Happy New Year everyone! I hope enjoyed has enjoyed themselves. 2018 was great for me in terms of writing and school, as for Thomas, well we'll skirt over that. Here's to a great 2019 with plenty to look forward to.
- First off, a re-write of The Escape Plan is in order. I can say it will feature Donald and Douglas's sister, No. 828 who was meant to appear in Visiting Engines but I found a perfect substitution so alas, the change occurred. Not exactly sure when it'll be released but definitely within the next two weeks.
- Next off, I've confirmed the release date for Work and Play as 11 March. Honestly, this is the reason I write; 'cause I love railways. I find them so interesting; there's always amazing stories that have happened. The Awdrys used real-life inspiration to create forty-two books. This short is the case of a story that I felt could definitely work as a Thomas story. So I did. Jessie, the 'Austerity' Tank Engine who will be introduced is one some of you might recognise. She, (as far as I'm aware) 'till last year, ran under the guise of Thomas at the Llangollen Railway. But her back-story is - just fascinating. Blew my mind away the first time I read it. Some of you might know; if not, you're in for a treat is all I will say.
- Coming this summer, is a re-write of James and Percy, though really, it's a re-write I've been meaning to do for a while but with the introduction of Jessie and Molly, I've decided to place a hold on it. It will feature some change of characters and situations though the rivalry and humour will still be there. In addition, I'm planning for it to take place in 2014.
- Final short for this year will be Home Sweet Home in November. This one will be more slice-of-life dealing with the new Tidmouth Sheds seen in Thomas's Christmas Party onwards.
That's what is coming up this year, but I've still got plenty in future years so I'll run them down as well.
- The seventy-fifth anniversary short will be Best Engines Ever which believe it or not, I've started writing already. It'll be to celebrate another landmark in style and showcase the best of Sodor.
- Moving onto 2021, there's You Lucky Engine and Visiting Engines. For the latter, I will say that the Culdee Fell Railway will feature as well as LNER No. 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley. There's some exciting stories waiting to be told.
One final note regarding the franchise. I did not enjoy 2018 in terms of the show proper. This is the first time in a long time that I'm not particularly excited for the next season after what was given to us last year. Basically, the show was re-booted for no real reason other than Mattel not realising that the poor merchandise has caused their own downfall. It's hard to believe and simultaneously amusing to watch Mattel basically dig their own grave whilst also realising that thousands of people will be out of job if they fail. Some basic research of Mattel's stocks reveals that they're failing with each passing year. Why, you might ask. It just takes putting two and two together to reveal why. They've discontinued the good quality merch, cheapened it, made it nastier and worse of all, barely put in stores! When you go Wal-Mart of Target take a look at the Thomas section. Everyone of those stores I've been to has maybe a couple Trackmaster engines and minis. But even five years ago, stores were choked with a variety of Take-n-Play and Trackmaster engines. Good prices and quality too. It's no wonder they're failing! This leads me to my next point. Speak up! If you happen to have photos of past Thomas displays compare them to nowadays. This isn't even about Thomas any more. It's clear that Mattel's just barely holding and I reckon if Thomas fails it could cause alarms to go off at Mattel which is what should happen. They've done nothing but poor decisions. They wanted a larger revenue off of the merch and cheapen as a result and before long, we've reached an all time low in terms of Thomas merchandise. Trust me, it's not even just us fans, it's even parents and kids alike who dislike the merchandise and they're the ones its mainly aimed at! But customer service at Mattel is dire, oh deary me. So don't support their product. The more I think about it, the more the greyer the future of the franchise becomes. If the show ended after the twentieth season, I would of course be sad, but then realise at least we ended on a high note. I've given my view; I don't want to show to continue you in this format. If I care about two to three episodes, there's really a problem. Sodor is way too vast for half a season. I've figured it out and a minimum of twenty episodes each season should be set on Sodor, so if a season has twenty or less episodes, then, yeah. So, why am I still here when I could've easily bid farewell. It's the community of course so many great writers, modellers, actors, etc. just makes me want to keep going. Then of course I've loads of ideas that I want to fulfil. That's it for now. Have a great start to 2019. --MainLineEngines (talk) 19:28, January 1, 2019 (UTC)