Just came across soemthign that's great for kids - diecast toy trains by Maisto. They're an odd scale - 1/131 - but they have a lot going for them. They make some battery-operated sets that, as toys go, look super. As for scale ,well, it's scale the way Lionel Postwar was scale. I have more info at http://www.thortrains.net/kidstoys/traintoy.html