"There is a danger in reducing very complex countries and peoples to singular characteristics. If the trains are only defined by cultural stereotypes, the result will be a calculated, and destructive, nod to diversity and inclusivity."
Social justice and pop culture researcher Tracy Van Slyke on the announcement that Mattel are introducing 14 new trains from around the globe to the Thomas The Tank Engine range. Given that the Chinese train, Yong Bao, is described as "driven to achieve and make progress", you have to suspect that her concern may be justified. All of which begs the question as to why Daily Mail readers are so horrified at the news - don't they usually endorse cultural stereotypes?