The 10173 Holiday Train is now available from LEGO Shop at Home.
I first saw this train in April of 2005 when I was asked for feedback on it before it was released. It was originally targeted for release for the 2005 Holiday Season but production scheduled prevented it from being released in time so LEGO decided to push it out a year. For the most part, the train which has been released is virtually identical to the prototype I was asked to comment on. About the only thing which is different is the funnel on the locomotive and the presents in the open freight car. The prototype had a teddy bear and two bicycles instead of the trike – I prefer the bikes and the teddy bear would have been nice as they are hard to find. Unfortunately I can’t post the images of the prototype.
I am glad LEGO has finally released a holiday themed train, they should have done this years ago! I would also like to see LEGO sell individual cars to add on to the Holiday Train and hopefully the LEGO Factory will facilitate that.
When images of this set first appears a couple months ago there was a rumor that it was a limited run of 50 or so that were intended as some sort of gift from or to LEGO executives. This was of course not true but my NDA prevented me from posting anything but none the less, it resulted in some rediculous eBay activity with several of these sets selling for close to $500!
Images of this set are starting to come out now, here are links to several galleries:
It’s Lai Yin here on behalf of my son, Linus who’s 5 years old. Firstly, thank you for providing such a good and complete resource for Lego train lovers to search for information.
My son has the Holiday Train which his Dad bought from LA on a visit to US last year. Last month, through a friend who sent to LA, we tried to buy some 9V tracks, motor and accessories for it but there was none in stock at the stores, apparently discontinued. But I still see the 9V items on the internet but they don’t ship to Malaysia.
So, Mike, is it still wise to invest in the 9V tracks just to run the Holiday Train or forget about it?
Also, after reading up about the LHT and downloading LDD, my son is even more interested now. We thought or ordering the LHT for Christmas but do you think he’s too young for it? Here’s the first train he designed using parts of the Holiday Train – http://bp1.blogger.com/_WT6XuQQUyZs/R0D0cE7P37I/AAAAAAAAAU4/zKJ7fK5TWJY/s1600-h/PB173060.JPG
I don’t think an investment in 9v track is a waste of money but since you haven’t made an investment yet, going the RC route might be more prudent since the track is cheaper and easier to find. The real downside to the RC track is the limitation of the motor unit – is molded into the train base.
9v track can be found on LEGO Shop at Home Pick-A-Brick selection. It is probably the best way to find it right now. I don’t think an investment now is a bad idea but you are buying into a product with a very limited future.
As for the LHT for a 5 year old, it really depends on what you want to do with it. Many of the models are fairly complex so building them per the LDD instructions may be frustrating for a 5 year old. However, if you want a selection of train elements for him to play with and build his own trains, it is probably the best choice because it has a lot to choose from.
Hope this helps.