2016 is now well under way and, with one Didcot fair under our belts, we're getting ready for the first of what will be five Cirencester Toy & Train Fairs this year. To mark the occasion, here's issue #3 of our irregular Newsletter, which we hope you find of interest.
Retro Ronnie Newsletter - December 2015

Retro Ronnie Toyfairs - Newsletter #3!

Retro Ronnie Fairs

What a great start to the year! Our first fair in Didcot, on Saturday 6th February, was our best yet. "We were so pleased with the way it went," said Ronnie Davies, who organises Retro Ronnie Fairs with Tim Pearson. "The day was really well supported and we had a steady through-flow of visitors from the moment the doors opened. Several people commented on how much they appreciated the relaxed, fun atmosphere, and we had a fabulous mix of stock to cover all the collecting genres."

"It was also especially rewarding to see lots of families wandering round, talking about the toys they saw, and sharing their nostalgic memories across the generations. That's so important to us - that the dealers selling, and the public walking through, enjoy the full package of a fair like ours - not least, of course, because of the great home-cooked food!"

Ronnie puts a lot of this down to the realistic entry fees and not charging for under sixteens. "A warm welcome on the door, good promotion and plenty of local advertising. It makes all the difference," he insists.

Retro Ronnie Toy Fairs at Cirencester's Bingham Hall

Cirencester Toy & Train Fair
Sunday February 28th

Time has flown by, and it's two years since we launched the first of our Cirencester Toy Fairs, and this year we're increasing the number of events to five.

The first fair of 2016 takes place this coming Sunday. "Cirencester is now considered as a 'must' for dealers, collectors and trade buyers alike, it seems," suggests Ronnie. "Visitor numbers have been increasing steadily ever since we started our fairs, so we hope that adding a fifth will meet with their approval. There's such a great buzz, right from the off."

As well as the 'Early Birds' entry (from 08:00 am, price £4) that we mentioned in the last Newsletter, it's also worth pointing out that anyone arriving late in the day, after 2:00 pm, will not be charged at all. General admission is from 10:00 am, with full details on the website

Retro Ronnie Toy Fairs at Cirencester's Bingham Hall

Bring & Buy!
Hopefully most of the visitors to our toy fairs come with a view to buying a few treasures to add to their collections, but there are two other really good reasons for coming along - Valuing and Selling. The Valuation Roadshow remains a popular feature of Retro Ronnie Fairs, with Tim and Ronnie heading up the team of experts that they put together each fair to assess prized items brought in by the public. Using their knowledge and experience, they can put a price on almost anything, and are always happy to do so, free of charge.

Something else worth considering is using the fair as an opportunity to sell to the dealers. They are always on the lookout for fresh and interesting stock, "new to the market", and they'll offer a fair price too, without the auctioneer's commission or eBay charges to complicate the issue. We have further information on the website: Buying & Selling.

  Retro Ronnie Cirencester Toy Fair

Roger Warren - Dealer Focus
We're delighted that Roger Warren will be 'standing' with us again this weekend at Cirencester. Roger has been one of our stalwart supporters, ever since our first fair, and he's an enormously popular man on the toy scene. He has an unerring knack for finding great collections and rare items, from 0-gauge railway stock through to rare sci-fi and tin-plate toys.

In a previous life Roger was a car restorer, working on classic and vintage motorcars. We've heard of 'downsizing' but Roger has taken it to an extreme. A few years back he sold his business and now lives the dream, buying and selling vintage toys all round the country - including classic cars, but to a much smaller scale than the ones he used to work with! He's an ever-present feature at all our toy fairs, and well worth seeking out if you're looking for something that little bit special.

Retro Ronnie Toy Fairs at Cirencester's Bingham Hall

Lego - An investment for the future?
It's official! Since the Danish company first started manufacturing their Star Wars 'Stormtrooper' mini-figures in 1999, they've churned out just over one billion - yes, a whole billion! - examples of the miniature warriors. That makes them officially the largest army in the world, outnumbering every human soldier on Earth by a factor of fifty to one. Be afraid ... be very afraid, but only in a small way.

A Lego 10179 Millennium Falcon model dating from as recently as 2007 is currently nearing the end of its auction with Catawiki and is expected to realise over £4000 when the sale ends tomorrow. That's a hike of nearly 800% over its sale price from just nine years ago, proving that toys can still be a wise investment, especially in today's low-interest environment. But it's not all about Star Wars (although hype helps!) and early Lego pieces across the board are starting to garner serious interest from collectors. Some of the individual micro-figures can command three-figure sums on their own, and as the Telegraph recently reported, Lego can prove a better investment than gold. Their feature from last December claims that the average Lego set has increased in value by 12% annually since 2000. Read the whole piece there: Better than Gold. Just don't expect a Lego stormtrooper to be so rewarding ... unless it really is made of gold!.

Dates for your Diary
Our next fair, after this weekend's Cirencester Toy & Train, will be in Cirencester again, on Sunday April 3rd. Our next Didcot & Oxfordshire Fair is on Saturday May 7th.

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