"This is a fantastic set. It is easy to build and only takes a couple of hours to put together. It will look great under the tree, but you will probably have to buy more tracks. I bought the additional Power Function parts to motorize the train, because, well, TRAIN. (BTW the automation is not required, and pushing the train is just as fun as using the remote.) MODS: Like others who reviewed this set, I found the engine car too light to carry the motor, and experienced slipping of the wheels, especially when I added another car. I took another reviewer's advice and moved the motor to the tender/coal car and moved it to the middle of the train. It then worked perfectly. I also thought the smoke was a little small for the train, so I made that bigger. Like others, I found that the lamps on the last car made putting a full sized minifig on the outside of the car impossible. I compromised by taking the lamp off of the roof and putting it on a gold pole I had in my stock and had the ticket-taker hold this pole/lamp. MORE MODS: After all this, I watched the Polar Express and decided to turn my new train into the Polar Express. I added a couple of kids and put the hobo on top of the additional car, which I made into the toy transport car for the movie. This ended up being a great place to put the toys that you make in the set. I added an area at the front of the train to stand and made the lamp on the engine bigger. This is a super-cool set and I had a blast making all the mods for it. I think it will be a great addition to the North Pole Workshop and Winter Toy Shop."
"I got this as an addition to the Santa's Workshop set I got last year. I am not disappointed. The set is pretty and festive, and the light brick is a nice touch. It would be nice to have a light brick for the store part as well as the workshop part. There are several toys to build, and it is always fun to see how realistic the tiny toy builds are. The tree is a lot better in this set than in the Santa's Workshop. I did add a few angled plates to the layers of tree to get rid of the blunt edges of the tree. Others seem disappointed they already have a similar set. I have just started collecting, so I am glad they brought this one back."
"This is a really nice set. The details on the bluebird and robin are very good, and from a distance, the birds look realistic. The hummingbird looks more boxy than the other two, but having it in flight and adding the flower are a nice touches and kind of balance it out. The stands the birds sit on are kind of plain, and be aware they are not very sturdy. You can turn the birds on their stands, which is nice, but they are a bit wobbly, so you have to be careful when moving them around. Over all, I am impressed with the realistic look and feel of these birds. Each bird has its own assembly book that includes facts and trivia about them. I certainly would by more sets with different birds in them."
"I got this as an early Christmas gift, and it is terrific! I like the extras, like the string of lights on the workshop and the vacation pic of Santa and Mrs. Claus over the fireplace. I did use other pieces that I have to make more toys and presents, because, after all, it is the busy season for the elves. I also made my own, larger tree, because the one in the set is elf-sized. The only negative I have is that the Mrs. Claus head that came in my set looks very angry and mean, instead of smiling warmly like what is shown on the box."