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5:39pm on Friday, 26th January, 2007:

Toy Fair


I went to the British Toy Fair today, as I do occasionally. As expected, it was a disappointed, although I did quite like the "50 years of Scalextric" display as it showed some of the cars that I had actually played with when I was a child, and that my dad still has in the attic somewhere (specifically, a BRM, Cooper, Porche, Ferrari and Mini Cooper).

There was the usual array of snappy-looking but impractical toys, for example some coloured, rice-sized balls that stuck to each other so you could make things out of them, which was great in principle but I doubt they'd survive contact with a carpet. Likewise, there was a set of cuddly toys that were made out of what felt like the same material they make tights out of — all soft and luxurious, but who wants a toy that would ladder on exposure to velcro?

There were hardly any board games on show. The classic "lone guy hoping to sell his board game and has 5,000 sets in his attic but will be lucky to sell 300" was not present, but there were some examples of "lone guy hoping to sell his two board games and has 5,000 sets of each in his attic but will be lucky to sell 300 of either". even so, there were still more companies manufacturing jigsaw puzzles than board games.

One annoying thing about the show is that the building it is in, ExCeL, operates a no-smoking policy. This causes all the smokers to stand outside the main entrance, so you have to walk through a wall of smoke to get inside. The place is the size of a sports stadium — 50 people could smoke inside and you wouldn't notice at all. 20 of them congregating by the door you do notice, though, and it's not very pleasant.

Still, it was free to get into and I had to go to London anyway to visit the nearby FSA, so what do I care if it was largely irrelevant to me?

Referenced by Anime and Manga.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).