This month our secret Counter Insurgent summarises this year's Toy Fair season, and lists some points for improvement for next year

COUNTER INSURGENT: Tackling Toy Fair 2014

So, another Toy Fair season and another chance to meet for a bitch and moan about the previous year.

But, as the days go by, the old buzz returns and you note the toys you hope will get the kids excited this year – and just hope that some idiot doesn’t decide to sell at cost.

So, was it any good? I thought so. There seemed to be some great products and ranges that will hopefully encourage kids to spend money in toy stores instead of app stores.

As always since their return, LEGO appeared to have the stand people wanted to visit and judging by the people outside, I am sure it is easier to get in to Downing Street than it was to get in to that stand, unless you have an appointment. And what with The LEGO Movie, there was certainly a lot of interest.

As for the Movie, I can only imagine that some schools had some of the biggest sickie days ever if the amount of kids outside the local cinema on February 14th was anything to go by. Speaking of which, I did think a trip to the cinema on Valentines Day was a good way of expressing my love to Mrs Counter Insurgent. Not my brightest idea, it transpired…

Anyway, after a season of Toy Fairs, I have come up with a few notes of improvement. They are as follows:

  1. An extra day for Toy Fair. I understand the schedule constraints, but boy that extra day would make it a little easier.
  2. Introduce lanes in the aisles with an overtaking lane and a ban on slow walkers, unless in single file. Doddering at four abreast? That’s just lane hogging.
  3. Small lay-bys for talking instead of having a conversation slap bang in the middle of the aisle. I can’t stress lane hogging enough. Many of my best plans for Toy Fair have been thwarted by lane congestion.
  4. How much do we need characters wondering around? I understand the good that Press Day does, and I enjoy high fiving Emmet and Mike the Knight with the rest of them. But, with so many characters walking around by the end of the day I was ready to re-enact the scene from Daddy Day Care where the broccoli wrestled the carrot. Only I wouldn’t need a costume. It’s great for kids, but after press day, do they need to be there?
  5. Some sort of awareness test for people with wheelie suitcases and cabin bags. These are for going on holiday aren’t they? OK, at least a flashing hat and a reverse beeper to warn others of the trip hazard they are lugging around.
  6. Ban all parties of more than 10 visiting one stand. Do supermarkets really need 13 people to look at one product?
  7. Cheaper coffee prices, essential for getting through the day.
  8. Cheaper beer prices. (See above.)
  9. All game demonstrations to have a one minute time limit, including niceties like “good morning/afternoon.”

If the BTHA could introduce any seven of these, it would make for an even more enjoyable experience.

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