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4837: Mini Trains

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4837: Mini Trains

Postby fredjh » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:00 pm

Disclaimer: I did not buy this set, it's not available in the U.S., apparently (at least that's what LEGO.com initially said... now it just can't find it), but i was intrigued by it being a train fan and figured that I had enough pieces to build it, so I downloaded the instructions from LEGO.com and had at it.

This is the promotional picture for it:

Image

It was released in 2008 and contains 73 pieces. I built it as the instructions described, and thought that it turned out really nicely. It uses a couple of antennas to give the appearance of a connecting rod, and a couple of "cheese wedges" for the cow-catcher at the front. Obviously, being a small mini set, it was an easy build; it comes with a few greebles,

Completed, the train fits exactly a four wide track.

The Good
  • Interesting addition to a train fan's sets.
  • Good design for the boiler and smoke stack.
  • The real set would probably make a good inexpensive gift (if you could find it) for a train fan even if they aren't into LEGO.
  • The color pieces (green) are pretty common, so it's easy to MOC to different colors (see below).

The Bad
  • Interesting details, but seems very lacking. The cow-catcher and the roof with only two 1x1 slopes seems lacking.
  • Too much gray... I prefer black.
  • No companion sets... no caboose, no cars, no tender. I think a full mini train would be pretty cool.
  • Too many studs showing, IMO.

So now on to my own pictures... of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I changed the antennas for longer bars; not only did it get rid of the open hole in front, but the longer bar reached back to both wheels. I also modified the cow-catcher by adding two more wedges on the sides and adding a 1x2 plate under the middle ones to give it more of an angular look. I replaced the yellow "lights" with yellow tiles instead, and added several tiles to get rid of the studs. I also redid the roof, and made the underbody more solid. I also didn't like all the gray, so made it black.

Now, I mention all of these because I didn't take pictures before I made the changes, so these are my modified ones. As an example of one of the pros of the set, I did one in red, too.

Image
Image
(ran out of gray wheels)
Image
Image

So there it is... it's a cool little set, easily MOC-able, and if you're anything like me you will be motivated to continue on with additions to a train like this. I know it's a small simple set, but the fact that it excites and motivates me to continue creating is like the very essence of why we love LEGO, and so I think this set, for what it is, is a great one. I spent all yesterday evening playing with modifying this very simple set, and that says it all right there, I think.

BIG EDIT: I neglected to mention there are actually instructions to build three different models with these parts, but the other two models, IMO, are just terrible. I don't recognize either one as being anything, so I only built the steam engine.
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Re: 4837: Mini Trains

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:02 am

That is a cool, little set. And I know it WAS available in the US, since I bought one, but I haven't seen it in quite some time. I think the other models were supposed to be some sort of train cars, but, yeah, they didn't look like much. This model was far and away the best part of the set.
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Re: 4837: Mini Trains

Postby fredjh » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:43 am

When I first saw this set for sale on Ebay (for some ridiculous amount), I searched on LEGO.com and it said that product was not available in the U.S. Just days later when I searched for it again, it simply found no results.
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Re: 4837: Mini Trains

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:06 am

Perhaps it is no LONGER available in the US? Like I said, I got one, and I saw it on local store shelves for quite a while, but that was some time ago. I can certainly believe that the US supply is depleted.
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Re: 4837: Mini Trains

Postby meeotch » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:02 pm

Yeah, this was a Christmas impulse set at Target in 2008. It may have been available at other stores, but since I worked at Target then, that's where I saw it. I doubt that you'd be able to find it at retail domestically.
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Re: 4837: Mini Trains

Postby Draykov » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:11 pm

I'm pretty sure this was available in the US at most retailers that sell LEGO in 2008 (don't remember where I got mine). Not sure when it went away, but it came and went along with 4838 Mini Vehicles. I guess this was the second wave of mini sets released in the little plastic containers.

Creator is typically one of the quickest themes to turn product around, so I guess it's not surprising that the minis from 2 years ago are now gone.
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Re: 4837: Mini Trains

Postby fredjh » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:59 am

Well, like I said... it said it's not available in your country. It didn't say it was never available in my country.
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Re: 4837: Mini Trains

Postby Puddleglum » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:51 pm

Nice review!

The mini creator sets from 2007 & 2008 were really fantastic. 4838 Mini Vehicles is the set that brought me out of a sort of grey age of 4 years. That set and Mini Construction were my favorites, all the models were nice, and the parts mix was so good, you felt like you could keep making alternate builds forever. Truly what LEGO is all about. :-)
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Re: 4837: Mini Trains

Postby Aharown » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:50 pm

I found this set at Toys R Us last summer.

It's a great little set, with quite a lot of interesting pieces for the price. I'm happy with it (although I have since torn it apart for the pieces). Most of my other trains are of the model railroading kind.

Good little review, fredjh! Nice MOCs, too.

Aaron
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