I read some of the comments below (on the blog) and on some of the forums with great interest. I really do hope both companies get some serious mileage out of this. My thoughts are the following:
1) We needn't look any further than the current pickle the auto industry is in to know that innovation (among other things) needs to be one of the key factors in building new consumer products.
2) The innovation needs to reflect some kind of consumer reality.
3) Lionel and MTH are no longer operating in a vacuum.
4) Their real competition is other hobbies and computers/video games. Has been for quite some time.
It's good to see these two companies cooperating for the betterment of their customers and their market. I hope they are rewarded handsomely.