Toys of Christmas past on show at Doncaster

22 December 2011

Children playing with their new toys will be able to see what Santa used to deliver with the biggest toyfair in Yorkshire on New Year’s Eve. (Saturday 31st).
The toyfair at Doncaster Racecourse will feature toys and models from the 1920s right through to the present day, including a rare Lady Penelope fluorescent pink car worth £1,000.
The event is organised by Michael Bishop, of Driffield, who has been involved in buying and selling toys for nearly half a century.
He said: “It’s fascinating to see how some toys have come and gone over the years and others, like Lego and train sets, seem to endure and are still being given as Christmas presents.
“For mums and dads and grandparents there will be toys from their childhood. For the children as well as seeing what Santa used to bring there will be the new toys that they know and love.”
Altogether there will be nearly a quarter of a million items on about 360 stalls, including tinplate toys and lead soldiers from the 1920s, models from favourites Corgi and Hornby, dolls and teddy bears, right through to the latest new releases.
Traders come from as far afield as France, Germany, Scotland and Exeter. Although there are many collectors’ items, including the Lady Penelope car, which is thought to be just one of six, the toys and models start at just 50p.
Michael, who is 65, started running MB Toyfairs at Doncaster four years ago. But his interest goes back to when he left school at 16 and went to work on the toy stall at Selby market.
He later worked at Woolworths in Scarborough as a trainee manager with responsibility for the toy department and then spent a long period of time in the antique trade, with his own import / export company, while always keeping an eye on the ever-expanding toy trade. He ran toy auctions for several years, before taking over the toyfairs in 2007.
“The toyfairs are like a treasure trove, because you never know what is going to turn up. With so many traders coming there could be some real rarities. I know about the Lady Penelope car, but I am sure there will be some other finds as well,” said Michael.
The toyfair at Doncaster Racecourse on Saturday (31st) runs from 10.30am to 3.30pm. The cost is £3.50 per adult, £2.50 for concessions, children (under-16) £1 and under-5s free. There is free parking at the racecourse for 500 cars.
Michael Bishop is available for interview and can be contacted on 01377 240160 or 079861 37364 at
The media are welcome to the toyfair on Saturday December 31st (Please contact Michael Bishop in advance.)
For more information go to
Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07910 165 444 or at

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