I unwrapped the tender first. There was the usual foam and wrapping. The wrapping wasn't as tight as MTH usually ships it, my guess is that this engine had been inspected and even tested prior to shipment.
Two things I noticed about the tender and this where MTH gets a minor slap on the hand:
1) The catalog shows this with Pennsy plates. The engine comes with Southern plates. Being that I am in the Northeastern part of the US, Southern plates really don't jibe with anything I have. Why MTH, why?
2) In designing more effective pickups, MTH put a wire underneath the tender that is strung underneath the tender from one truck to another. Now remember we also have a Protosound harness as well. I noticed a wire on the outside of my Flying Colonel engine as well. This is not a happy development MTH! Wires on the outside of trains is not a welcome development. Forgetting a minute about originals, wires (especially on the bottom of trains) are a huge potential maintenance hassle for operators. Is this something we can avoid in the future?
MTH did do a great job of making sure you oil the engine before it hits the pike. I'd highly recommend buzzing over to your local train store and getting some light oil. These trains do need to be oiled before they start running. MTH reminds you of it as soon as you crack open the box and I'd recommend you heed their recommendation.