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ToyCon UK 2017 - Some thoughts wrapped up!

I got to spend a glorious weekend at ToyCon UK 2017 at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London last weekend. The start of the weekend for me was when I got to hand deliver the piece I was escorting to London on behalf of Okedoki to Collect and Display at the venue. This was a moment I had been waiting for since 2013 and it felt great to finally consider myself part of a creative scene and force I had admired from a distance for some time.

So to the event. Saturday morning started early and I got down to the venue before 7am to meet up with the devout who had already gathered for the pieces they had an eye on. The crowds of people slowly grew until 11am when the event started and the people swarmed in enthusiastically. From then on Saturday is a bit of a blur with non stop activity all day. The buying was fast and furious and many artists seemed to be selling their work at quite a rate.

During the afternoon things quietened down a touch but there was always a steady stream of collectors, and many of the artists and the companies there started to sell out of the work they had brought with them. Matt Jones (aka Lunartik) took to the stage and delivered one of his always entertaining and instructive talks about making your own toys during the afternoon which everyone who took part enjoyed.

Candie Bolton, Tim Clarke, Doktor A, Jon Paul Kaiser, Lisa Rae Hansen, Dolly Oblong and MANY other artists were there all day and spent time with their fans and collectors. This is the bit of these events I really like, when the fans get to talk to the artists whose work they love. It's clear from many of these conversations how much the work of these artists mean to the collectors, and it's also clear that the artists enjoy the feedback and support from events like ToyCon UK 2017.

Because I have been working more closely with 1000 toys and Don Datadub Kratzer from PowerCore, I spent a bit more time with them than others. The combination of the stunning toys brought to the event by 1000 toys and their team and the app that Powercore had put together for the event proved to be a great success and created a real buzz around the venue. The 1:12 Synthetic Human from 1000 toys proved to be really popular as expected and the allocation for Saturday sold out quickly.

This is the first time that ToyCon UK had been over 2 days, and the Sunday it has to be said was a lot quieter. This I think may be due to a number of factors of which the main one could be that people were just not used to it being on a Sunday yet. The vibe on Sunday was much more laid back and easy going and as a consequence there were far more people with smaller children taking their time and enjoying the day in a more relaxed way than the Saturday rush.

The organisation for the whole event was slick and the atmosphere throughout the weekend was extremely positive, with everyone pulling together for the common cause of promoting art, art toys and the artists who create them. I also like to see new artists appearing knowing that they will be supported by the positivity around them at events like ToyCon UK, and I hope the new artists who appeared this time took some of this positivity with them for inspiration.

There will be time for me to talk about the work of individual artists and the companies involved at ToyCon UK 2017 over the coming weeks. For now I am going to leave you with some of the photos we got to take before and during the event (thank you to the team at ToyCon UK for the access) - be sure to check out our full set of photos below!

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