Great memories! One thing we all have in common it seems, is that we all had mentors that got us started. Not always Dad, but someone.
Returning to the theme of "what manufacturer will be left" topic, seems we all have something in common that isn't there anymore. No matter how detailed or what technology is included, it's our time with a mentor that brought us into the hobby. Buying a train set for a kid isn't enough. It goes in circles, and doesn't matter what noise it makes, or if it can go 1/8th scale mph. That's for us, not the starting out family, or single mom in 2017. The lack of a mentor is what determines how the hobby survives.