Browsing Tag: for children

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    Realistic Steam and Sound in this Model Train Video

    January 23, 2020


    Something fun has arrived in the mail…
    In a really big box! My Christmas present to myself. I think you’re gonna like this! If you’ve seen my model train videos,
    it’s not going to surprise you to see
    that these are red boxes from LGB. These two are kind of ordinary LGB. This one is very special.
    So special… That when you open up the cardboard box… There’s another box inside:
    A wooden box. Inside the wooden box:
    Something very special… And very rare! It’s a locomotive…
    And LGB only made
    399 of these for the entire world. And I have one!
    (Evil laugh) Here’s a little tip for you:
    When you’re dealing with model trains… If it comes in a wooden box,
    we’re talking about the good stuff. I know it’s probably hard to tell
    just from looking at it right now
    what’s so good about it… So, let’s fire it up…
    And I’m pretty sure you’re gonna see! Look at that!
    That is so cool! I love the way that the puffing of
    the smoke out the smokestack is… synchronized with the sound and
    the motion of the wheels and everything. And look at how there’s
    steam coming out down below, too…
    at track level. Well, let’s take this thing for a run around the layout
    so you can really see it in action.
    Here we go! A pretty nice Christmas present to myself!
    A limited-edition LGB steam train… Modeled after Switzerland’s Rhaetian railway. Mine was number 286
    of the 399 of these locomotives that LGB made. And they won’t be making any more! Other locomotives in my collection
    include the Santa Fe Super Chief… An Amtrak diesel… A little LGB Porter steam engine… Thomas the Tank Engine… His friend Percy…
    and many more. Nine locomotives in my collection right now. I guess I stop adding new ones
    when I run out of space to store them! I’m Jim Zim.
    Hit the like button if you liked this video. It helps me rank higher on YouTube. And subscribe to my channel
    if you want to see more model train videos
    when I make them. Here are a few of my other model train videos
    that you might like. Click on one that looks interesting to you!

    I Crashed My Lionel Polar Express Train Set!
    Articles, Blog

    I Crashed My Lionel Polar Express Train Set!

