Price: £299.99 / $329.99 / €329.99 Pieces: 2,925 Available: Now
Adult fans seem to be being treated to everything that could be on their wish list right now, as the incredible 71040 The Disney Castle is followed up with a worthy successor. While the iconic castle is the centrepiece to Disney theme parks the world over, the second-best known icon might well be the Main Street Station that guests walk below as they access the parks.
Given the iconic nature of those stations and the history that Walt Disney had with steam trains, 71044 Disney Train and Station makes perfect sense as the second Disney theme park inspired set. Despite its generic title, which will allow it to be accessible to Disney fans whether they visit the destinations or not, it is based on the original Disneyland theme park that opened in 1955.
Building the steam engine and its carriages is an absolute delight. There is little repetition and some very intuitive aspects as the model comes together. For the engine itself, a SNOT construction allows the shape to reflect the classic look of a traditional train in a way that feels more sophisticated than, but reminiscent of, 10254 Winter Holiday Train.
The shaping of the tender is very nice and does a great job of hiding the Powered UP Hub that it encloses. The passenger car is a fairly simple build but is enjoyable and accurately reflects the type of carriages found at theme parks and on railway rides.
Of the different parts to the train, the most enjoyable part to build is the parlour car, which makes careful use of elements for the exterior to give it a textured, luxurious look. The interior manages to achieve a similarly high class feel in a very limited space, with the arm chairs being great fun to construct and a little tea set completing the scene.
One of the great things about 71044 Disney Train and Station containing both the train and the station is that even though this is a 2,925 piece set, building it never feels like a chore – once the train is complete, it is time to construct a building, which is of course an entirely different experience. Building up the walls is as satisfying as that task always is, with height quickly being added to the model.
Masonry bricks interspersed with grey bricks make up the walls, creating a nice texture, with sloped bricks for the roof broken up by delightfully ornate window frames. The arches over the doors look the part too. While the paint rollers work well for the lanterns, the cleverest parts usage is the combination of robot legs and handcuffs for the rooftop railing, which captures the look well at the scale.
The interior is perhaps even more fun to build, with lots of intricate little models decorating it well without overcrowding it. Where 71040 The Disney Castle produced an imagined interior with references to Disney movies, this follows more closely what is found inside the real station. Model trains, a ticket desk and curtains are all nice little touches.
Of the tiny models for the inside, the scales and trash can are the most impressive, along with the chandelier that hangs over the lower floor, which has just enough wobble to feel authentic. Pictures adorn the walls with references to trains, along with one that depicts the Disney monorail transport system – fans can wish upon a star that such a set is on the way next.
One item that is not authentic to a train station is a little micro version of 71040 The Disney Castle that uses way fewer than the 4,080 bricks used for the actual set. Alongside it is a little 2×3 stud box. For some this will be an adorable touch, to others a little too much product placement.
While building this set, fans will note that it feels very Disney – it has the antiquated charm that is intentionally captured at Disneyland and the other theme parks around the world. But not everyone has seen, or has a distinct memory of, Main Street Station.
It is old hat at this stage to complain about stickers, but there really are too many stickers in this set. Yes, some of them are very well justified, but particularly when they need to be lined up across multiple bricks they are very patience testing. The only printed part is the box for the mini version of 71040 The Disney Castle, which comes across as incredibly cynical.
Considering this set was given a generic label rather than being named as a Disneyland model, it is incredibly accurate – aside from the proportions being adjusted to accommodate LEGO doors, this looks almost identical to how the original park’s Main Street Station does from the front. Even the column on the left is thicker than the right one to maintain the attention to detail. The flags are a point of difference, with the actual location flying a Disneyland and USA flags.
While a little more liberty has been taken with the interior, some of the key details have been placed as close as possible to where they are situated in real life. The trash can, the scales and the clock are all located in roughly the right place. The benches, model trains and pictures decorating the wall are all also found in the iconic Disneyland station.
The same is true of the train itself, which is modelled after the C. K. Holliday, the first train that was introduced to Disneyland and the one used on the attraction poster artwork. The colour scheme and shape are very accurate given the scale it is built at.
One thing that would have been nice for the set to include is alternate stickers – instead of ‘C.K. Holliday’ on the side, the set has a ‘Disney Train’ label. It is a small niggle, as it has clearly been done to make the model as universally appealing as possible and some enterprising LEGO fan will surely produce authentic stickers or printed parts before long.
The minifigures included in 71044 Disney Train and Station are excellent – Mickey Mouse is kitted out to be driving the train, while Minnie wears her classic attire. To allow her to sit, a new soft skirt has been included rather than the previously used hard element. Chip n Dale look delightful in their little suits and use the new poseable short legs.
Goofy – who is presented here as a minifigure for the first time – is absolutely perfect, with the shape of his moulded head capturing his likeness in exactly the way that fans would desire. The decoration on his torso and trousers is simple but captures his classic outfit perfectly.
It is a shame that the set does not include Pluto, as it seems rather cheeky for the LEGO Group to release two Disney sets at this sort of price and not provide the full classic Disney gang across the two of them.
Using the new Powered UP Hub and Motor the train chugs along nicely around the included track. Including the track elements and Powered Up aspect has pushed the price of this model up, but it is nice to get everything in one box. It really needed a controller too, as fans must use the app to get the engine moving unless they buy 88010 Remote Control separately.
71044 Disney Train and Station is an absolute must-buy for those who love the Disney theme parks. For families who have recently been to Disneyland or are planning a trip, it is a perfect way to reminisce or build anticipation together. Beyond those audiences, it is still an excellently realised set that builds a charming train and visually appealing station, sprinkled with Disney magic. All aboard…
Read the Minifigure Spotlight for more about the exclusive Disney minifigures included.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
Graham was the BrickFanatics.com Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education.
Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.