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These Bachmann Thomas trains are not only very well made, but just adorable. My grandson enjoys playing with them so much that he doesn't play with anything else. And, confidentially, so do I. Thanks, Amazon for making these affordable.
Good old Toby the Tram engine is a great addition to the grandson's electric train set, especially when purchased with Toby's trusty coach, Henrietta. Toby's eyes move as he chuffs along, very charming!
Came in an unsealed box. Inside the box was a previously opened package which had been resealed with scotch tape. Inside that package was the engine with back coupler and moving eyes loose in the package. Fortunately the tiny screw which holds the coupler was still in the package. I was able to reconnect the coupler and also snap the moving eyes back in their proper places. Then I placed it on our train set and found it goes half the speed of the Thomas the Tank Engine we also use. Otherwise, the grandson loves it so I guess we are happy.
Owner of 11 Bachmann Thomas & Friends HO scale engines so my review is based on a little experience with this particular Bachmann line-up.
The GOOD: The details of this Toby model are very good. Bachmann did a great job capturing the essence of the character. The Bachmann model is a much better physical representation of Toby than the Hornby version (too tall, too narrow, colors slightly off).
The NOT SO GOOD: The reason for the mediocre / 3-star review is the on track performance (or lack-there-of). 1) Toby's moving eyes don't cycle full right and full left. They turn right then back to center - never left. 2) Under performing motor (details below). Using a Railpower 1370 DC controller, the dial needs to be turned to ~75% before Toby even begins to move when the model is cold (room temp and has not been run recently). Toby will begin moving (very jerky at first) at ~50% setting when warm. At 100% power Toby crawls around the track at an unacceptably slow speed. After just a few laps around a 4x8 oval there's an odor that cannot be the result of anything good. I added 1 piece of rolling stock (Henrietta) and Toby slowed a touch more. Two cars was just too much even though Toby could still begrudgingly pull them.
After not more than 5 minutes on the track I removed the bottom plate to find the gearbox and axles over-packed with thick grease from the factory. I gently removed the majority of this grease and applied an appropriate amount of "Excelle Lubricants Heavy" plastic compatible model rail oil. After careful reassembly I was hopeful Toby would run far better given he was packed with so much thick grease.
My first run of about 10 minutes started no faster than prior to the grease removal and oiling - a bit disappointed. I let Toby run for about 10 minutes and he did pick up a tiny bit of speed/power but still would not start until the dial was at ~50% warm.
Post grease removal & post oiling results on a clean 4x8 oval (Bachmann EZ track (grey with nickle)). 1 Lap forward / three trials: Cold with no rolling stock: 1st - 24 seconds, 2nd - 23 seconds, 3rd - 23 seconds. Warm with no rolling stock: 1st - 20 seconds, 2nd - 18 seconds, 3rd - 19 seconds. Warm with 1 car (Henrietta): 1st - 20 seconds, 2nd - 21 seconds, 3rd - 21 seconds.
1 lap backwards / three trials: Warm with no rolling stock: 1st - 22 seconds with one "stutter", 2nd - 24 seconds with three stutters, 3rd - 23 seconds with one stutter. I'm guessing that the "stutter" are either a momentary loss of conductivity (power to the motor) or grease I couldn't reach getting pulled into gears.
I watched a YouTube vid where a rather detail oriented individual did a similar time trial with Toby. It appeared he used an oval that followed the outside of a 4x8 surface and his Toby was capable of 14.1 second laps. That's4-5 seconds faster than my time trials but still disappointing. I'm not an advocate of running engines at full speed - it's hard on the motors and unrealistic. But these tests are, in my opinion, indicative of a poor performing motor.
This is the one and only Bachmann Thomas & Friends HO model that I will return - perhaps for a replacement.