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3225-1: Classic Train
Published 1 year ago
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This slightly oddball set no. 3225 "Classic Train" came out in 1998, and was a limited retail release as per Brickset notes. It doesn't make much sense—an awkward crossover between the retro and normal Modern Day design; in retrospect and for an AFOL, it turns out to be a fun and quirky train. But I'm sure that for an average mid-nineties kid, this was lame and totally sucked.

The train consists of a steam locomotive, a tiny passenger coach, and two freight wagons: a tipping gondola loaded with some round bricks, and a flatbed wooden platform carrying a mailbox and two empty crates. On the side, there's a pretty neat wheelbarrow loaded with a treasure chest.

Disappointingly, the Classic Train came with only three minifigures (nowhere near enough passengers or even crew members for all that carriages on the train). The luggage inventory is extremely scarce: with all the crates & barrels and ample storage, all we got is a single $100 bill, two empty goblets, and, all of a sudden, a chain! (That has nothing to do with anything else on the entire set, by the way). And three tools. This is, frankly, ridiculous for a 280-p set, and leaves it looking empty and unfinished.

Another serious drawback is, as already mentioned, in the design disparity. Based on the minifigures' attire, this is supposed to be a modern Classic Town train but operated, for some unexplained reason, by a vintage (assumingly refurbished) steam engine? If that's the case, why does the rest of the train combines a 100% modern-looking gondola carriage but mixed with two faux 'vintage' cars (on the interchangeable chassis, pretty modern in design). What's with an additional cart—a pretty standard "Modern"-style accessory but on the vintage Wild West wagon wheels?

The locomotive lacks details and is very chunky, cubical in shape. Perhaps intentionally, as an homage to the early 80's vehicle design of the Lego universe. I seriously doubt somehow that a subtle double entendre was appreciated enough by the teenage audience in 1998.

Truth be told, the Lego designers would have probably succeed more by going all the way and making a proper historical set. Just threw in some sheriff and a couple of ladies in vintage dresses in the passenger coach, maybe introduce some more retro-looking uniforms for the crew, add some Indians on the horses attacking the train, and it would be brilliant!

All these shortcomings aside, it was a good build, at least 98% accurate.

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