|Written by Paul D. Race for and|
Update, 2017 - Bradford Exchange, who distributes the Hawthorne Village products shown on this page has recently been forced by the attorney generals of several states (including Ohio where I live) to stop letting folks in Ohio and other states recommend Hawthorne Village products we like. Apparently it's a sales tax thing. At the same time, most of the Hawthorne Village trains and towns we used to recommend have gone out of production, so winnowing things down haven't been as hard as we thought it might be. In fact, we are down to one, count them, one Kinkade-themed Hawthorne Village train and two villages on this page, where there used to be three trains and several villages.
It will take us a while to get things on these pages reconfigured to reflect the new requirements, but in the meantime, please consider the rest of this page an archive of past recommendations, for informational purposes only.
Also, please keep in mind that none of the trains or towns on this page will be available indefinitely. Readers often think I'm making that up, until they wait a month too long to get started on a collection then start barraging me with e-mails demanding that I come up with a train that has been discontinued. I don't have a "secret stash" of these somewhere, or know of anyone who does except for the eBay sellers who have been collecting them all along waiting for them to be discontinued and would-be customers to become desperate. As I often say, you are thinking about any Hawthorne Village train or town for your home or as a gift, do not wait too long.
We now return you to a discussion of the train featured on this page - Hawthorne Village's most popular train ever.
The art of the late Thomas Kinkade has been in demand since it was first available to the public. Kinkade was said to "follow the grand tradition of 19th century American Luminist painting." By using countless layers of underpainting and overglazing, he created evocative works that captured the fascinating effects of light and the fleeting moods of nature. His paintings and limited edition prints are remarkable for their beauty and value. When Kinkade began painting and designing for the collectible market, a new era began. As early as 1991, Kinkade's first limited-edition collector's plate won the coveted Best Plate of Show at the International Collectibles Exposition. Today, Kinkade's collectible village sculptures and accessories show in three dimensions what his paintings have always shown in two - a remarkable range of charm and detail graced by soft, natural-looking light.
Since this train was introduced, Hawthorne Village has introduced two other Thomas Kinkade-themed train collections that have both sold out. Even though the original Christmas Express trains were ordered in larger numbers, this set is a limited edition. Hawthorne Express will not take orders for this item indefinitely, and when becomes unavailable, we can't get it for you (we know because we've tried on other popular sets that sold out.)
Note about Suppliers: While we try to help you get the products you want by recommending suppliers with a good record of customer service, all transactions between you and the supplier you chose to provide your trains or other purchases are governed by the published policies on the supplier's web site. So please print off any order confirmation screens and save copies of invoices, etc., so you can contact the appropriate supplier should any problems occur. (They almost never do, but you want to be on the safe side.)
Note: If you're interested in the sort of products you see on this page, it might be a good idea to bookmark this page now, in case you get lost looking through the vendor sites I've referenced here. (It's not hard - there's lots of choices - I've simply tried to present those which are most useful for Thomas Kinkade villages and for Christmas villages that use collectible trains.)
The Hawthorne Village(r) Thomas Kinkade trains are the most charming collectible trains ever designed. Each features artwork from reknowned artist Thomas Kinkade and is supported by a wide range of accessories.
The train featured on this page is a subscription train. That means that you buy it in installments, like a magazine. Like many other Hawthorne Village(r) Trains, this train is in O scale, which means that it is 1:48 the size of the "real thing," about the same scale as most of the better Lionel trains. But it runs on HO gauge track, making your railroad easier to set up and to fit into a fairly small place. This train is also built using parts from the Bachmann On30 trains, so parts and service will always be available. In addition, track and accessories that are made to go with the Bachmann On30 trains will work with these as well.
This page includes accessories that a Thomas Kinkade or Hawthorne Village(r) collector might be interested in purchasing to add interest to this set. For example, the Thomas Kinkade Christmas Village and accessories are perfectly scaled to look right with this train and to give it a community to serve.
To learn more about any of these products, or to purchase any of these products or subscriptions, please click on the "Buy" button. You are not obligated to purchase until you make your selection on the next screen.
Note: Deadlines approaching! Because these are subscription trains, each piece is actually considered a separate purchase. (The price advertised on the Hawthorne Village web site is the cost of each collectible piece.) In the first shipment, you receive the locomotive, which is an exceptional value. Then about a month later, or when the next piece is available (whichever comes first), your order for the next piece is automatically processed. That means that you can still get the locomotive before Christmas if you order early enough, so you'll have something to wrap up and put under the tree. The locomotive is also a great value, so the recipient won't be disappointed, even when he or she learns that the rest of the train is still to come. On the other hand, there is a good possibility that some of these trains will sell out between now and Christmas. If there's one you really want, don't assume that it's "safe" to wait until later - I have not heard from one reader who was disappointed with his or her train, but I have heard from many readers who were disappointed because they put off ordering a subscription until it was too late. These are delightful trains and a great value, so order your favorite soon if you don't want to miss out! For details about how a subscription train works, please click here.