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Welcome to toys-toys-toys.co.uk, the official toyday blog where you will find craft projects to make, local news from our shops, toy reviews, interesting toy facts, games and other toy news.

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Great Girl / Boy Toy Divide

When I had my first child, a baby boy, I used to think that his boyish traits were just inbuilt. He wanted to bash things, chase balls and was generally a bit grrr. You draw your opinions from your own experiences and from my experiences, coupled with what other people told me, led me to believe boys and girls are just different right from birth.

Now, after having two boys, I have a little girl and people say things like 'I bet that's a different for you' and 'girls are so different' but in truth I have found her to be pretty similar. She is just as 'grrr' and loves doing all the same things. In fact if my eldest son was the same age as her and you dressed them the same you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. What if we're judging children based on their gender rather than their Character?

Most mums I know are open minded in their child's choice of toys. There are boys who want to play with dolls and girls who want to play with trucks. My nephew has dressed as a ballerina when he wanted to and last week my niece was running around dressed as Ironman. If they don't see the gender divide then why should we? Dads seem to have more of a problem letting their sons play with dolls. Maybe this is from their own experience of being called a sissy.


Ballerina Rag Doll

When customers ask me for advice on what to buy as a gift for a boy or girl of a certain age. I have to show them a gift that will meet their expectations. Rag dolls for a girl and trucks for a boy for example but what if we can scrap all these preconceived ideas that different genders need different toys and just buy a toy that we think the child in question will love.

Green Toys Ferry Boat & Cars


This Christmas I'm going to try avoiding stereo types and just buy what ever I think someone of that character would like.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Royal Mail Classic Toys Stamp Collection

Royal Mail launched their latest stamp collection yesterday (22nd August 2017), which celebrate classic and traditional toys from the last century, and all made in Britain.

Spacehopper Toy
Spacehopper
Originally designed to be an exercise device rather than a toy, the classic space hopper has become a firm British favourite.
Classic Toys
Classic Toys Stamp Collection

This nostalgic stamp collection feature childhood favourites such as the classic Sindy Doll, and Action Man figures, retro toys such as the Space Hopper and Fuzzy Felt, and of course no traditional toy list would be complete without Meccano or a Hornby Train Set.

Sindy Doll
Sindy
Pedigree Toys Ltd launched the Sindy Doll in 1963 designed by Foale and Tuffin. Sindy’s look, fashion and style has gained her millions of fans across the world who regard themselves as true ‘Sindy Girls’.

Action Man
Action Man
Three years after the Sindy Doll, Hasbro invented the Action Man. A tough, rugged macho doll targeted at boys. Just like Sindy, Action Man's clothes could be changed. Mine had awesome movable eyes that were controlled by a small lever on his neck.
Fuzzy Felt
Fuzzy-Felt
The original Fuzzy-Felt was created in 1950 by Lois Allan. It was comprised of a flocked backing board onto which a number of felt shapes could be placed to create different pictures.

Meccano
Meccano Ferris Wheel
The earliest toy in this stamp collection at well over a century ago, this poular toy was originally marketed as ‘Mechanics Made Easy’ in 1901 but the name was changed to the more familiar Meccano in 1907. Meccano remains amongst the most collectable of British toy manufacturers.
Hornby Dublo Train Set
Hornby Dublo Train Set
Another Frank Hornby invention,this time he designed and brought to market these scale model train sets, first introduced in 1920.
Britains Toy Warriers
Herald Trojan Warriors
Mostly known for producing lead soldiers, William Britain company made these plastic US Cavalry, Greek warriors and Cowboys and Indians characters. 

Spirograph
Spirograph
The patterns created with a Spirograph are called hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. Most of us reading this will at some time or other remember sticking a pen through a hole in one of the Spirograph tools twirl it around and watch a pattern emerge!
Sticklebricks
Sticklebricks
Stickle Bricks were a colourful toy invented in 1969 and intended for toddlers. Many of us will have a special connection with this tactile toy and get very excited when seeing some for sale at a car boot sale and excitedly shout out the name!


Merrythought Mohair Bears
The Merrythought Bear
Last but not least, the first Merrythought mohair teddy bear was made by Gordon Holmes in 1930.











You can buy all of these Royal Mail stamps for a limited time as first day covers, presentation packs or postcards from the Royal Mail website and you can browse and buy traditional and classic toys from the Toyday website.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Dream Destinations For Kids

It's that time of year when you want to get get this years family holiday booked. Money is always a huge factor in deciding where to go but if money was no object where would you go? There are places I've been to that I know my children would love and places that I would love them to experience. Here is my dream holiday destinations to take my kids:

Lapland

Top of the list just has to be Lapland. Christmas is such an exciting time for children and where could be better to meet Santa than the snowy Christmas wonderland that is Lapland. Not to mention the northern lights!


Disney Land

This one will come as no surprise. Just a magical experience for children to see all their favourite characters come to life. Plus adrenaline filled days going on rides and roller coasters.


Phillip Island

This was one of the most amazing sights I've ever seen; hundreds of cute little fairy penguins coming in from the sea to go to their homes as the sun goes down. I'd love to see it again but this time share the moment with my own little cuties.


African Safari

If money was no object we wouldn't just go to the zoo, I'd take my children to Africa so they could see all the magnificent creatures in their own environment.


Maldives

What child doesn't imagine being stranded on a desert island? Typically the Maldives is a honeymoon destination but why not take the kids there? White sands and clear waters full of beautiful sea creatures, I know my children would love it just as much as me.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Hornby on Brink of Collapse



Hornby’s chief executive Richard Ames, has quit the ailing British firm, following a 3rd profit warning in just 5 months. Will this be the end for one of Britain’s best loved manufacturers?

Hornby, which also makes Corgi cars, Airfix kits and Scalextric, have produced children’s toys since the early part of the 20th century. They produced most of their product lines in the UK until 1999 but subsequently moved all of their manufacturing to China. Despite attempts to move some production back to the UK in 2012, it could be the unreliability of their Chinese manufactures that is set to toll the death knell for Hornby. The irony of this will be in the event that Hornby does go under, I would be willing to bet that it will be the Chinese that buy it!

Hornby have struggled to consistently get there train sets out of China and into European stores for the last few years, despite going to the length of changing Chinese factories in 2014. Stories of businesses struggling to get stock out of China are not new. Many business owners of, start-ups specifically, were lured to China by the promise of low unit prices only to be hit by low quality or delayed stock. Such delays can have devastating effects for fledgling businesses and, as we can see in the case of Hornby, more established companies too.

A huge downfall to Chinese manufacturing of any product, is the potential threats against  intellectual property. A common problem for businesses that have chosen to manufacture their toys in China is to discover cheaper knock-off’s being produced in the very same factory utilising their innovations. What is more, there is very little that can be done about it.

As for Hornby, James May, the Ex Top Gear presenter, has recently attempted to encourage his twitter followers to buy a Hornby train set to save the company. We would suggest that you perhaps opt for one of their Quickbuild kits made at the Plastech factory in Sussex instead!

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