Lionel has announced a new line of boxcars for 2011 featuring American Presidents. The patriotic cars are clearly aimed at collectors, but are newsworthy for one more reason...they will be the first models made under the Lionel name in the United States in years.
Like many companies, Lionel shifted its production overseas to remain profitable. Changing economies have made a reverse move a practical option once again, although the company is quick to say that it will not be completely reversing course any time soon. These boxcars are being made for Lionel by a plastics molding firm in Pennsylvania. Other parts will also be made in the US, although the expensive dies used to make those parts may still be made in China.
If the line is successful, more projects may follow. Many hobbyists have lamented the shift in production (I process I am certain is not limited to Lionel or the United States.) But it begs the question, are you willing to spend a little more on your hobby to keep manufacturing in your own country?