So recently when I was asked if I would like to work with Hornby and review one of their sets, I knew it would win me some 'great mummy' points. I knew Jack would absolutely love it and yes I was right.
We were sent the Hornby Santa Express Train, or for those collectors among you the R1179. This set has everything you would need to use it, coming complete with 1 power track R600, 1 small straight R600, 8 3rd radius starter oval track R609, 1 analogue controller R8250, 1 transformer P9000 and a Hornby MidiMat. For those of you not aware of the MidiMat, its an aerial view of a train track featuring different lines however don't be fooled into thinking you can create this from this starter set you can't but with a little imagination. Of course you also get the train included which consists of Santa's Express 0-4-0 locomotive, a 7 plank open wagon with presents included and a reindeer box van. The locomotive itself is a beautiful rich red colour which you come to expect with 'Christmas' association, I do feel this train isn't as good a quality as some other Hornby trains we have however it still is good like you would expect including lots of detailing. The 7 plank open wagon includes some beautiful detailing on the presents.
Setting up the track was simple, for those of you that don't know Hornby track it simply slots together. However the track is high quality and requires an adult to do this, one because children bend it but also the track is quite tough to place together. Due to the high quality of the track it stayed together really well, meaning you could use on slightly uneven surfaces too. Finally there was just the power to connect, which is very simply just placing the wire into the back of the power track and plugging the transformer in. The analogue controller is easy enough to use with even children being able to operate with adult supervision. Theres a simple dial to turn, which enables you to change the speed as well as get the power started. There is also a switch allowing you to change the direction forwards or backwards. Jack was simply able to change the speed to what he desired and slow and stop at the stations in which we made.
We've had hours of fun with this train set and I'm sure there are many more hours of fun to be had. But for now the track has made its way under the tree to help decorate that. We've always had a Christmas train around the tree but a couple of years ago we had to say goodbye to it as it finally gave up so it's lovely to have one back. The layout in which comes is a little large to go around our tree so I have found out some tighter curves for it.
The box is great to keep, not only as in time it will help keep the value of the product, but it keeps it safe and secure too. The molded polystyrene sections help to protect each of the different parts and keep everything together. I'm looking forward to having this train out each year around the tree, but I'm sure with Jack it will get plenty of use throughout the year too.
This set is priced at £69.99 and is available directly from Hornby.
Please Note: I was gifted this set in exchange for an honest and objective review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.