Choose from 5 GeoTrax Christmas Train Sets for The Holiday Season
Back in 2009, Toys R Us really got into the Christmas spirit when it came to GeoTrax sets. They produced 3 separate Christmas train sets which were exclusive to their stores. In 2010, Fisher Price and Toys R Us came up with 2 more sets.
Two of the 2009 sets, Fisher Price Christmas train product IDs R8248 and R8249, were nearly identical. The third, product ID T1350, followed the “team” theme that you can find in many other sets. One of the 2010 sets, Christmas Railway (V0420), was only available via the Fisher Price online catalog. The other, Christmas in Toytown (V2027), was again exclusive to Toys R Us.
Let’s take a quick look at what you get in each of these sets. I’ll especially compare and contrast the first two.
What’s the Difference between R8248 and R8249?
Both sets R8248 and R8249 are simply named Holiday Train Set. In each, you get 11 items. There is a train engine and caboose, a minifig driver, 4 curved pieces of track, a Christmas tree, a North Pole sign, a crossing gate, and a gift box.
With the exception of the driver, each item is basically from the same mold, when you compare one set to the other. But that’s about where the similarities end.
The engine and caboose in R8248 are mainly red in color with light green trim. These colors are reversed in R8249 so that you see light green vehicles with red highlights.
Set R8249’s driver is a forester holding a small evergreen tree. The engineer for the other set is jolly old Saint Nick himself!
All of the track pieces appear to be snow-covered, but those in R8248 are green elevation tracks while those in R8249 are tan rail style elevation tracks.
The base of the crossing gate in R8248 is yellow, whereas the one you get in the other set is blue. Switch those colors around when talking about the wrapping paper on the Christmas gifts. For R8248, you get blue, but in R8249 you get yellow.
What’s So Special about the Holiday Express Train?
The Holiday Express Train set (product ID T1350) is basically a re-release of the Knight and Sir John set. Both have the same 5 types of pieces.
This Merriest Team consists of the train engine, a dining car, a sleeping car, a remote controller, and an engineer.
If you already have a set that includes a remote controller (RC), you probably already know that it normally takes six AAA batteries to make it works properly. Three of the batteries go into the RC, and three go into the train engine. If this is new to you, just keep this requirement in mind when choosing a train set.
What makes this holiday set special is that, as in set R8249, Santa Claus is the engineer. In addition, Knight gets a new paint job. His heraldic shields are replaced with snowflakes.
Larger Christmas Sets Come Out in 2010
The Christmas Railway set includes items that are nearly identical to those you get in the Timbertown Railway set.
There is a mountain, over a dozen pieces of track, the Easy Rail Station dressed up as Santa’s Workshop, a remote control train with Santa and elf minifigs, and various accessories, with a gift box replacing the logs.
For the Christmas in Toytown set, the designers got a little more creative.
Here you get a remote control engine and 3 cars, all of which light up. There is an Easy Rail Station that also lights up.
A bridge plays holiday tunes near a skating pond with spotlights and a Toytown arch. In addition to 16 pieces of track, you get several minifigs – Santa, an elf called Jingle, 2 gingerbread men, and 2 toy soldiers. There are 2 North Pole signs and other Christmas decorations.
Do Any of These Holiday Train Sets Work as Starter Sets?
Normally I consider the larger sets, like Tracktown and Timbertown, to be good starter sets; that is, sets you should consider if you’re just beginning your GeoTrax collection. None of the three sets from 2009 have nearly as many pieces as those.
However, I would still call the first two Holiday Train Sets (R8248 and R8249) starter sets, especially due to their wonderful Christmas theme. The track may not fit around your Christmas tree, but sets like these are part of many a classic Christmas scene – a scene that you can add to your own Christmas traditions.
If you’re going to get one of these as a Christmas present for a 2 year old or 3 year old, the size of these sets will not be overwhelming and yet will provide much fun. They have just enough track to make a nice, tight circle and enough other pieces to inspire imagination.
Note too that these two sets have push trains; that is, there is no remote control. This may make them less intimidating for the very young and perhaps for parents just getting started too.
Since the Holiday Express Train set doesn’t include any track, it would not make a good initial purchase.
Both of the sets from 2010 would make excellent starter sets, since they each have plenty of pieces and include a train, lots of track, and other accessories.
Who Should I Consider Getting One of These Sets For?
As I hinted at above, you might get one of the Holiday Train Sets for the very young. They could be one of the best gift ideas for a 3 year old. The Holiday Express Train set is probably more suited as a gift for a 4 year old or 5 year old.
You could get the 2010 Christmas sets for anyone, but I would suggest someone who is at least 5 years old. I think they would appreciate them more than the very young.
Where Would I Look for These Train Sets?
Since Fisher Price discontinued GeoTrax sets years ago, you will have to look to the secondary market to find what you want. This includes places such as Amazon.com, eBay.com, and even Craigslist.org.
If you’re lucky, you may even be able to find a set in its original packaging.
If you can’t don’t despair. GeoTrax trains and related items were made of such sturdy materials that used sets are very often just as good as new. The only difference is that there is no fancy box. You simply need a box of your own, if you want to present it as a present at Christmastime or for a birthday.