Read all about it!

18 November 2016
6363-59468.jpg BP Fairs
Read all about it!

TOY collectors, dealers and toy enthusiasts from all over the UK and Europe made their way to Sandown Park on Saturday 11th November for the ever popular toy collector's fair run by Barry Potter. There was every kind of toy imaginable from diecasts to dolls, tin plate to trains and sci-fi to Subbuteo plus everything in between.

“This November fair is my biggest fair of the year and usually the busiest,” said Barry who has nine different venues up and down the country. “We have a full house of 530 stalls and the attendance looks to be very good too.”  

For diecast collectors of cars, commercial vehicles, buses etc., there was no shortage of models to browse, manufactured by all the familiar names – and the not so well known too. Corgi, Dinky, Matchbox, Spot-on, Minichamp, Solido, EFE, Tekno, Norev, Sunstar and many more.
Other events of the day included the launch of a brand new book by collector, Nick Jones. Matchbox Toys is Nick's very first book. Published by Shire Publications Ltd (part of Bloomsbury Publishing), it's colourfully illustrated and chronicles the history of Lesney and its famous Matchbox toys. Nick runs the website and has dedicated the book to members of Vintage British Diecasts for their encouragement and help in writing it.

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Chatting about how he first started collecting toys, Nick said: “I was first born so I got spoilt! Dad used to bring a Matchbox toy home for me every week. So I had quite a collection. Then when I was five we emigrated to Canada so the whole lot got given away.

“We came back about a year later, so I started collecting again, and this went on until I was about 15. Then I went back to Canada, so my collection was given away yet again. Later, back home in 1982 I happened to go to a local boot sale right next door to the Lesney factory when a woman showed me four Matchbox toys. Well, it was like seeing old friends again! I bought them for 25p each and that was the start. My collection just went on and on, and today I have more than 4000.”

With more than 500 stalls to browse, there was just so much to enjoy. Lots of chat and banter was going on as always at toy fairs; and plenty of bargaining and buying. So it was another great show at Sandown with an incredible amount of toys and collectables but also an amazing gathering of characters with enough stories to fill a whole library of books. Further details can be found at

Ann Evans