A train set has always been a very popular gift option for young children – especially for boys, although there is no reason why young girls couldn’t enjoy this type of toy just as well. It is also the type of toy that appeals to a broad age group – many enthusiasts will continue their model railway hobby in adulthood.
That is just one of the advantages offered by a train set. Although it would probably be considered a high end toy, with a price that may be a little more than some other types of toys, train sets do tend to have a longer lasting appeal than many other children’s toys. After the latest computer game has been completed (often in no more than a few days) the game is finished with. However, a good quality train set will last for many years if properly looked after and could very easily wind up being used by more than one generation.
If you’re uncertain as to whether or not a gift as traditional as a train set is a good idea in our current electronic age then here’s a simple test that you can carry out. Simply ask any grown man whether or not he can still remember his very first train set. Then watch them assume a vacant expression as they fly back through the years and recall the excitement of finding their first train set under the tree on Christmas morning.
If you do decide to give a train set as a gift then you should consider the age of the intended recipient when selecting the set. Hornby trains manufacture train sets which are specifically intended for younger children. They have a set based upon the ever popular Thomas The Tank Engine which includes many of his friends. Younger children will love it. Older children might find the Hogwarts Express – as seen in various Harry Potter movies – more appealing.
In addition to the locomotives and carriages available in the Hornby model trains range, you should also take the track layout into consideration. Younger kids may become bored relatively quickly watching a train which does nothing other than going round and round a circular or oval track lay out. Sidings, that the train can back into in order to load up with freight are a good idea – as are platforms – and these can really help to bring the train set to life for kids. Typically, younger children may find the hustle and bustle of a goods train set more enjoyable. They will probably enjoy the picking up and dropping off of important materials somewhat more than running passenger trains.
The fine level of detail in some model trains may be something that is appreciated more by slightly older children. A close similarity between the Hogwarts Express on the big screen and the one whizzing around on their bedroom floor might be more important for them than it would be for a younger child. Whatever age your intended gift recipient is, a few extra accessories might help to increase their fun and enjoyment. A few trees, farm animals, tunnels, buildings etc. can really assist in firing up their imagination and making their play more enjoyable and real for them.
A train set can be a great toy for a child. A model railway can be a great hobby for an adult. A good quality train set, well looked after and cared for, can become a family treasure to be passed down the generations. However, prior to becoming a much loved toy, an interesting hobby or a family heirloom, it can be the ideal gift for a young kid.