Grand Central Station Controls GeoTrax Traffic

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This Place Looks Like Grand Central Station

Have you ever heard anyone say something like, “This place looks like Grand Central Station!”? I remember that phrase from when I was young – too young to really understand what it means.
The real life Grand Central Station, or Grand Central Terminal, is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in New York City. It is currently (and probably always will be) the largest such structure in the world.
The chief similarity between the New York Grand Central Terminal and the GeoTrax Grand Central Station, other than the fact that both service commuters with trains, seems to be the large archways of which there are many in the real station.
The GeoTrax Grand Central Station set is one of the most popular of all GeoTrax sets. The original set has almost 3 dozen pieces, not counting the several that make up the Station proper. There are many ways to layout and play with the 14 pieces of track. You get 3 minifigs – one engineer and two passengers – in this set which always make for a more enjoyable experience.

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Let’s take a look in detail at what you get in each of the Grand Central Station sets.

Grand Central Station Basic Is Nothing to Sneeze At

The first appearance of a Grand Central Station set (Fisher Price product ID L3133) happened in 2007. It seems that this was the featured set of that year. Many others were produced but none could compare in size and scope to this one.

L3133 Grand Central Station proper
Grand Central Station proper

The centerpiece of this set is, of course, Grand Central Station (or Terminal) itself. The building is made of eleven pieces. There are two towers – a cargo tower and an elevator tower. The elevator tower does move vertically emulating a real elevator. Adjacent to one of the towers is a deli-like store where passengers can (pretend to) buy food and drink. Other pieces of the building include the main concourse with an arching canopy overhead. Within the canopy is a sign showing the schedule of arrivals and departures of the trains. There is an escalator (which does not move) and a cargo ramp. Two supports help hold the building up, and two lamp posts (no real lights) keep the place illuminated. Since part of the track is built into the station itself and that area is raised, you have little choice with the placement of some of the track. A few pieces are designed to get your trains from ground level up onto the main concourse. The rest of the pieces, however, you can arrange in many ways. Unique to Grand Central Station sets are two purplish bumper tracks which you can use to terminate sections of track. I’m not sure why the designers decided to make them purple, but they used the same coloration on the guardrails in this set.

L3133 Female Passenger
Yvonne carries her flowers

There are two platforms in this set. One is for passengers, and one is for cargo. The cargo platform features a small crane for moving cargo from the platform to a train car and vice versa. Speaking of trains and passengers, you get a train (and its two passenger cars) known as Aero and his engineer, a slick-looking dude, called Eric. Besides Eric, you can also play with two passengers who (I think) are called Yvonne and Jarod. Yvonne is a blonde dressed in pink with a blue purse slung over her shoulder. She is carrying a bouquet of yellow flowers in her right hand. Jarod is wearing what might pass for khakis and a blue shirt. He’s holding a cup of coffee (or perhaps espresso) in one hand and what may be a laptop in the other.

Grand Central Can Be More or Less

Later in 2007, both Kohl’s department stores and Toys R Us had exclusive versions of the Grand Central Station set.

The Kohl’s set (M2809) is called the Grand Central Station Mega Set. It appears that it includes everything described above in the basic set plus a few new items. The set called Ambulance with Stat and Stewart is included. (I’m not sure if this also includes the patient minifig.) Woohoo and Opie the Most Confused Team round out the components of this combination set. The Toys R Us version (M3235) consists of everything from the basic set plus a bonus. You get a neon yellow truck (or engine) and cargo car as well as a blue railroad crossing sign and a cargo cube.

The last Grand Central Station set (T4497), released in 2010 as another Toys R Us exclusive, was stripped of all the extras to include only the terminal itself. I would assume that this set originally cost less than those above. Maybe it was issued in response to consumers who wanted the train station but thought the others were too expensive.

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GeoTrax Airplanes, Jets, and Helicopters Take to the Skies

GeoTrax in the Air from Year One

Early on in 2003 and 2004, Fisher Price made the decision to create vehicles that flew in addition to those that rode the rails and the roads. There were a GeoTrax airplanes, a helicopter, and an airport in production in the first two years that GeoTrax were introduced.

B4347 Whirly Bird Rescue set
Whirly Bird Rescue set

The first of these was not an airplane, however. It was the Whirly Bird Rescue helicopter (Fisher Price product ID B4347). This is a simple set consisting of the helicopter, a landing pad, and a hospital sign.

There is some crossover here between air sets, sea sets, and rescue sets. The Whirly Bird is intended to be a rescue vehicle. I suppose this is much like “flight for life” helicopters in real life. This explains the inclusion of the hospital sign in this set.

