Review Of Playmobil 5258 Rc Freight Train Set

idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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13 Jul 2015
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Playmobil trains run on 45mm gauge “G scale” track. Playmobil used to produce track powered locos similar to LGB Toy Trains but moved on to battery powered radio control. This set uses newer and different radio control technology (28GHz) and a new and different motor block to previous Playmobil locos.

This set consists of an oval of track, loco, controller, wagon with three containers and two people. The loco is not available separately.

The packaging was a bit basic, no foam, only corrugated cardboard. The loco and wagon had come free in transit, but with no damage as far as I can tell. It was not really clear how to open the box as it was glued all round.

The models have sturdy construction and clip together well. The finish on the plastic is very good. I can see these are well designed to fit with the Playmobil people, for example the handrails and loco controls fit the hands of the people, and the feet clip into the foot wells and steps.

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The assembly instructions are clear, however there is no mention on the box of the need for a small screwdriver to unfasten the battery compartments in the remote control and loco. I can imagine those small screws easily getting lost as batteries are removed and replaced. I will probably leave out the loco battery compartment screw as it is not really required. The battery pack clips in place under the cover and would not fall out even if you turned the loco upside down.

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The operating instructions are brief but clear. Radio control is simple to set up. There is no need for matching colour crystals any more; instead there is some kind of pairing process between the controller and the loco which is remembered until you remove the battery. There are two buttons on the rear of the loco, one for on/off and one for channel search.

The motor control is not very granular. The controller has a rotary control, clockwise backwards, anti-clockwise forwards, with a central lock stop position. There seem to be four speed steps, slow-ish, medium, fast and very fast. There does not seem to be a realistic shunting speed. The light and sound buttons work fine.

Lighting is good and prototypical for German railways – 3 white lights going forward, 2 red lights in reverse. The lights are very bright and there is a lot of light leakage through the body of the loco (see below). There is no cab light.

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Sound is basic and could do with being louder. I am not sure if it would be readily audible outdoors. There is engine start noise which transitions to running noise but as far as I can tell no pitch change as the loco speed changes, and no brake noise. There is a horn sound as well.

The motors (I believe there are two, one for each axle, although I have not taken the loco apart to confirm this) are quite noisy. Maybe they will run in over time, or maybe they need more lubrication. The noise of the motor almost masks the electronically generated engine noise. With the 6 x AA batteries the loco has a reasonable weight. I have not tested the pulling power. The wheels are plastic. Two of the wheels have a traction tire fitted.

Couplings are standard LGB/PIKO and work well – they hold their grip and are released easily. The loco has no hooks only loops, and no provision to add hooks. The wagon has one hook fitted; an additional hook is provided if you want hooks at both ends.

The loco is 285mm long over buffers, which with claimed “prototype” length of 8.4m corresponds to scale 1:29 which is similar to PIKO and LGB mainline 45mm gauge locos. The height is about 150mm. The wheelbase is about 130mm which is longer than the other Playmobil four wheel motor blocks. Perhaps due to the long wheel base the loco slows down appreciably on the sharp Playmobil plastic curves, which at 536mm radius are even tighter than LGB or PIKO R1 curves.

The track is strong plastic which clips together easily, and can be used like that if laid on a flat surface. There are clips provided to join the tracks together more securely. The set provides an oval (12 x curves and 2 x straights). Points, a 30 degree crossing and a buffer stop are also available, but only one radius curve is available.

The loco seems to be vaguely modelled on a DB V60 / 260 / 360 diesel shunter or switcher, although the model is 0-4-0 not 0-6-0 and has no platforms or handrails at the front and back. I did say vaguely modelled! The running number is 1802.006 which is fictitious.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DB_Class_V_60

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The wagon is well built, with spoked plastic wheels, and is a reasonably good representation of a low sided wagon. The sides fold down and have working retaining hooks. Three small removable containers with opening tops are provided as a load.

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Overall my initial impressions of Playmobil as a manufacturer are very good. I think this model is good provided you are not too concerned with prototypical accuracy and are looking for a value for money battery powered radio controlled loco. Obviously if you are a Playmobil fan it will fit in well with any other buildings, vehicles and people you have. This would be a super introduction to G-scale for children.
 
Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
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Pennsylvania, USA
I have the set and my grandchildren love it. They run it on my layout outdoors. My impression of the sound is that outdoors it is loud enough for even me to hear, which means it could be annoying to those with better hearing than I. Though it's not a major pain, the buttons on the back of the loco that turn it on and off and link it with the controller, can be confusing to younger children. As cab be the controller corresponding buttons. There have been times when my granddaughter pushed the channel select button on the controller and came to me, usually at inopportune times, for assistance. Fortunately these buttons are small and not easily noticed by the kids. I may be picking knits. One other note is the tinted windows, why? The cab will support Playmobil figures that cannot be seen anyway.

The price I paid was well worth the outlay. $75.00 plus $20.00 shipping. The loco will pull a good number of my LGB rolling stock. The sound and lights are excellent. Again consider the price.
 
Chris Vernell

Chris Vernell

Winter is coming
24 Oct 2009
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I have had one of these sets for some time. I can hear the sounds quite well outdoors, and they do mask the motor noise. All in all, a very satisfactory toy. :D
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
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playmofire

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23 Oct 2010
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North Yorks
A very good review. On the question of hooks and loops, no Playmobil locos have been fitted with hooks, just loops. It is possible to fit a hook, but it is a DIY job and the hook doesn't pivot and hence doesn't work very well.
 
G-force1

G-force1

Prevarication Rules!
4 Aug 2015
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I have found ours completely compatible with a brace or two of 4 years olds.

I concur with Dan's button problem, and one of mine insists on holding the controller upside down and confusing F & R.
 
trammayo

trammayo

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I like mine (which I bought to bash). Superb value really! In fact I like it so much that, when I get around to the bash, the loco will not be altered at all! I will then have two locos for the price of one (tight git mode).
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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I like mine (which I bought to bash). Superb value really! In fact I like it so much that, when I get around to the bash, the loco will not be altered at all! I will then have two locos for the price of one (tight git mode).
We all have to have a dash of tight git-ness in this hobby otherwise we'd be bankrupt within a year! ;)
 
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trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
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We all have to have a dash of tight git-ness in this hobby otherwise we'd be bankrupt within a year! ;)
Yes - I agree but sometimes ( and you might think me quackers) I can be water tight;)
 
PaulRhB

PaulRhB

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Walts-Playmobil

Playmobil Trains.
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trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
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This loco was first introduced in Germany in August 2012 and in the U.K. in 2013.

If you accidentally catch the CH button you can shut down the controller by holding in the on off button for 3 seconds. Then switch on the controller again and all will be well without having to resynchronise the loco. For more details go to my web site on the hints and tips page.

http://www.walts-playmobil-collection.me.uk/hints_&_tips.htm#NEW_2.4_GHz_LOCO_Introduced_August_2012/2013
Useful info (I've bookmarked it). Thanks for posting your link!
 
S

Sarah Winfield

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20 Jun 2016
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I have now opened the box containing my Playmobil diesel locomotive.

Thanks for posting the above which really helped.

Would you guide me to the "slower speeds" link please?

Thanks,

SW
 
W

Walts-Playmobil

Playmobil Trains.
The easy way to slow the loco down is only to put in five batteries and a dummy battery. You can then quickly change back to normal by just replacing the dummy battery. This saves having to take the top off and wire in diodes.
 
S

Sarah Winfield

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Enjoyed running my Playmobil diesel RC locomotive. However from stationary there is no slow start it just suddenly leaps away.

I'll try with only 5 batteries tomorrow. What is a dummy battery please?

SW
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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Just do a google search for "dummy aa battery" and you will see you can buy them ready made from ebay etc or follow some youtube instructions to make your own. Basically they are just a battery shape which has an internal conductor so it completes the circuit like a real battery but adds no voltage.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
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Interesting idea to use a dummy Battery, I wonder what the cost in running time would be Dummy Battery vice the Diode reducing power option?

Also rechargeables would reduce the Voltage as well, think I may have tried that and found the thing would not go at all.

Secret of driving is to be very precise and subtle with the Controller, you can get them to Shunt as bought but it will never be as good as the more sophisticated Battey Setups.

Sarah the link to the Diode Fix build is on Post 10 on this thread.
 
S

Sarah Winfield

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Before I set about making a dummy AA cell (I have swotted up on Utube) I can see how 5 cells will reduce the speed of the train but how will that control the sudden start and stop please?

And does it make any difference whereabouts the dummy cell is in the pack of 6 batteries please?

Thank you,

SW