Friday, June 20th, 2008
Four Ride-on, Ride-in, Walk-in Train Toys
Alternate title: A Toy Train for Every Income Level
1. The Great American Train Company makes backyard ride-on railroads. You hop on the locomotive and your kids sit in riding cars behind.
The trains feature all-metal construction to one-eighth scale. A typical set four cars weighs in at a mere 600lbs with a carrying capacity tested to 1,600 lbs, about 6 to 7 adults and children.
The train uses four 24V rechargeable batteries that last 2 to 7 hours, depending on terrain, a flat track being the most efficient of course. Recharging occurs overnight for 8 to 10 hours.
Digital sound effects spout from the locomotive and steam puffs from the smokestack (liquid smoke purchased in half-gallon containers).
Grab a train starter package consisting of a locomotive, riding car, caboose, 60′x80′ track and related components for a mere $22,995. If you’re handy around the yard, save a few thousand dollars by not hiring a landscaper to install the track.
The following video is packed with the details:
2. Kid-Steam makes simple muscle-propelled backyard trains. Plunk your kid down in a fiberglass or cast aluminum locomotive and he cycles around the track using a hand-cranked pedal. What better way to work off a kid’s excess energy?
Each car’s carrying capacity is 100lbs and track sizes range from 13′ to 30′ requiring 350 to 3,000 square feet.
Setting up the track appears to be relatively low-key if you have a flat plot of grass. The company has a video demonstrating setup in as little as 15 minutes, meaning it can also be disassembled as quickly.
A starter kit of 1 engine and track runs you $1,850 while a more typical set with three locomotives is $4,900.
Watch this demonstration:
3. Pedal Car People make ride-on pedal train engines. Unlike the trains mentioned above, you don’t need a track and they only cost $249. I bet $249 never sounded so inexpensive.
These pedal trains are made from 18 gauge stamped steel, 35" long and 15" wide. They weigh 38.5lbs and are rated for 3 to 6-year-olds.
I didn’t find any documentation about why the front of the trains feature flat circles. I mean, *cough*, if this was a Thomas and Friends product, those circles would be replaced with smiling faces. I wonder if you can draw a face there with dry erase marker.
4. Well, if you’re looking for an even less expensive option, check out cardboard box trains as previously profiled on Thingamababy. They run $30 for a pack of four, or, you know, you could make one yourself.