This last Christmas I purchased a polar express Bluetooth set with sound from Kohls and I really enjoyed setting it up around my tree and running it for about two weeks prior to Christmas. This set seems like such a good value with all the cars and track and die cast loco and I loved the sound (it made me feel like a kid again). All was great until someone placed a present too close to the track resulting in a minor derailment (it was a very gentle derailment with the engine going a bit sideways). After that it started acting finicky about moving and then it stopped running altogether. No amount of cleaning brought it back to life and all wires and connections to tender appeared intact.
Living close to Saginaw, MI I am fairly close to a great lionel repair shop and I debated whether to do a quick return to Kohls or perhaps leave it at the lionel shop for repair (last I knew they will repair engines that came from amazon or kohls). I opted for the quick return. I do miss the fun so am considering trying the whole thing again next year.
I have read about other similar experiences on this site but what I want to know is can this loco/set be made reliable by a good repair shop? If I had chose to take it to the dealer could it have been made reliable or does the inexpensive nature of the set make the loco difficult to keep running? I note that many people seem to be liking the lionchief plus engines so those must be giving decent service for some? Basic question is would I be beating my head against the wall trying another or did I just have bad luck with this one? thank you in advance for your replies..