Basically, I think what's happened is that the number of collectors is finite and shrinking as new blood is not coming in. Most customers, including myself, and most stallholders appear to be of the generation who grew up with Dinky and Corgi Toys and are either collecting the set of cars they would have dreampt of owning as a kid, or, collecting models reflecting an interest, in my case it's racing cars, but it could be buses, trains or aircraft. Later generations grew up with a variety of toys not the simple cars. I can see my son's generation collecting something like "He-Man" figures, or early computer games - he was never into collecting toy cars - he played with them but didn't ever want a particular car.
Speaking for myself, my collection is essentially Formula 1 Champions plus 'historically' significant Indianapolis, sports, GT cars - generally this means ones that were going cheap. As time goes on, the number of gaps I have reduces. Five years ago I would go to Kempton, Sandown, Crawley or wherever and would come out with two or three cars: two for the collection and one for the 'Significant Others'. Nowadays I often come away empty handed: as well as my having fewer "wants" the variety of racing cars on offer has reduced significantly.
Toyfair organisers want a full hall of customers and stallholders so they include all toys and this gives the impression (to me) of "All trains, teddy bears, aeroplanes and old Dinkies" - which I am vaguely interested in looking at but not buying. There's even one local fair I no longer attend as it only has two stalls with cars in a hall full of model trains. If an organiser were brave enough to organise a "Cars", "Buses" or "Trains" themed fair, the results might be surprising. The size would be smaller but the tighter focus should mean more business being done.
On a totally different note:
Hhas anybody ever been to the fairs at Stafford or Buxton? I have relatives up that way and it would be handy to combine a visit with a toy fair.
Edited by D-Type, 17 December 2013 - 22:24.