One day in, June I had the opportunity to go to a toy show that was being held at Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park in Columbus. So I told my kids that to dress up, because we were going to geek out and head to the toy show. After piling everyone into the car (including a loving wife that is very supportive of all my ridiculous endeavors) we had to go to IHOP, because that’s what families do. My daughter got so many oohs and ahs that it went to her head a little. After all, it is my firm belief you should be able to dress like a princess/ninja turtle if you want to. See…..the Klingon gets it.
When we got into the hall it was like a sensory overload. Years of youth gone by had suddenly rushed back into my body. Every step I took was more and more exciting as I would pick up toy after toy only to be drawn down the line of vendors. It was about then that I realized, “Crap……I didn’t get enough money out of the bank!”. Luckily, most of the booths accepted PayPal and credit cards. I saw He-Man, Ghostbusters, Batman, Star Wars, G.I. Joe and even a slew of antique toys that my grandparents may have played with. There were even a lot of vendors with modern toys. My daughter particularly enjoyed the Minecraft and Monster High paraphernalia. Check out how cool this box of random He-Man figures looks.
After a blissful, nostalgia-ridden stroll through the show, I sought out the man in charge. James Ford runs CTS Promotions and he has been hosting these events for years. I was blown away when I heard that this particular show was the small show and that there is one held at Vet’s Memorial that is actually the largest in Ohio! Hence, the new savings account that I have started. Now I can finally get that Ghostbusters firehouse play set. At any rate, I got a chance to sit down and ask, James a few questions.
——My interview with, James Ford—–
A: I already had a huge Star Wars collection that I had been accumulating since high school. A friend of mine ran a comic shop and would always ask me, “Hey, why don’t you put on a toy show?”. So I did. The first show was held at the Aladdin Shrine Temple, and it was more profitable than I had anticipated. This led to me buying and selling more and more. My uncle was the stage manager at Vet’s Memorial about 11 years ago. This allowed the show to expand into what it is today.
A: (Without any hesitation) My rocket-firing, Boba Fett. I purchased it from a Kenner employee for about $6,000 “American dollars”.
Q: Aside from the scheduled shows for this year, do you have anything else in the works?
A: Actually, I do. I am working hard to bring an all-Transformers show to the Columbus area in 2014. It will be called “Opticon”. Hopefully I can get it all organized in time.
Q: Do you have a day job, or just play with toys all day?
A: I am also a lighting and sound technician. A real “behind the scenes” guy for events as well as a DJ.
Q: I noticed that the event room for this toy show was packed with wall to wall vendors and a slew of buyers. How do you get the word out to all of these people to put on such a phenomenon?
A: Social media has been a great outlet for raising awareness. A lot of the people that bought and sold on ebay have realized that going to these shows eliminates a lot of hassle. They can actually hold the toys from their childhood as opposed to just looking at a picture on the screen and hope that the toy doesn’t arrive broken or in worse shape than it was described in the listing. We also encourage people to bring their kids. That is why 12 and under are always free. This way you can connect with them when you reminisce about the cool toys that mommy and daddy used to play with when you were their age.
—–End of interview—–
If you missed this show, don’t worry. There is a huge show scheduled for, September 15th, 2013. If you miss that one, Check the schedule and find one that you can make it out to enjoy. Trust me, this is a wonderful event that you should bring your entire family to. Especially the kids, and encourage them to dress up as their favorite character for the costume contest.