Thursday, February 08, 2007

X-rated toy trains

These are not your father's train sets.

But visitors to the trade fair in Nuremberg have been gaping at the antics around the railway lines. Merten, which makes train-set figures, is offering a nudist beach, a waitress wearing only an apron and stockings and a couple of lascivious pole-dancers. One scene shows a man urinating against a wall, watched by a woman. Another shows a couple performing oral sex. Look carefully at the scene depicting a brothel raid and, behind the naked prostitutes, you will see the figure of a priest trying to make a quick getaway.

Steamy, irreverent stuff for the train set veterans. Sometimes the Lilliputian world of Exhibition Hall 4A resembles a splatter movie rather than a children’s paradise. A horse is about to be battered to death with a hammer by a butcher. A worker at the blacksmith’s appears to have lost an arm. Blood is spread around liberally. Near a castle, a squad of soldiers have just executed a man. And that’s just the start-up kit.

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