As a once and future model railroader I have mixed feelings about a revival of the hobby being engineered (hee yuk) by sales of commemorative-type train sets, as seems to be the case vis-a-vis Harry Potter and Thomas.
The most shocking thing about the above article, however, is the revelation that Neil Young owns 20% of Lionel! I mean that in a good way, of course, although JJV would certainly lament the simultaneous Canadianization and flannelization of a 1950s icon.
Although I have watched only a couple installments of the Thomas ouevre, I was struck, as a fan of steam locomotives, by the stupidity of Thomas as he and his other steam-powered friends cheerfully fraternize and promise to cooperate with diesel engines, airplanes and buses, all of which will have the little blue cretin wheels-up on the scrap-heap in a matter of years. Of course, these are effete British prototypes; the American Challengers and Big Boys didn't lay down without a fight.