Retro Toys – Back and Popular with Kids of All Ages

Airfix 2010 catalogue

Retro toys, traditionally thought to be more popular with the generations of children that grew up with them, have seen a recent resurgence with kids and teenagers, thanks in no small part to James May's latest TV show, James May's Toy Stories.

The Top Gear presenter has been known for his love of toys, often crediting the inventiveness of humans to childhoods spent playing with toys. His previous two documentaries, James May's Top Toys and James May: My Sisters' Top Toys, explored and celebrated his and his sisters' favourite toys growing up, including Airfix model aeroplanes, Lego, Scalextric cars, Meccano, Hornby model trains and Top Trumps.

For ‘James May's Toy Stories', he used these favourite toys to attempt a number of ambitious projects, often world records, including building a 1:1 scale Airfix Spitfire, a 75ft long Meccano bridge and the world's first full-size Lego house, complete with a working toilet and hot shower. May and his team also recreated the closed Brooklands racing track using Scalextric parts and tracks, followed by a race between Aston Martin DBS V12 model and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.

The positive effect of the show has been felt across the retro toys industry, with many manufacturers recording revenues significantly higher than their sales forecasts this Christmas. At Wonderland Models we've noticed this too, with many parents bringing in their children to find suitable toys in the run-up to Christmas.

Iain Reid, of Edinburgh model shop Wonderland Models, has certainly noticed the impact: "In the lead up to Christmas we saw a fantastic increase in sales of many of the classic toys featured on James May's TV show. Sales of Meccano sets and Scalextric cars have been particularly good."

Though we would struggle to supply enough Meccano pieces for a life-size bridge, we stock a wide range of retro toys from all leading manufacturers, including Airfix, Meccano, Hornby, Scalextric and many more. To browse the products we have in stock, please browse through the menus on the left or use the search function at the top of the page.

Remember that retro toys make great affordable gift ideas and can make for hours of entertainment playing with your children and the rest of the family. Constructing and painting the sets and models is also part of the fun and can help develop the skills of any budding engineers.

For some ideas of what to buy, please see the previous articles to give you some starting points to ensure the gift is the right one for the right person. To keep up-to-date with the latest trends in retro toys and to be notified of any upcoming offers, please sign up to the Wonderland e-mail list.


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