Once the model train set under the Christmas tree has been unpacked,it’ll traditionally keep fathers and sons occupied for days. These toys may be seriously addictive,but they needn’t be prohibitively expensive. Piko,a family-run business in Thüringen has had the idea of offering relatively cheap starter sets for young model railway enthusiasts. After all,they are tomorrow’s customers.The idea of getting children to identify with the brand has worked. René Wilfert is the owner and chief executive of Piko. He’s currently celebrating the 60th anniversary of the family-run business and he’s thinking of the happy faces of children and their generous papas. This year’s season of giving has given Piko double-digit revenue growth. Only the company’s export business has been slowed down by the financial crisis. But Wilfert hopes that as the economic situation improves,the US and eastern European markets for model trains will pick up. Report by Maria Lesser.