The second set featuring an air vehicle is Seaplane Fueling (G5544). Again there is set-type crossover – this time between air and sea. This set has an airplane that can land on the water. There is also a fueling station and a “cube” of barrels that presumably contains fuel that the seaplane will carry to its destination.

Finally, we get to the first GeoTrax airport, the Coastal Winds Airport (G5760). This set is the first to have a real airplane (as opposed to a seaplane). You can carry cargo in this plane and attach it to an arm of the airport to make it fly in circles.

This was a rather ambitious undertaking for the GeoTrax designers. How do you get an airplane to fly without making a real RC airplane that can go all around the room? The rotating arm was their solution. How well it solved the problem, I leave to your opinion. In my opinion, their later efforts (see below) achieved a greater degree of success.

Choppers Here, Choppers There, Choppers Everywhere

There are no less than 5 GeoTrax sets that include helicopters. They are the Whirly Bird Rescue set (mentioned above), the Coastal Rescue Chopper set (H6373), Swifty and Kevin the Most Ready Team (M4098), Chopper and Aiden the Rescue Team (P8967), and Bridge and Helicopter (R9938).

H6373 Coastal Rescue Chopper set
H6373 Coastal Rescue Chopper set

Fisher Price apparently associates choppers with rescue efforts. The Coastal Rescue Chopper has a different design than the Whirly Bird. It also has a landing pad, but a helicopter sign replaces the hospital sign.

Swifty and Kevin and Chopper and Aiden make up two of the many team sets. Both have a helicopter, pilot minifig, and a patient lift. The Chopper and Aiden set also has another miniature figure and a hospital sign similar to the one in the Whirly Bird set.

The Bridge and Helicopter set contains the suspension bridge found in other sets but in different colors. The helicopter is a new design here though. There is a pilot minifig as well as a patient like the one found in an ambulance set. The helicopter sign and patient lift also appear in this set.

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

Two GeoTrax sets give you speedy jet planes: Red Wing Jet Plane (J0225) and Flash the Jet and Dan the Pilot (N1251).

The Red Wing jet plane can carry cargo. The set includes a hangar. The walls and roof of this structure are made of sturdy fabric.

Flash the Jet is a remote controlled vehicle. Dan the Pilot is the only other item you get in this set. As far as I know, this pair is not one of the team sets and has no superlative name attached to them.

GeoAir Is a Subset of GeoTrax

Fisher Price decided to designate some of their air sets as GeoAir, as opposed to GeoTrax. This went hand in hand with their new design mechanism for making planes fly in a controlled space. GeoAir track is thinner and more flexible than road or rail track. You can bend it to create loops and attach some airplane to it that you can control remotely.

Several sets use this technology: High Flying Airport (N0142), Blast-Through Barn (N1450), and Fly-By Bridge (N1451).

Three other sets include one or more of these sets. High-Flyin’ Deluxe Airport (N3985) has the N0142 airport plus some ground track, a train engine, a crane, Jumbo (which may be another plane), and Captain Jim. High-Flyin’ Airport and Vehicles (N9989) also includes the N0142 airport and an emergency vehicle, some road track, and several minifigs. Finally, the GeoAir Mega Set encompasses all three of the original sets: airport, barn, and bridge.

What’s in a Name? Ask Loopy Loco

Last but not least is Loopy Loco the Bi-Plane and Darren the Pilot (N1250). This is another simple set just made of a plane, a minifig, and a remote control.

You can clip Loopy Loco the Bi-Plane onto GeoAir track and make him fly around the loops with your remote controller.

With Batman, GeoTrax Draws Super Friends into Its World

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“Holy Batcave, Batman!”

I think that’s something that the Robin from the original TV series might have said to Batman upon seeing the batcave for the first time. If he never did, he should have because Batman’s Batcave is such an awesome place.

Maybe it’s also something he would have said upon seeing the GeoTrax batcave. Maybe he would have even exclaimed one of his famous “holy” lines after seeing the GeoTrax Batman minifig!

DC Comics Super Friends Added to GeoTrax

To the best of my knowledge, Fisher Price decided to incorporate just 2 of the DC Comics Super Friends into their set list: Batman and the Green Lantern. All other related sets are about the arch enemies of Batman, such as the Joker, the Riddler, and the Penguin.

