For these people collecting is a passion and they are prepared to search the world and pay almost any price for that rare find. Some of the most collectable toys aren’t the most obvious; they may not even be very old. It is easy to see why a diamond-encrusted Barbie produced with De Beers might have a value, but the attraction of other toys is less obvious.
Furbies, Sindy dolls and Batman characters of just a few years ago have their own loyal fans. Just like stamp collecting, there is always one edition which attracts attention; it may not even have been an expensive toy in its day. Toys tipped to be popular in the future include the Stretch Armstrong doll, limited edition Tamagotchi electronic “pets” and even Pogs, little cardboard discs which were flipped and swapped by children in the playground.
Even some plastic toys given away free with children’s burger meals are collectable. Nostalgia is a powerful toy for some collectors while others covet things they never enjoyed during their childhood. Toy collectors’ fairs such as the one to be held at the NEC on 23 September 2012 offer thousands of toys, often proudly in their original packaging, some of which have never seen the light of day.
Visitors to this and any similar fair can expect to find tables full of Diecast models by Corgi, Dinky toys, model railways by Hornby, Star Wars characters, Scalextric, tinplate toys, Lego and much, more. Dolls and teddy bears are hugely popular and often have their own specialist dealers’ sections. Experts are sometimes on hand to offer valuations of toys so who knows what you will find in your attic?
If you plan to attend Britain’s largest toy fair later this year then now is the time to check out the Birmingham NEC hotels as they tend to get booked out before popular events.
Birmingham itself has plenty to offer if you want to stay before or after the fair. The city is famous for its nightlife and clubs which offer something for everyone.
Birmingham claims to be the curry capital of the nation and the birthplace of the balti, a Pakistani dish introduced to the city by its large Kashmiri population. In addition to The Balti Triangle – the areas of Sparkhill, Balsall Heath and Moseley in South Birmingham – there are plenty of award-winning Asian and Indian restaurants if you like your food spicy.
In addition to top restaurants serving food from all over the world, there are plenty of cultural activities whatever your taste, exciting shopping and even miles of canals to explore.