DVD Review: James May’s Toy Stories

This six-part series is centred on the idea of taking childhood toys and trying to scale them up into a community project. A lifesize Spitfire made from Airfix (based on the 1/24 scale models of the Spitfire made in the mid 70s?) and a house built from Lego? It sounds impossible! There is a real journey being taken by those involved with both ups and downs along the way. It’s fascinating to see the interplay between two generations as they seek to build something together. It is encouraging to see that the energy to accomplish difficult tasks is there.

James May Toy Stories

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The series is fun but it also raises some serious questions. The history of the Toys reveal the story of our Industrial decline. Where they are still made they are often no longer made here. The pioneers and engineers of our industrial revoloution are no more. If their spirit is to inform and motivate a new generation we will need to get kids interested in making things again. That for me was one of the underlying messages.

James May is interesting and engaging. His enthusiasm for the subject is unmistakable. May is passionate about toys and the role they have and might play:-

“For too long now we have regarded the great toys as mere playthings. It’s time to use them to bring people together and achieve greatness. And I bet it’ll be a right laugh as well”. [1] If his series encourages young people to take an interest in Science, Design and Manufacturing we will all owe him a great debt.


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