Today I am reviewing the Lego 31015 Creator Emerald Express, a small set that can be found in the Lego store. The set is similar to the 4837 Mini Train, in the way that it is a 3 in 1 set, you can build a classic train engine, a passenger train, and a steam engine. The set is nearly identical to the 4837, but it is more compact, and a different color palette. The set cost $4.99 at my local Lego store in a display at the cashier desk. I wished they had a multi-pack of these trains, having all in one box then to have to take them apart to make the other trains. It was not difficult to take apart, but a bit tedious as the 56 pieces makes it very easy to deconstruct, and build into the other 3 forms. Regardless, having a little train like this on my desk is very nice, it does not require any kind of motor or track to run on, just a little push will get it going. It is a bit late to say this now, but makes a great stocking stuffer for the holidays, or small gift for a birthday and the low price point makes it a great option as well. With all three sets built, one can have them all hooked together like an actual train set, a mini train set in the living room that doesn’t take up space! Lego should do more of these, with different designs and variations like subway train, or a bullet train; that would be a great addition to the train/creator line.
With all things considered, I give it a 8/10 for ease of building, the price point, but not a perfect 10 as it is a bit tedious to buy three sets, and not a multi-pack, or just have a larger box with 3 packs in there.
See the set page here: http://www.bricktrains-sets.com/sp-31015.html
Monorails have been a standard in the Lego sets in the 90’s as well as the 80’s but what happened to them now? From the year 1984-1994, monorails have been the most diverse brand, as it touches upon classic city themes, as well as many space themes which many train sets today do not. The modern Lego train sets today are only about conventional train ideas, such as passenger trains, cargo trains, and bullet trains; no problem with that at all, but the train theme could step away from the norm, and become something new and fresh. I have been noticing the amount of train sets getting smaller and smaller each year, maybe people want something new, and not the same cargo train, or passenger train. An idea I have thought about, was maybe Lego can bring back the Monorail line back to life; and have it as the fantasy counterpart to the train line! At my wonderful time at Brickworld this year, I notice a lot of great train displays, as well as some interesting monorail ones as well. The Monorails were far more unique, as the tracks are elevated, and are able to go up and down, and change elevation levels; unlike the normal train sets that can only go straight, left and right. I am by no means downplaying the train theme, but I can see the theme slowly going down, and having a parallel to the theme could help spark interests in those sets again. It would be great to see monorail sets be combined with current space themes to give them more relevancy, a great opportunity for Lego to create more diversity in the monorail/train theme.
2015 Sets coming soon…
Hello again everybody! I regret having a 6 month hiatus time from my last post, and update on my website. Things have been stressful in my real life, and i have neglected you all from more content. It has been brought to my attention that my main site has been lacking severely, i have a few sets missing form certain years according to some eagle eyed viewers (thanks, you guys rock!) and missed some larger sets for 2014 as well. 2014 brought us some pretty great sets, but i feel they are a bit too similar to each other, the bullet train, passenger train, and cargo train. While i don’t have an issue with it being a passenger or cargo (what else is there?) I am a bit worried that they look all too similar coming out now. There is a new Lego set coming out this year, the 60098 Heavy Haul Train set, and i will be there to review it, as well as make new pages on my main website.
Be sure to follow us on twitter for future updates: https://twitter.com/BrickTrainsSet
Thank you all for your patience and here is to a new year, cheers!
Brickworld 2014 has been a very enjoyable, like always there were always wonderful displays of creativity, but some of the displays were repeats of previous years. It’s always a pleasure to see in-state representatives such as The Northern Illinois Train Show, and others such as Penn Lug. There were many non-Lego Train displays i have enjoyed greatly, but decided to focus more on the Train aspect of the convention. There were more vendors too this year around, such as custom Lego Clone Troopers, Custom Lego weapons and accessories, or if you are really ambitious, Lights for your Lego sets. Overall, this year has more or less been the same, but I enjoyed coming back year after year. Have you made a trip down to Brickworld? There’s always next year, and I hope to see you there!
It seems to be tradition to make a trip, to our favorite builders, the Lego Northern Illinois Train Club. With the inclusion of so many groups, such as Penn Lug, it is great to see them come back year after year, as it would not be brickworld without them. Unlike most other displays, I notice that some of the displays were changed around, and not just a rehash with last year. One of the worst part about coming back to Brickworld each year, is that you would see some of the same things made and displayed again. I had nothing to worry for the Northern Illinois Train Club, as they added a Simpsons-ques rendition of Springfield! I suppose in honor of the new Simpsons theme, which fits in for our little state. It has some of the more famous Simpsons buildings, such as the Nuclear Power plant, and City Hall. The buildings in other areas seem to be the same as last year, some of the creator hard to find building sets, and our favorite Santa Fe Train. Moving on, is a Desert like western town, and it is acting out a ol’ western showdown, and a coal train running through this impressive mountain made of brick, not some hollow piece of plastic. The town looks straight out of good, bad, and the ugly, you got the saloon, the bank, a church, and a showdown between good and evil. It perfectly connects to the other display, as it transitions over to it. Noting else really got my full attention, except these huge Lego trains, and these are HUGE. Not the Lego set sized train, but a more realistic size to a minifigure. Trains look small far away, but up close they are these huge beasts, and this display has it down. The detail is just immense, like the rust on the train, down to the graffiti! Upon closer inspection, it is not a Lego brand train or tracks, but in fact a model train tracks and carts. Tune in later for the Conclusion!
