The first British Toy and Hobby Fair was organised by Jack Watkins MBE for the British Toy Manufacturers Association and took place in Brighton from 22nd-26th February 1954.

In 1954, Sooty became a Chad Valley hand puppet, and Painting by Numbers, Scrabble and Matchbox vehicles were big hits at Christmas.

Over the next two years, the fair moved to Olympia and then to Earls Court at the British Industries Fair. Celebrity-linked games came to the fore with Stanley Matthews recommending New Footy Table Soccer.

In 1957, the decision was taken to move back to Brighton.

In 1958, the Hula-Hoop was the toy of the moment, Plasticine celebrated 50 years and Frisbees took off.

Here’s a Pathé newsreel showing what was on offer in the Toy Fair in 1958

Visit The Toy Fair for more about its history from the 50s to present day.