All while the once-beloved Thomas and Friends sit in an old cardboard box in the basement. The Dude is growing up and moving on to more complicated and varied things. It's a fantastic step of development, really, as he's not only able to continue to hone his story-making skills, but also his spacial/building skills, an aspect which was limited in his make-believe adventures on the Island of Sodor. Now instead of tracks, it's starships and bunkers and walkers, which are much more sophisticated in their construction. Granted, Eric is closely involved in the assembly of most of these items (a fact which delights the little boy in him), but Ian is quickly learning and exploring his own methods of building.
I'm learning a lot too! While I had seen the original Star Wars trilogy several times growing up, I never paid attention to types of ships or planets or obscure characters. (X-wing? Tatooine? Boba Fett? ) And growing up, the only interaction I really had with Legos was to help my brother find specific pieces -- which I was really good at, by the way. Now I'm expected to repair busted Imperial shuttles and speeders -- which I'm not so good at, but I'm slowly learning the tricks of the trade. And I'm happy to do so, because it means I get to know and understand my ever-growing son that much better.