Thomas & Emma: Childhood favourites in new measures

It is absolutely undisputed and beyond question that model railway is the most beautiful hobby in the world. You can be creative, learn about the newest technology and enjoy the result of your hard work once it’s done. But where did this enthusiasm for the railroad come from? Many people may still know the model railroad from their childhood, when their own father or uncle had their model trains at home. Model railways are something very special and therefore always fascinating for children. But model railways are also quite expensive! And therefore absolutely unsuitable for the hands of young children. 

Perhaps you recall the names Emma and Thomas.? Emma and Thomas etwas.?

Thomas die kleine Lokomotive and Emma von Jim Knopf Thomas the tank engine and Emma known from Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver, have accompanied many people from different generations in their childhood. Let's take a closer look at our childhood friends, shall we?


Thomas is a cheeky, cheerful tank engine corresponds to class E-2 on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. At the beginning of the story, Thomas is “only” a shunting engine and has to prove himself several times before he was allowed to drive on branch lines.

Maybe we used to be like Thomas, still young and inexperienced, maybe even a little clumsy. Only after we had proven ourselves to be mature and responsible were we allowed to use our father's expensive locomotive. So just like Thomas, we had to prove ourselves.

The book "Thomas the Tank Engine" was published in 1945. The author (Wilbert Awdry) wrote the books for his sick two-year-old son, who continued this series of books after his father passed away. The cartoon TV adaptation was released in 1979 and was initiated by Britt Allcroft and directed with David Mitton. The series was broadcast regularly on English TV until 2015.

Thomas the little Tank Engine has accompanied many children over the years through books and films and we fondly remember him.


Emma is a somewhat chubby and old-fashioned, but very helpful steam engine. She belongs to Luke the engine driver, who lives in Morrowland with Emma and Jim Button. After Luke, Jim and Emma leave their homes, an exciting adventure begins for the team. They set out to save the princess Li Si from the clutches of the nasty Mrs. Grindtooth. On her journey, Emma is converted into a ship, submarine, land vehicle without rails & even an aircraft.

Modell der Emma auf der Spielwarenmesse 2019

We don't convert our engines, but with the same imagination Michael Ende approached Emma, we also approach our model railroad layout. In our miniature world, there are no limits to the imagination. Just like Emma.

At the end of the story, Emma has a daughter, the small tank engine Molly.

The book "Jim Button" by Michael Ende was published in 1960. The cartoon adaptation followed in 1999 and the reallife adaptation on March 29, 2018.

What do our childhood heroes have to do with our hobby today?

Both Thomas and Emma live in a fictional world, away from the rules and restrictions of our real society. We often achieve the same thing with our model railroad: we build our own little world. The enthusiasm may have started in childhood, but it shouldn't end there. It should live on in the next generation and the one after that. Give this beautiful hobby the opportunity to inspire more children

Manufacturers such as Märklin and Bachmann quickly noticed what an important role the popular childhood characters play and have come up with something for the youngest. To be just like Daddy and Grandpa with their own little engine! What an adventure. Märklin and Bachmann haben schnell gemerkt, welch eine wichtige Rolle die beliebten Kindheitsfiguren spielen und haben sich für die Jüngsten etwas ausgedacht. Einmal sein wie Papa und Opa mit der eigenen Lokomotive! Was ein Abenteuer.

Would you like to share your hobby with the young? Here you’ll find products for the little ones.

Kinofilm: Jim Knopf und die Wilde 13

Passend zum Kinostart am 1. Oktober 2020 gibt es von Märklin tolle Jim Knopf Neuheiten mit vielen Extras und Überraschungen!

Damit man auch Zuhause große Abenteuer mit Emma erleben kann, hat Märklin neue Startpackungen aufgelegt. Alle Infos dazu auf der Seite

Jim Knopf Gewinnspiel

Natürlich gibt es auch etwas zu gewinnen! Märklin hat über Instagram zum Mitmachen aufgerufen und verlost unter allen Teilnehmern, die ihren schönsten Jim-Knopf-Moment teilen, eine Startpackung!
Infos zur Aktion gibt es here!

Wir vom Modellbahnshop-Lippe sind ebenfalls große Fans und haben noch einen Kinogutschein zu verschenken! Wer also noch nicht im Kino war, kann auf Instagram oder Facebook mitmachen und bekommt mit etwas Glück einen personalisierten Gutschein für den neuen Kino Film, gültig bis 11.11.2020

Das Gewinnspiel ist am 28.10.2020 ausgelaufen. Der glückliche Gewinner wurde von uns per E-Mail benachrichtigt. Wir danken allen, die mitgemacht haben!