The Toyologist: The Real Thing

Peter Jenkinson reports on May the fourth and a rain-free Outdoor Toy Awards.
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You might recognise the headline of this week’s column as a slogan used by a certain fizzy drinks maker in the ‘90s.

For me, it also conjures up memories of family members dancing around the front room to a band by the same name – (I fondly recall my own twinkled toed skills* from these memories.)

Yes, The Real Thing, an afro-haired, stack-heeled quartet who released “Can You Feel the Force” in 1978 – just one year after “the force” became a household phrase thanks to Star Wars – coincidence?

Mr Skywalker, Obi-Wan, Darth, Handsome Solo obviously had a great impact on the fab disco four, and George Lucas and co have managed to keep this “Force” relevant to kids and adults of all ages for over three decades. Star Wars is still the number one toy property in the UK (just flick to page eight of the latest issue of ToyNews if you don’t believe me).

Thus leading us to today, the most important of days for fans of the films – May the fourth.

The event has been trending on Twitter in a number of guises since 00:01 today, #starwarsday #maythefourth #starwars – It really is a great day for the toy trade to be pushing Star Wars stuff and could potentially make up for any trade lost to the current miserable weather.

The Toyology Outdoor Toy Awards

I did promise myself to never adopt the tabloid preoccupation with precipitation, but, I can smugly reveal that we managed to find an entire ten-hour rain-free window this week to put on the first-ever Toyology Outdoor Toy Awards.

Starting at an ungodly hour we began the set-up of over 60 outdoor items.

Early arrivals at the school gates began to clamour around our cordoned off area, as the approach of class time neared the number of kids grew, the perimeter tape broke, and, for what seemed like one very long moment the small people stared at us, we stared back, awaiting the clamour toward the toys and the chaos about to ensue when. To our great relief the headmaster arrived with his bell to save our day.

The actual selected toy testers spent the entire afternoon playing with the wares, some of which we expected to do well, but a few surprises were thrown our way once the kids had settled and interacted a little more they were drawn into some really insightful interaction.

The teachers had fun too and claimed they not only gained an afternoon in a more relaxed environment but to see their charges in a slightly different environment than usual – the power of play, eh?

ToyNews will have all the winners up online early next week. While there isn’t any marks out of ten for longevity, durability, or the like, we thought the new practise of getting a bunch of highly energetic kids voting on their favourites into our very own creation – The Toyology Funometer – will be a Force to be reckoned with, we reckon!

Peter Jenkinson ,CEO of Toyology.TV, is still aching from his day at the playground and *invites you to join him at Toymaster at the Majestic Hotel to witness finely honed moves.


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