So Spring Fair comes and Spring Fair goes...in a blur of coffee, overpriced sandwiches and aching feet, plus, this year, fancy dress stands and their dolly birds!
Now before I'm accused of being sexist, if such an accusation can be levelled at a honey bee, I am definitely not. In fact when it comes to attractive and scantily clad members of the opposite sex, I would have to say "bring it on!" would be towards the top of my list of responses...normally. However, Spring Fair may teach us all at least one thing and this year having spent 3 days in the halls of wisdom, I have to say that other than the obvious one regarding comfortable footwear, it has taught me that toys and totty simply don't mix.
"For heavens sake, Bumble, why not?" I hear you cry. Well, because it's cheap. Now whilst affordable and inexpensive are similar and yet suggestive of value for money in an item, cheap is just...well, cheap.
After all the hype of the move of Toy Fair back to it's spiritual home of Olympia and the apparently terrific numbers, we had hoped for a trickle down to Spring Fair's Hall 5 where the toys would be awaiting in abundant splendour. They weren't.
Generally speaking Hall 5 was a massive disappointment for more than one reason. The general across-the-board offering was uninspiring and bland. Many of the same old faces were on duty, of course, but with not that much to show for people wanting something different. But perhaps the worst thing was the rash of fancy dress stands that have suddenly appeared...some of which are large enough to have their own gravitational pull! If you stripped out the fancy dress continents, I mean stands, the festive baubles and trees and then the inevitable crystals and candles at the back of the hall...where were the toys??!!
Now in order not to sound like the Mr Reaper of the insect world, not all was doom and gloom. The wooden toys from the lovely people at Melissa & Doug have been taken on board by Bumble as have the cuddly Yoohoo & Friends!
But the potential star of the show for us was the new offerings from EverEarth with their lovely, eco-friendly wooden toys. Watch out for them at Bumble and for those in the trade in Scotland, watch out for them at our friends at Pedal too.
A glimmer of hope in the gloom of Hall 5 which, despite my grumblings, hopefully doesn't reflect the state of play in toys today...