    January 17, 2020


    The UPS guy brought me something interesting today. It’s a very inexpensive G scale model train set.
    One of my YouTube viewers told me about it. Now, if you were to buy a G scale starter
    set from a company like LGB… That would typically set you back three or four
    hundred dollars, but this set was under a hundred. That’s so cheap, I figured what the heck!
    Let’s just order one I’ll make
    a video about it for YouTube. But there is, of course, a catch.
    In fact, there’s several catches! So, let’s just unbox it. We’ll take a look at it
    and see what kind of compromises that they had
    to make to get the price under $100. This is a Polar Express train set.
    You know, the classic Christmas story…
    started as a book in 1985… And then became an animated
    movie with Tom Hanks in 2004. Now I’m pretty sure that Lionel didn’t design
    this for a 60 year old guy like me to add to
    his collection of G scale model trains. I think the idea was more that a 60 year old guy like me
    would buy it for his four-year-old grandchild as a way
    to introduce them into model trains. I didn’t even know that Lionel made G-scale stuff at all.
    I thought they were just in to O and HO. But since they say that this is G scale,
    I’m hoping that I can get it to run on my big layout… That’s made up of LGB-brand metal track.
    Let’s see if it works! So, what comes in the box is the locomotive and
    a tender, and then two of these passenger cars… A remote control to operate it,
    and a whole bunch of this plastic track. Now this is one of the big compromises
    that they’ve made.
    It’s plastic. It doesn’t conduct electricity. This kind of locomotive doesn’t get
    electricity through the rails like a
    normal G scale train would get. This has a bunch of batteries inside of it.
    Six C cell batteries to run it… And then two more AA batteries in the
    remote control to operate that. So, it’s not getting power through the track
    like a regular G-scale locomotive would. Now, speaking of regular G-scale locomotives, OK… This may look good here by itself,
    but when you put it up against a
    real LGB-brand G-scale locomotive… You can see that we’re talking
    about a big difference in size. And I don’t know if it comes across on camera,
    but a huge difference in quality. As you would expect…
    This being a hundred dollar set,
    and this being about a $900 locomotive on its own. But this is like toy quality,
    and this is the genuine article right here. But the question that’s killing me…
    and especially more so now that I see
    the size difference between these two locomotives… They say that this is a G-scale set.
    I’m really wondering…
    Is this going to run on my LGB track?
    Let’s find out! Here’s the locomotive.
    Let me line it up with the track. Oh no!
    Oh, it looked good on this side
    when I lined this side up. But it is totally hanging off the side over here. This is not standard G scale width.
    This is wider than regular G-scale. It doesn’t fit on that track.
    So, I’m not going to be able to lay my…
    I’ve got hundreds of feet of LGB track… I’m not going to be able to
    run this on that.
    It’s… it’s just a different size. That is a big problem, because I was really hoping
    to be able to run this under battery power
    on all my existing track. So, now I’m going to have to
    put this plastic track together
    and run it as a whole separate thing… Independent from the rest of my G-scale stuff.
    That’s too bad, and that’s a disappointment. OK, I’ve got it all set up.
    We’re going to make it work. The true test for me of whether
    something is designed well… Is whether you can make it work without reading
    the owner’s manual and without any tools. And unfortunately, this failed on both counts.
    I needed a Phillips screwdriver… To be able to open the battery compartment on
    the locomotive and also to be able to open the
    battery compartment on the remote control. And the other thing was
    I couldn’t figure out how the batteries
    went into the locomotive. So, I did have to read the owner’s manual
    to figure that out. So, that was a fail there. But now it should be all set to go.
    So, we’re going to power it on. There’s a power switch on the locomotive itself,
    and also on the remote control. If you turn on the power switch on the locomotive,
    it beeps like that until you turn on
    the power switch on the remote control. Now, the fun part! OK, on the remote you’ve got some controls. (bell clangs) A bell. Nice sound effects! (steam whistle blows) A steam whistle.
    Another good sound effect! And check this out! (Conductor announcement)
    ALL ABOARD!
    THIS IS THE POLAR EXPRESS! OK, I like that!
    That’s fun. Now we can either turn it to forward or to reverse. And there’s not enough room on my kitchen table here
    to make a full loop… So, I hope it’s very responsive after I start it and
    then try to stop it before it runs off the end of the table. (Sound of steam train chugging) OH! (laughing)
    For a minute there, I thought it was going
    to go right off the end! When I turned it to off,
    it didn’t immediately stop.
    But it stopped in time. All right, here’s reverse. (sound of steam train chugging) Nice steam train sounds there.
    All right, so I like that. So, I guess the next step is we’ll set it up on the floor.
    I’ll use all the track that came with the set. It’s enough track to go around
    a Christmas tree at Christmas time.
    I’m pretty sure that’s what the whole point is. (Conductor announcement)
    ALL ABOARD!
    THIS IS THE POLAR EXPRESS! (sound of steam train chugging and whistle blowing) Even though I’m disappointed that I can’t run
    this supposed G-scale train on my
    existing G-scale tracks… I have to admit that once I put the Lionel tracks
    down on my living room floor and started
    running the train, I had fun. For less than $100, it’s certainly a tremendous value. The working headlight on the front of
    the locomotive is a nice touch. The best part is the sound.
    The “all aboard” announcement is fun and
    the bell and whistle sound effects are even better. (Sound of a steam train whistle) Also, the chugging sound of the train in motion. Now you certainly get much better sound effects
    on a real G-scale setup,
    but at this price what you get really is impressive. One other feature I haven’t mentioned yet
    is that the locomotive can operate at
    your choice of three speeds. I’ve been running it at the low speed, so far. Here’s the medium speed. (Chugging sound is faster than before) And now here is the highest
    speed setting for the locomotive. (Chugging sound is even faster than before) Of course, you use the remote control to set the speed.
    Once you’ve picked the speed you want… You can set the remote control down and
    the train will just keep operating at that speed. I have no idea how long it would go
    on one set of batteries. I would definitely look into
    buying some rechargeables if I was you. One negative thing that jumps out at me
    is the way the train lurches to a start
    when you first start it moving. (Sound of a steam train whistle) That’s a very unrealistic start up.
    Too bad they couldn’t figure out a way to get it to
    gradually start moving from the stopped position. That’s a problem you wouldn’t have
    if you had spent three or four times the cost
    of this set to get a real G scale starter set. Now, because running this train around and around
    this oval over and over again
    gets a little boring after a while… Be aware that you can buy
    more of this plastic track and even switches. And it’s all pretty affordable
    since it’s all made from plastic.
    It seems pretty durable, too. (Sound of the train’s bell) You know that it’s just a matter of time
    before any kid you give this set to
    will stage a train crash on purpose! So, for my big finale…
    let’s do a train crash! I know…
    that wasn’t a very good train crash. Seemed like a funny idea.
    Maybe it would be funnier with music… (Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” plays and repeated
    train crashes are synchronized with the cannon sounds) 20 years of experience editing videos
    and I think I finally nailed one! Well, in the end, this inexpensive little
    toy train set did win me over . If you’ve got a budget of $100
    and want to give a really great gift
    to some four to ten year old kid… I think you’d be hard-pressed to do better than this. Now, I think it goes without saying…
    but I’ll say it anyway… Don’t buy this for an adult
    and don’t buy this for anyone that
    already owns some real G scale track. But if you’ve got a kid, or a grandkid,
    or a niece or a nephew in that
    four to ten year old age group… Or even if you don’t,
    but you like the idea of running
    a train around the Christmas tree… …without investing three to four hundred dollars
    or more in a real G scale setup… I think I really can recommend
    Lionel’s Polar Express train set to you. I just refuse to say that it’s G scale,
    because it really isn’t. Now if you want to buy
    one of these Polar Express train sets,
    just click on the link that should
    be on screen right now Or if you don’t see a link on the screen,
    look below in the description or the comments. Also, if you know someone that you think might be
    interested in one of these bargain-priced train sets… Click on the “share” button
    and share this video with them. The “share” button is the one that looks
    like an arrow with a goofy hook to it. Of course, I’ve got many more videos planned
    for the coming months, so subscribe to my channel
    if you want to make sure that you don’t miss any. I’ll continue to make videos about model trains… But I’ve also got some really interesting vacations coming up on cruise ships.
    So, there’ll be some new cruise videos coming this Fall. For now, I’ll leave you with
    four suggested videos to take a look at… Three about model trains, and one about an amazing vacation we took on a cruise ship earlier this year. I’m Jim Zim.
    Leave a comment in the video, if you’d like.
    I read them all! It’s always interesting to hear what
    people have to say about these videos.