Monday was the first day of the fair and I woke up early to meet Hendrik at his hotel to take him over to the fair. (Every one who comes over for the fair gets the red carpet treatment if they tell me they are coming.)
We took the tram over because I thought it would be a good way to see a bit of HK. That and the novelty of riding it just tickles me.
We arrived around 10, and hit the floor walking. It struck me this year that not many puzzle companies were there. Maybe it's been a bad year, or maybe the costs of the booths increased. I don't know but I just didn't see as many old familiar faces as I normally do.
First stop was hall 1 to see Dilemma, Mimi toys, popular playthings and Mr. Tangle. Hendrik was there scouting out possible buys, I was just along for the fun.
That's one mighty big disentanglement puzzle. No Kevin, we didn't solve it. I think Dilemma had the same puzzles they had last year.
Mimi toys had some interesting new boxes and a few other new puzzles that they have just released these past few months. Of course, they don't sell in HK and they aren't keen on selling samples, but need fear! Rox knows a guy in China who knows a guy who...
We walked the fair floors for just over six hours! My feet were killing me.
Michael Ali got there around lunchtime, and we visited a few more booths.
My find of the year was a metal snake like cube and I made an appointment to return on Thursday to pick up some samples.
I found the fair to be disappointing this year. Eastsheen didn't come nor did many of the big companies from China. I did manage to get an invite to Yuxin's factory next time I'm in shantau. And of course, I had to go say hello to the lads at Beverly. I placed my order for around 20 new crystal puzzles and will pick them up when the guys call me. While at the booth we saw puzzlemaster and a guy from hanayama so we stayed and chatted for a bit.
I had to look up Eddie from Eddies magic to set up some English translation thing for him and that was quite nice because we got to go into the inner workings of the booth. Who knew there were so many magic toys for children.
We headed up to see Calvin and set up the meeting time for our dinner.
Hendrik and I both were gifted a sample of the newest puzzle Calvin is putting out. Mine doesn't look that pretty anymore. It's a right mess.
I was famished. Toys fair is good for my waistline because I don't eat until I can't stand it any more. We ran downstairs to get a quick bite to eat and a beer. From there I ran off to meet my friend Jay so we could catchup. This is one of the reasons I love this week. Lots of old friends.
At six, we said goodbye to the fair and headed out to have a puzzling dinner. Calvin, Tiffany, Sally, Saul, Hendrik, Michael and I were all there. Rather than bore you with photos of food, I'll toss up a few of us and the toys.
Oh wait, no toys. Only boys. Same difference. I don't remember the food. Only the company. Tiffany and Calvin parted from us quite early as they had to work the next day. Saul proceeded to tear apart a puzzle and rebuild it
And when that was done Michael headed for home while Saul and I took Hendrik out for a night cap.
Now I'm not allowed to out photos up of this, but we had a few more beers, a few dances and all was going swimmingly till Hendrik ordered jäger. I can't resist that stuff even when I know I should. We managed to get home, and the next day was spent in bed recovering. I was trying to remember something and blamed the jäger on my poor memory. I'll end here with a quote from Hendrik, "It was perfect."