The fair is over and the guys have gone home. There is so much to write about this year again. Where shall I start? How about with a nap? I'm exhausted!
And that is just exactly what happened. Michael's wife and I took the train back together and dang if I didn't fall asleep on her. What is it about exhaustion and train rides? I was lulled to sleep rather quickly. Bless Ada, she woke me up as she got off to make sure I would be ok.
|opening the last gift of Christmas|
The toys fair started on Monday the 7th. But as the 6th was Epiphany...we had to take photos of the kings gifts first! This was so much more important than the fair!
When you enter the fair, the first thing you see are the Glass display boxes and a giant display going into the main hall.The display boxes are good ways to see what is available but are always purchased by the same companies each year. Jeurel, Dilema, and 4D puzzles had window boxes again this year.
We met at Wil's hotel at 9 and headed out for the fair. Wil had meetings, I had meetings and we knew Monday would be it. We walked the whole of the first floor and because of my anal nature, hit the other booths we wanted to go to. (I logged the floors etc. before the fair to save time and walking)
The first stop we made was at a company from the UK selling tetris products. Stationary, lights, soft toys. A whole range of items. From there we just wandered around looking in booths to see what there was to see. I'm sorry to say, it was all the same old stuff. We went to Dilemma and were told it was nothing new but the packaging. Jeurel had some new toys and I placed an order. I'll have to run to the office later to pick them up.
I enjoy watching the people and the toys that are around. As I said, there weren't many new toys, but this toy car display by KinSmart was pretty cool! There were 2 four-lane bridges here. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to have the cars moving.
There are often a number of larger booths like this one on each of the floors. This year I saw less than years past. I wonder what the reason was? Oh well, it was on to find more toys. We saw some nice electronic cubes, and a few new electronic games, but no real puzzles per say. the company that makes flashpad came out with yet another game, but to be honest I'm not sure if it is ready for release or not. I still haven't seen the one from last year.
It was interesting for me, because as I was walking I was saying hello to those I've known through the fair for years. At the same time, Wil was doing the same. A good example of this was the lads over at the MiMi booth. We both were acquainted with them. Tom must have been bored out of his mind. So this booth was a bit of fun. Wil disassembled a puzzle or two then reassembled them-differently! Poor guys will have fun with those now.
|Half a Rox|
We ran into people from Recent Toys, Bits and Pieces,Hanayama, and a few more that will remain nameless. Wil decided to introduce me to Eddy from Eddy's Magic. I've heard of him through Mark, but have never met him. Monday that all changed when he cut me in half! (Cool trick and no, I won't tell how it's done!) I'm sure I'll see him again because I'll be doing a bit of editing help for him in future. And don't worry all, I'm back in one piece again! (and in the classroom too)
From there we headed over to T & J Toys (another group of people known to both of us) to say hello and who should walk up but Mark! Great timing. We all got to watch on as he performed a few magic tricks for us. He never fails to amaze with those now does he? They had a few new toys this year and we looked at them. Sally very nicely told me to come back on Friday and pick up a Panda. If you look closely you'll see a number of different shapes on their walls. There's a nifty neat one coming out by them, but I've been sworn to secrecy again. Not to worry though. You'll all see it sometime next year. We talked a bit more then headed down for lunch. And who should we run into but Mark again. After we finished he performed a bit of magic for Tom and we headed back to the fair for a little bit longer. Of course I stoped in to say hello to Richard and get the annual tangle. I've plans to meet up with him later in the week when Uwe gets back.
I met up with my friend Jay for a coffee and a hug and before we knew it, it was 5:00 and we had to head out for dinner. As we were leaving, I ran across the NanoDots booth. This is the year of the snake, can you tell? There was a nice (not) nanoblocks display of some guy ripping his chest apart...
Off to dinner with Michael, but first we had to swing by his shop. There was the usual handing over of gifts that Michael does each year and Wil placed a rather large order of a few puzzles. Then off we went. Dinner was in a local restaurant that we have eaten in before so it was good. We chatted and ate until quite late and headed over to TST east for a few drinks.
Now it was turning into my kind of a boys and toys! We taught Wil how to play liars dice and he got to hug a pretty girl! Since it was her birthday they ordered the birthday roast suckling pig (no, I don't know so don't ask me) and we all ate a bit. At around 12 we took Wil back to his hotel and headed home.
Tuesday morning saw me at a meeting and I had a bit of work to do in the afternoon but that was ok. Wil and Tom met and did man things while Michael and I worked. We met up in the late afternoon for a trip to the peak-a must for all tourists according to Michael. (I'd have rather gone to 101 but at the price of the drinks I was vetoed)
After the cable car ride back down, we headed off for dinner at a hot pot restaurant that turned into a dai pai dong instead. Very local food! My request was the pigeon which was delicious and greasy as always! Wil taught us some new tricks with rope and chopsticks. The locals were also enthralled! That girl behind Michael looked on all night long. We called an early night and I took Wil home while Michael and Tom went off home.
|even the boys from work played|
Wednesday was bitter sweet. I had a department thing all day while Tom, Michael, and Wil got to have fun at Hanayama and in Michael's shop. I hear that Michael taught Wil how he builds puzzles while I slaved away. We met up at Dan Ryans around 6:00 where I was recharging with the guys from work. Of course, I pulled out a puzzle or two and managed to get them to give it a go. We left to go buy Tom an iPad and to show the guys Michael's puzzles in my office. Around 8:00 we hit Wil's hotel and checked him into in town check in before heading off to the airport. Dinner was something local again, and I ran out to get Wil a set of matchsticks he could take with him on the flight. (He told me his last box was confiscated) Not matchsticks really, but rather a set of chopsticks with a fancy bag to hold them in.
After we dropped Wil at the gate, Tom, Michael and I headed back to TST east for another round of drinks. I guess we parted company around 3:00 because we had to meet up again at 9:00 to take Tom to the airport.
He got off ok and we are right back where I started...wanting another nap. I hope to be back to my normal self again mid-week.
Until then, there are a few videos on my YouTube channel
to watch. Just the puzzles/games I picked up this year. Not many because I simply didn't have the time to make the connections I've made in the past. But then as I said, there weren't that many new toys this year.