Friday, 30 October 2009

James Mays Toy Stories: Airfix

This has been a big recurring News story in the UK with James May (of Top Gear) doing cool and funky things with childhood toys such as Plasticine and Lego. This week in the premier programme it was the turn of Airfix Modelling.

I must admit I have been keenly waiting for this series as James is almost a nerdy avatar of my own childhood sadness (in a get a life kind of way) and so I am intrigued to see what happens therefore I really wanted to say what a triumph this programme was, how it fired my imagination and thrilled my senses. Unfortunately it didn’t. Now don’t get me wrong, it was perfectly enjoyable and I am looking forward intently to the next episodes but for some reason it didn't hold the same sense of wow and wonder that I expected. The reactions and attitudes of the “kids” were fascinating and bought home just how much youth has changed since I wer’t lad. One prime example was the virtually silent bus journey. 20 years ago I was considered rather odd for wanting to listen to my walkman on school trips rather then sing stupid songs and try to get lorry drivers to “honk”, now it seems to be the norm.

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The central conceit of building a full sized Airfix model seemed flawed in itself and even the wonderstruck child in me was asking…why bother? Far more interesting were the scale models and the kids interaction with them, this seemed to be much more fun and considerably less work and I predict an upturn in Airfix fortunes for this Christmas at least (coincidence that Toys’R’Us seem to have grown a new modelling section?)vlcsnap-00003

I would have been nice for a namecheck for those other model companies  would have been nice too. I rather prefer Revell, where else can you get a Cylon Base-Star (proper version) and a Starship Voyager to nestle side by side?

Of course special mentions go to the spookily accurate James May pilot and the insane boy that DIDNT want to drive a tank! I’m hoping that this programme will create a needed resurgence in what is essentially a very absorbing and interesting hobby. vlcsnap-00004

Paul out…and eying his half built and very dusty HMS Victory Special Edition kit.

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