Last weekend we were invited to attend Toytopia – a brand new, one-of-a-kind, event held in Liverpool.
Munchkin got up at 4am as he had read the press release and was far too excited to sleep! We set off (a little bleary eyed) after breakfast, parked up and made our way to the Exhibition Centre at the docks.
Having VIP tickets meant that we were able to access toy heaven at 9:30 (doors open to the public at 10:30). These tickets also meant that we were given a lovely goodie bag each.
The venue was huge. All manner of toys were laid out in front of us, and crucially, children were encouraged to get hands on, play and try things out.
The first stand we came across was Fundamentally Children. They had so many exciting games. We had a quick session of Sussed!
This is so much fun – a game that young and old can play as it isn’t based on general knowledge, but how well you all know each other. Munchkin was fab at this. Another game that I loved (and will be on my Christmas shopping list) was Colour Code, where you need to stack the colourful transparent shapes to match images on the challenge cards.
There were lots of toys that used technology: the new Meccanoid from Meccano were incredible. Almost 4 feet tall and programmable via an app, these are fantastic and bound to be on every Christmas wish list this year. Another favourite this winter are dinosaurs (maybe off the back of the Summer release of Jurassic World). Munchkin loved the remote control t-rex which was simple to use but lots of fun.
We have recently discovered the Aquabots from Hexbug and Munchkin couldn’t wait to get to their stand. Once there, he was completely taken with the remote control Vex robotic spider and challenged me to a duel (which I lost!)
There were fabulous little stands too, like Skinny Sketcher. Self contained sketching kits, a fabulous antithesis to all the tech on offer. I was pleased that Munchkin was keen to sit still and draw and chat with me in amongst all the chaos: a real testament to the hook of the product!
Mr six wanted to check out the drones. And the ones on display were awesome! Tiny, easy to fly, simple to build and repair, if the spectacular vision that was the drone wars was anything to go by (a flying battle where drones were floored, rebuilt and back in the air within seconds).
Munchkin decided he needed to burn off a little energy and headed for the Shaun the Sheep stand and took to the ‘field’ with the Wooly Hopper (a fleecy version of the spacehopper).
Needing to sit down, I steered Mr six and Munchkin to the stage to see a show. We had a sing-a-long with the Sylvanian Family characters.
The children were then brought up to the stage for a giveaway. Unfortunately there were more children than anticipated and a few left empty handed and rather dejected (Munchkin included) so we went to buy cakes to cheer us up. Amazing cupcakes, brownies and fudge certainly gave us the energy to carry on exploring.
Mr six and Munchkin played mini golf then we spotted Darth Vader so posed for some photos (Mr six running after Darth Vader calling “Excuse me Lord Vader, could we possibly stop you for a photo?” sent me in to a fit of giggles, hence my red face)
Another favourite stand of mine was the Thames and Kosmos. I’m a big fan of science based toys so I couldn’t wait to try out the toys on offer. The remote control machine animals were such a fab idea – one box containing all the internal workings plus transparent bodies for 8 animals, allowing you to build one model at a time, with the added bonus of real facts about each creature.
There were lots of competitions dotted around the venue – one was for the silliest selfie so I posed for this which made me laugh so much…
We finally headed back to the car with time for a quick sandwich before heading home, exhausted and happy
We had a blast at this event – and I will definitely be going again next year!