Toys are becoming ever closer to real life and the Thomas the Tank Engine range is desperate not to get left behind. I spotted this in a local toy shop just this last weekend:
We’ve seen plenty of robust argument, protest, misinformation and spin over fracking – not just in South Africa, but across the world – and Mattel are obviously seeking to capitalise on this, offering not just the Oil Derrick above, but also a Thomas the Tank Engine Protest Camp (complete without washing facilities), a Thomas the Tank Engine Industrial Chemical Leak Clean-up Kit and even the option of a Thomas the Tank Engine Aquifer, which comes polluted or unpolluted, depending on which side of the fence you choose to sit.
But it doesn’t end there: Sodor is also joining the alternative energy bandwagon and you can now kit out your kids’ playroom with Thomas the Tank Engine Wind Turbines, which do nothing for most of the time and very little for the rest of it, and Thomas the Tank Engine PV Solar Panels, which just take up most of the space on the floor, and are produced with a lifelike polysilicon byproduct toxic footprint.
Both the Wind Turbine and Solar Panel sets come with an obligatory 200% subsidy surcharge, which most people unknowingly pay while basking in the smug afterglow of their apparently environmentally conscious purchase.
I applaud Mattel in their efforts to keep Thomas and his friends up to date and I look forward to the upcoming release of the Thomas the Tank Engine Search Party for that moment when Jeremy the Jetplane allegedly gets hijacked en route from Sodor to Beijing.