I’ve got a message from the Action Man…it’s the Friday Blog!

Published on: 25th August 2017

While this week has been relatively quiet in terms of news from within the toy market itself, it’s nice to see toys making their mark on a wider stage. A new set of stamps released by the Royal Mail features a selection of the most iconic British toys from the past 100 years – you would not have been able to miss this story, as it has been covered by just about every consumer media outlet in existence this week. No doubt numerous radio stations across the country have taken their cue to discuss people’s favourite toys of the past, a subject that literally never grows old – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been invited to appear on stations like Radio Coventry to discuss ‘toy nostalgia’ over the years. That certainly never happened when I worked on Paint & Resin News or Brushes International…

Like all lists, there will be much discussion about which toys were chosen to grace the stamps and which weren’t: I’ve never come across a list or set of awards yet with which everyone was in complete agreement. Personally, I was surprised not to see Lesney / Matchbox cars featured – surely a lot more kids owned a collection of those than a Merrythought Bear (this being real life and not an episode of Brideshead Revisited)? Nevertheless, the stamps certainly brought back some wonderful memories for me, both from my own childhood and my early days in the toy world. Let’s hope there is a second series in another 100 years’ time, and that there will still be plenty of iconic British toys to choose from.

Meanwhile Lego has been given its own TV show, Lego Masters – or the Great British Brick Off, as Channel 4 must have been tempted to call it. The hour-long programme showcased everything that is great about Lego (that Lego Room!), and a quick scroll through twitter afterwards suggested that a decent number of viewers will be off down the shops today to boost their brick collection. Job done. I was half expecting the losing contestants to have to walk off set barefoot over a pile of bricks, but clearly the show psychologist (as listed in the show credits) knocked that idea on the head.

There’s just time to give those of you who’ll be travelling to Hong Kong in January a date for your diary: the bi-annual Fence Club Charity Football Match will be taking place on Tuesday 9th at the splendid Happy Valley Stadium as usual. Plans are already afoot to avenge the Toy Trade’s 2016 defeat (and, to be fair, the one before that….and the one before that too). Win, lose or draw, it’s always a great evening and extremely well-attended, so we’ll give you details of how to order tickets a little nearer the time. On the plus side, the likelihood of Hong Kong being ravaged by a typhoon as it has been this week is pretty remote – hopefully the ex-pat toy contingent over in Hong Kong hasn’t been too badly affected.

Finally, back to those stamps I mentioned earlier, if only because it gives me an excuse to share with you my favourite picture of the week, which comes from a tweet by Spots of Southwold. If you don’t get it, ask someone who was around in 1980…and there’s a clue in the blog title if you’re really stuck.