Our favorite Lego group Penn Lug made an appearance again this year, and what can we say? The amount of time to create a believable environment for the train to run through. It is no longer a simple track running through a flat green base piece, but a series of hills, forests, bridges running with each other. Buildings of apartments with side ladders, restaurants with people eating in them, and the traffic in the roads make a wonderful scene, complimenting the great custom trains as well. Infinitely better then throwing on a Lego train from a set some time ago, Penn Lug went the extra mile to create custom stickers and logos to put on them, and give it their own special branding. The coolest thing I have seen at this diorama, is a rotating train station, again nothing new but this is one I actually saw turning! With an aid of a remote control, it was able to rotate into different tracks, and trade off different trains. I have seen these in the past, but i have never seen it spin before. the trains are not the old 90’s metal rails, but instead the motor tracks so there is no need for it to connect to the track to move. Impressive train housing as well, the colors on the roof give it an almost eerie wood look, common place in many old train yards. The details steal the whole show, the environments are absolutely amazing. Penn Lug always gives 110% always over the top and creative, but we still got alot to cover in day 2!
Brickworld 2014 is fast approaching! June 14-15 we will be covering all that the convention has to offer! Last years was the most fun we have had in recent convention years, this year will be no different. I have been doing this for years now, and i am wondering, do you want to see more trains, large creations, or both? I will be covering everything, so stay tuned!
The Cuusoo Back to the Jules Verne Train from the third movie is in the review session! It has previously reached over it’s goal and has now 9,998 supporters, and is in current review stages of Cuusoo, and the Lego. The creator, M. Togami has actually created the special DeLorean Lego set you can buy now! This train is the exact replica of the one from the end of part III, and has special characters, like Doc Brown, Clara, Jules, Verne, and Einstein. The train does have to ability to float, but it is better when on the track, and moved with the remote control. In addition to this, M. Togami also does a TON of Back to the Future Lego set ideas, some of them include, Biff Tannen’s Ford, Griff Tannen’s hovering BMW, and another train set! This time is the coal train that helped Marty get the DeLorean back to the future! This set is still in the “Support” stage, so help out by going here: http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/51544
More Details on the Cuusoo BTTF – Jules Verne Train:
Sorry for the hiatus, been busy with other projects and the likes, but I’m back with some juicy information. I’ve had a conversation with an employee of Lego, and we spoke about new sets coming out this year, sets and themes to be announced; but it’s all the kind of same knights theme, space theme and such. The Lego Movie sets are the most popular now they said, and I can see why. They are very imaginative and just fun all ways around. The information I’ve gotten was staggering, as the next new sets for are…remakes of the City trains? A bit anti-climatic I know, but from what I have gathered, the sets to be remade are the 7938 LEGO City Passenger Train, 7939 LEGO City Cargo Train, and the 7997 City Train Station. As I was talking to the employee, I saw small boxes of the 31015-1 Emerald Express, a remake of the 4837 Mini Trains, and a spiritual successor to the midnight express train? It’s strange to see so many remakes of older sets nowadays, but they will be new and exciting. The remakes of the city sets are to be released sometime near the end of the year.
"A Paragon of his time"
For those of you who don’t already know, Google is honoring the birthday of Raymon Loewy, the man to give old trains a futuristic look! He is responsible for the “Industrial Design” movement that didn’t just focus on trains. He did many designs for Shell, Exxon, TWA, and former BP logos. Among other things, he is the one who designed the Coca Cola bottle with it’s iconic shape, and design. Truly a Paragon of his time, and he has passed at the ripe old age of 92 years old. Today, November 5th, 2013 marks his 120th birthday! I really do love his designs, it is so fascinating how the previous era perceived the future, and how surreal it is because we have all these technological advancements that they can never dream of! Raymond Loewy was a dreamer, and a big one at that. His train designs were amazing, they almost looked like a space ship, or that might be the intent of the design. A real shame there is no Lego Train set based on his design. OR MAYBE Lego could make a Raymond Loewy, “Special Designer” sets, with the Steam Locomotive, Coca Cola machines, and even his Iconic Studebaker Champion! A man can only dream sometimes… So take some time out of the day occasionally and dream! It might lead to some great Ideas!