A reader writes:
My husband has dreamt of a Xmas Village for so long! We have started a collection 2 years ago and now would like a train set. We saw one on the Web and totally fell in love with it - but I can't find it anywhere - the one we saw was on Ebay and was just sold
. I would like to send you pictures to ensure I have the right name... Please help us find one like it, please! It was called, on Ebay: Enhanced Bachmann On30 Thomas Kinkade Christmas Series Train Set - Beautiful rich green colors, lighting everywhere and, best of all, you could see all kinds of accessories like people, baggage, etc.
Thank you in advance for your assistance. This is our first time so your advice, any advice, would be totally appreciated. We are really confused by terminology "On30", "O Scale", etc. We bought all our village pieces from one Seller. It is part of the Dickens Dept 57 collectibles... The pieces are pretty much around the same size/height... It is very confusing to know what to buy next and to not overbuy - our budget is pretty tight - this is really a family treat/luxury for us. We tend to basically look at what we like (a lot) and price... That Seller's pieces were all in boxes and in mint condition. So we got lucky.
Thank you for your time. Looking forward to hearing from you.
--------Our Response --------------------
Thank you for getting in touch. I think the train you're asking about it the Thomas Kinkade Christmas train
It is sold by Bradford Exchange and should be available in Canada.
They are made by Bachmann, one of the largest model train manufacturers in the world. They are "On30" trains which are a little bit smaller than Lionel and run on HO track. Bachmann's HO trains are designed specifically to look good with ceramic Christmas villages. The Hawthorne Village trains that are made by Bachmann are very well detailed. That said, they're not toys so you shouldn't let little kids play with them.
That said, it's not a single set. It's a "collection" that you pay for one piece at a time. Think of it as a kind of magazine "subscription." The first piece is the locomotive, which is very nice. The next piece is a passenger coach and a circle of track. The next piece is another passenger coach and a power supply. At that point you have enough to run the train. Most people get the next coach, though. It comes with more track. After that, if you keep "subscribing," you'll be billed for and receive another car and some accessory about every four weeks. The accessory may be a track switch, a figure, a small building or more track. If you get something you don't really want, you can send it back for a full refund.
I know people who have received close to 20 pieces, but of course, they've paid for every one, and that can get into "real money." You can cancel your "subscription" any time.
The set is described in more detail on this page:http://bigchristmastrains.com/hawthorne ... _train.htm
If you decide you want to get the first three pieces all at a time, they have a "Super Starter Set" that lets you pay for and get the locomotive, 2 coaches, circle of track, and power supply all at once. THEN you start getting something else every 4 weeks until you tell them you have enough.
If you go to the link above and scroll down a little, there is a link to that, too.
Many of the Hawthorne Village trains being made today are NOT made by Bachmann - they went to a cheaper supplier during the recession, so I don't know how much longer these will be available. Hopefully for a long time.
But once they become unavailable, you'll have to resort to Ebay if you want one, and you'll have to pay "big money."
Please let me know if you have any more questions,
Best of luck,
Paul Race - www.BigChristmasTrains.com