Kids and kids at heart will each have something to get excited about at the next Ultimate Hobby & Toy Fair at Pearkes on Sunday.
The twice-yearly event aims to jam pack the recreation centre with wall-to-wall toys, collectibles, models, dolls, comics and video games. Currently in its ninth year, the fair draws thousands to check out toys across more than 250 tables.
“It’s going to be a crazy show because it’s pre-Christmas,” said B. Woodward, who owns Cherry Bomb Toys with his wife Candice. “We’re telling the vendors to bring everything – if you’re thinking about it, bring it because you never know. Santa might want the help with that one.”
Woodward, who has organized the fair since 2008, said there will be something for all types of toy enthusiast, whether you’re eight or 88.
“We want everybody there,” he said. “We have things from Mechano to Lego to Star Wars to dolls to Barbie – you name it, everybody’s there.”
This year’s show features several special guests, including magician Paul Kilshaw, comic book artist Dapper Dan Schoening of IDW Publishing – known for his work with the Ghostbusters comic and some of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossovers – and the Dark Knight of Victoria, who will be running his own game at the charity carnival.
To date, the fair has raised more than $39,000 for the B.C. Children’s Hospital and the MS Society through its carnival and silent auction. In addition to the Dark Knight, the 501st Legion will be dressed up as Stormtroopers at the carnival and running many of the games.
New this year are some friendly yet competitive rounds of Super Smash Bros. to appeal to the gaming crowd.
“We found it’s a good niche – we had little games for the kids, but we wanted something for the bigger kids,” said Woodward.
As usual, the Victoria Lego Users Group, the AC/BC Kids Bike Club, Kydo Klowns Balloon Creations and more will be returning. Food vendors include Empire Donuts, the Optimist Club of Victoria, The Crispy Fish and Asher’s Amazing Popcorn.
In promotion for the event, Cherry Bomb Toys is offering free early bird tickets – which get you into the fair an hour early – to anyone who spends $80 or more in store ahead of the fair. Early bird tickets can also be purchased at Cherry Bomb Toys, 1410 Broad St., for $15.
The fair opens Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9 a.m. (8 a.m. for early birds) and runs until 3 p.m. at Pearkes, located at 3100 Tillicum Rd. Regular tickets will be available at the door for $5, with kids 12 and under free with an adult.
Woodward said he hopes the toy fair will draw in a wide variety of toy enthusiasts and maybe show the adults what it’s like to be a kid again.
“The whole point of the show is to build community and bring everybody together,” he said. “This is one way that we all get to have fun, have some good food and play with some toys.”
For more information, visit ultimatetoyfair.com.