Starting in 2008 or 2009, Fisher Price produced the Super Friends Track Pack – Batman (product ID O1193) which included a pair of vehicles and lots of black track. Black items are almost always included in sets related to Batman. This obviously goes with the theme (found mainly outside the GeoTrax world) of the hero being the Dark Knight and also refers to the fact that most bats are either black or dark gray.

At about the same time, Fisher Price released the only other Super Friend found in GeoTrax sets, the Green Lantern. Set O9600 contains just an engine, the Green Lantern himself, and a remote controller.

More Batman Included in GeoTrax

Towards the end of the GeoTrax run in 2011, Batman appeared in 3 more interesting sets. First there were 2 small sets consisting of just 3 pieces each. Set V7872 has the Batmobile, Batman, and a remote controller. Set V7873 has Batman’s Engine, Batman, and a remote controller.

V7872 Batman and Batmobile set
V7872 Batman and Batmobile set

It’s true that giving Batman (and some of the other related characters) a train engine doesn’t fit well with the Batman theme in and of itself, but it does connect these characters to the GeoTrax world. Perhaps this thin connection is one of the reasons that Fisher Price didn’t delve into the Super Friends world any more than it did.

The biggest and probably most popular Batman set is V8488 DC Super Friends the Batcave RC Set. Besides the GeoTrax Batman, the Batmobile, and a remote controller, you also get the Batcave, the Jokemobile, the Riddler’s Hideout, the Riddler, and some track pieces.

More Arch Enemies Included in GeoTrax

That gives you just a taste of the arch enemies of Batman that you can find in GeoTrax sets. There are at least 6 more sets featuring these evildoers.

You can get the Joker, the Joker’s Engine, and a remote controller in set V7874. Set V7875 gives you 2 train cars, lots of track, and more items. The Joker’s Lair comes in set V8491 along with his engine, the Joker himself, and a piece of track.

Set V8489, the Super Friends Deluxe Playset – Gotham City, may contain the same items as set V8490. Included are the Gotham City bank and jail buildings, the Penguin, and his Umbrella Wagon. The Penguin also has a lair which you can find in set W9964. That set also includes a pair of animal penguins which is a little unusual, because I don’t think the animals were found in many of the series episodes or movies.

In what may be the last set that Fisher Price developed, you can get the Riddler’s Joke Factory, which looks suspiciously like the Beamtown Fire Station dressed up in new colors. You also get a vehicle and the Riddler to drive it.

Maybe it’s because Fisher Price was winding down the production of GeoTrax sets that they didn’t include any more villains. I think they could have done some interesting things with characters such as Mr. Freeze or King Tut. They also could have featured the Joker some more, since he was often a prominent figure in the series and movies.

Batman Sets Are Compatible with Other GeoTrax Sets

As with all other GeoTrax sets, the pieces in these Batman and DC Comics Super Friends sets work seamlessly with any other GeoTrax sets you may already own and any you may purchase in the future. The black track stands out somewhat from the normal tan, gray, and green tracks, but you can use this to inject some fun of a new type. Imagine connecting the Timbertown Railway, for example, to the Batcave. It’s like adding a little time travel into the GeoTrax world.

Since these were some of the last sets that Fisher Price created, I think some of them may be a little more difficult to find. At least, they have been in my experience. You may have to be a little more patient than usual if you are interested in obtaining any of them. I hope your patience is rewarded.

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GeoTrax Cars and Cars 2 Sets Feature Many Movie Characters

Cars GeoTrax Sets Star Several Characters

You may have seen the Disney Pixar movie Cars (2006) or its sequel Cars 2 (2011). If not, you may want to watch one or both of them to better understand what all the excitement is about relative to their place in the GeoTrax world.
These movies were and continue to be very popular with children and adults alike. It’s no wonder then that Fisher Price chose to craft some of the vehicles from the movies as GeoTrax remote control cars and trucks.

Find Our Hero, Lightning McQueen, in Several Sets

The original Cars features Lightning McQueen who is a sporty, red racecar similar to many vehicles found in NASCAR racing. Fisher Price includes him in no less than six sets.

  • P5370 - Lightning McQueen's Close Call
  • P6246 - Radiator Springs Lightning McQueen (a Target exclusive)
  • R2772 - Lightning McQueen
  • R6357 - Radiator Springs Mega Set
  • T6206 - Dinoco Lightning McQueen
  • W0275 - Cars Shake 'n Go World Grand Prix

While Lightning McQueen is the only item (other than the remote controller) in the Radiator Springs Lightning McQueen (P6246), Lightning McQueen (R2772), and Dinoco Lightning McQueen (T6206) sets, the other three sets include plenty of pieces – enough to qualify them as starter sets.

