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June 18, 2010


James May's Toy Stories
I recently had the pleasure of watching James May's Toy Stories. It's a fantastic journey through the various classic toys of our past.

It is an inspiration, and a credit to James, to see how the local communities come together to participate in his challenges. Young and old, male and female, experienced and novices. All want to be a part of it. And all want to see it through to the very end.
  • Episode 1 - AIRFIX - James constructs a full-size (scale 1:1) model Spitfire. Making full-sized pieces from fibreglass comes with its own set of challenges.

  • Episode 2 - PLASTICINE - Follow the Paradise In Plasticine entry into the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show. The Officials have never seen anything like it, and don't quite know what to make of it. James hopes to win a prize none-the-less.

  • Episode 3 - MECCANO - Follow the design and construction of a 23m (75ft) bridge in Liverpool. With the help of Architecture students and design & engineering consultants, this is a challenge like no other.

  • Episode 4 - SCALEXTRIC - A 4.4 km (2.75 mile) track along the old Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit. 400 volunteers help with this record-breaking challenge - a race between the residents of Brooklands and the "Scalextric Professionals".

  • Episode 5 - LEGO - A full-sized house, built using 3.3 million lego bricks. This challenge is not only to constuct a life-sized house, but also for James to spend the night in the house.

  • Episode 6 - HORNBY - James' model train layout sees a Hornby train set make its way along a 10 mile (16 km) stretch of track from Barnstaple to Bideford. The disused train site provides many obstacles to the modern model train track layout - roads, fences, water and vandals.
    Five trains set out from Barnstaple - James' own Flying Scotsman model, a passenger steam train, a passenger diesel train, a goods diesel train, and the prototype of Hornby's Hitachi Class 395 "Javelin" model. Only one of these trains makes it to Bideford.
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Have you seen Toy Stories? What did you think?

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