I think it a pretty good deal and at $220 I recomend it for Christams morning or at anytime of year. It is versitle, I think, and can be operated all the year long. The engine and tender have about the same features as any post war Berkshire. Nice cast detail, smoke, an E unit and an air whistle. It is sort of classic that way. The cars are the same as a set I bought a few years back from the General Mills era. I dont recall what set that was buthe tender had the wheel underneath that, filled with shot, made a chuff sound. The coaches of the PE set, like on that set, were or are pretty well closed up. No sliding combime doors, no window or opening on the car ends, details all all moded in. Then as now it is low dollar. No place for those rubber things between cars. So the coaches are sort of a throw back also. Am I complaining? Not on your life. I can use the transformer and have a bushel basket of Fast Track and now I have more. I liked Lionel in the Fifies and in the Seventies and I like them now. To have all the mega deatils and funtions with the rail sounds a set would be in the $600 or higher bracket. The Polar Express set delivers what you paid for. This, along with a good track plan, switches,and some exra track, makes a heck of an entry level layout for the new father and son or the young adult wanting to get started. It has the Bubba seal of approval. I suggest if giving to children or setting it before Christmas, give them the DVD or maybe rent it to watch as you trim the tree, bake some cookies and have coco. It will be the Chritmas they will never forget.