaller track radius. You also get to build the train yourself and customize them as much as you want. LEGO train sets are an investment but anybody who is interested in electric trains would enjoy them.

Look for Part Two where I decorate the Tree!


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