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The Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Figure Eight Train Set is one of the starter train sets that we see often in our online research. With the popularity of all thing Melissa & Doug these days, and the many people searching for a starter set for their little ones, Wooden Train Set Reviews has searched the internet for reviews on this specific train set and has pulled out the main themes for your convenience.
Pieces: 22 (engine, coal car, track and bridge)
Compatibility: This set is compatible with other major wooden railway brands. While an occasional review did state that the fit wasn’t as smooth as they would have liked with certain brands (Ikea and Thomas were mentioned), other reviews stated a good fit with the same brands, so it may be more of a preference for how loose or tight you like the tracks to fit. We were unable to find any reviews stating a specific brand that was not compatible at all with these tracks.
Quality and Durability: This set contains hand-painted, solid wood pieces. Buyers should note that several reviews (all several years old or more) mentioned missing pieces in their box. Most of these also noted Melissa & Doug providing good customer service to replace these pieces, but you might consider ordering early and doing a piece count before giving this as a gift in case this is an ongoing issue. Reviewers tend to either note that this set has good quality or not comment at all on this aspect. Reviews stating poor quality are few and far between.
Tracks: Reviewers consistently note how easy these tracks are to put together. Another common plus mentioned in reviews is how well the bridge works/stays together unlike many other train set bridges that wobble or fall apart when in use. The curved pieces have grooves on both sides, allowing you to flip them over for more track layout flexibility. Some reviewers also made not of there being enough track to make several other designs beyond the figure 8.
Cars and Accessories: The engine and coal cars in this set connect magnetically, as do trains from many other brands. Theoretically, this means that the trains should mix well with other brands, however, there were several reviews stating week magnets or magnets that didn’t quite align with magnets on other brands, causing them to come apart easily. The majority of reviews were happy with the way the train fits under the bridge, however, there were a few older reviews that indicated it was a very tight fit or that it didn’t fit unless the track under the bridge was perfectly centered. There were also a few reviews that said trains from other brands didn’t always fit under the bridge (Thomas and Friends battery powered train was one example). Sporadic reviews also noted the wheels on the train cars being cheaper/plastic and/or wobbly, causing more frequent derailments, especially when sent down the bridge.
Price: At the time of this publishing, this set was selling for $20.70 on Amazon.com.
Overall, this set gets high marks from reviewers. While sporadic reviews had targeted complaints as outlined above, the majority were very happy, noted their child’s delight with the set, and often indicated that it is a great starter set. Buyers often indicated that they were buying more track/accessories or pairing it with other sets as the child wanted to grow the set.
If you have this set, we’d love to hear from you in the comments or on our Facebook Page.