Lightning McQueen
Lightning McQueen and Remote Controller

To give you just one example, Lightning McQueen’s Close Call has a grand total of 22 pieces. In addition to McQueen himself, you get the Sheriff car, Trev Diesel, a special railroad crossing sign, a Radiator Springs sign, a mountain, 2 ramp tracks, a Y-track, 3 straight tracks, a railroad track, a cross track, a bridge track, 2 guardrails, 4 curved tracks, and the remote controller.
The other two major sets, R6357 and W0275, have approximately the same number of pieces. The Shake ‘n Go set is so named because you actually shake the cars (McQueen and Francesco) to rev them up before setting them down on the track.
Once you let them go, they race around the “speedway” oval without further assistance. This is the only GeoTrax set to feature this type of technology.

Get More Popular Characters in Additional Sets

You can get Mater, the tow truck, in three different sets.

  • P6247 - Mater
  • T6200 - Brand New Mater
  • V9965 - Spy Mater

Mater is basically a sidekick character to Lightning McQueen. His name derives from tomato. When pronounced with a southern drawl, it becomes tomater. This then translates to Tow (as in tow truck) Mater or simply Mater.

Fisher Price P6247 Mater set
Fisher Price P6247 Mater set

Each of the three sets listed above consists of just Mater and his remote controller. Thus you should consider these expansion sets, sets that you wouldn’t get if you’re just starting your GeoTrax collection. You can find Flo in two sets and Doc Hudson, Ramone, Fillmore, and Chick Hicks in one each. One of Flo’s appearances is in the Mega Set, but otherwise these character sets are all expansions as well. Most of these come with a structure of some sort in addition to the vehicle. Flo comes with a cafe; Ramone comes with a body shop; and Fillmore comes with a tent. While not a character per se, the setting of Radiator Springs is mentioned one way or another in four different playsets: Lightning McQueen’s Close Call, Radiator Springs Lightning McQueen, Sheriff’s Lookout Mountain (Fisher Price product ID R2771), and Radiator Springs Mega Set. Some of the characters mentioned above star in both Cars and Cars 2. Doc Hudson and Chick Hicks, however, are only part of Cars.

Cars 2 GeoTrax Sets Add More Characters to the Cast

Disney added more characters to the Cars 2 sequel. Holley Shiftwell and Francesco are two of the more popular ones. Holley is a female British spy who is Mater’s (to put it in adult terms) love interest. Francesco Bernoulli is Lightning McQueen’s Italian racing rival. Holley is included in four GeoTrax sets: Escape from Big Bentley, Acer and Holley Shiftwell, Big Bentley RC Set (a Kohl’s exclusive), and the World Grand Prix Value Set (see more below). Big Bentley, which is a representation of the Big Ben clock tower in London, gets a set all “his” own called Escape from Big Bentley and the monster set from Kohl’s mentioned above.

Escape from Big Bentley has an interesting mechanism that features a drop floor within the clock tower. You place a car on that floor. When another vehicle enters the tower below it from the proper direction, the floor drops and the car slides out in the opposite direction from the vehicle that triggered the action. The Cars 2 World Grand Prix is the subject of four unique sets.

  • V9969 - World Grand Prix RC Set
  • W0275 - Cars Shake 'n Go World Grand Prix (described above)
  • W3599 - World Grand Prix Mega Set (a Toys R Us exclusive)
  • W6117 - World Grand Prix Value Set (a Sam's Club exclusive)

That last item in the list is a combination of (parts of) three other sets: the Porto Corsa Race Set, Holley Shiftwell from one of her own sets, and possibly Petrov from the Petrov and Finn McMissile set. There is plenty of track in this set, so you can easily consider it a starter set, though it may be one that is more difficult to find.

Where Can You Find the GeoTrax Cars and Cars 2 Sets?

As with all GeoTrax sets which have been discontinued, your main source for these items will be either Amazon.com or eBay.com.
You may find that, since these seem to be a little more scarce than some of the earlier sets released by Fisher Price, they will cost a little more. I, however, consider the cost an investment both in and of itself and in a child’s education and playtime.
Don’t forget that the pieces in these sets are nearly indestructible, so you will get many years of enjoyment from them.

GeoTrax Offers 5 Holiday Train Sets

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.

R8248 Holiday Train #1
R8248 Holiday Train #1
R8249 Holiday Train #2
R8249 Holiday Train #2

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.

T1350 Holiday Express Train
T1350 Holiday Express Train

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.

V2027 Toytown
V2027 Toytown

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.