Trying to decide which has the better play value for 3, 5 and 8 year old grandkids - the Lionel Culvert Loader and Unloader combo or the Lionel CC Sawmill with log dump car. I can't fit both into the layout - what do you think ?
I have and enjoy both, but for the grandkids I'd recommend the sawmill with log dump car.
Faster action to keep them interested
i am not real familiar with those 2 accessories but I do have several others on my Christmas layout for kids to use. From what I observe the more that THEY can control the action the more engrossed they are in that accessory. Pressing a button to initiate action and then just watching works the first time and that's it for that accessory.
As just one example of stuff on my layout: I have the Lionel crane. It does NOTHING unless the child makes it do something. It never goes unused.
my $.02 worth
My older grand kids agree with Walt that the Lionel Gantry Crane is their favorite and challenging as I have all kinds of loads to load and unload including the Mercury space capsules.
My younger ones, when 3 to 5 years old, love the Lionel milk platform and milk car. They just keep doing it over and over and learn to load the cans into the car and then throw them out. You may already have one, if not they take almost no room, just make sure the small kids can reach the platform and dump button.
I have most of my accessories near the control panels and transformers as most need some human help.