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Hello all!
Although I am a huge railway enthusiast, I am not a modeller. Simply - when I was kid, my parents bought several H0 models to me, but I've never built a layout or anything than a very simple circle of tracks on the floor of my room. My son is now 4-years old, and he is fascinated by railways. He is now playing with a fairly huge collection of BRIO wooden railways, but I noticed that he is slowly outgrowing it. I saw several quite cool Märklin my world sets for kids, but a guy in the shop said (what sounds very reasonable to me), that kid would soon outgrow also such sets for small children. So - my question is - how to start? What are the best (and also best value for money) H0 sets for small children? Any other advice os more than wellcome!

Thnx! ;)

regards
tomab
 

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Welcome, and I don't know, not remotely up to date with HO. But I can tell you that at that age visiting my continental relatives I was completely fascinated by the Swiss Krokodil that was the latest addition to cousin Kees' layout. I achieved a cut on my forehead due to an inappropriate trackside viewing position, and was reminded of this on every repeat visit over the years.
 

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Type "model railway starter set" into Google and see what comes up.

You can vary the search by adding H0 or whatever. The cheapest new set was Piko with an H0 freight set plus track and controller for £89. Depending on where you live there may be even better bargains.

I have fond memories of my first set ............... a Triang set complete with a Jinty tank engine plus two coaches, an oval of track and battery controller. Each birthday and Christmas from then on brought additions to that basic set.

Best regards ................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Your biggest decision is to choose AC (Maerklin) or DC (Trix, Piko, Roco) because they cannot be mixed.
Maerklin is really big in the Germany and surrounding countries. You will find that if a toy shop in Germany stocks only one brand, it will be Maerklin. So if your local toy shops have a lot of Maerklin and less of everything else, then it will be easier to buy more Maerklin than anything else and the other brands - Piko and Roco make AC versions of many of their models.

The main criticism of AC is that the track has a little bumps down the middle. The real thing doesn't have them so the track looks 'wrong'.

Piko have an excellent reputation for value for money and have a range of less well detailed models at lower prices whch are well suited to younger modellers.

David
 

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As your son is only 4 y.o. I'd start with toy stores. There are always train models for this age.
Have to agree, we bought our grandchildren the Hornby Playtrains (first version and second version) and at 3 and 4 years old they were (especially the first version) too young for the first version and not really old enough for the new version, it’s too hard to put on the rails easily for them, they are much more interested in Grandads layout and content to watch and just play (off the layout) with a couple of old trucks while I run the trains for them.
 
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Funnily enough last time they were here (a month ago) we got out the playtrains stuff and it lasted well under an hour before they were bored but I dug out what’s left of my old LGB stuff, I have two starter sets left with the Stainz Loco and put it on the circle of track and they loved it, and kept going back to it all the week…..beauty of it was it’s indestructible.
 
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