Will Hornby's new RailRoad model trains recapture a golden age?

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Buy your child a model train for Christmas, and they’ll eye you with barely-concealed disgust before going out to mug enough grannies to buy a PS3 for themself. At least, that’s the fear of many modern parents. Yet Hornby is fighting its corner in the modern-day toy wars, with the launch of a new range of ‘RailRoad’ trains.

They’re aimed at beginners and enthusiasts alike, with cheap-as-chips prices (well, assuming chips start at £3.50 in your local chippie), and some famous locomotives like the Flying Scotsman. They’re also more robust than your average model train, meaning they can be “enjoyed” (i.e. crashed) without fear of too much damage.

Interestingly, Hornby says that model trains are more popular than ever, thanks in part to TV show Thomas And Friends, and the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter books/films. However, competition is being provided by new media, such as the recently announced My Model Train 2 game for mobile phones.

Hornby website

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Stuart Dredge