The 21st Ultimate Hobby and Toy Fair returns to the field house at the George Pearkes Recreation Centre this weekend.
For the first time in its 10-year run, the event is now a two-day affair, running Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Early birds can get in for a premium $15 entry at 8 a.m., otherwise it’s $5 to get in.
The toy fair is run by Biagio and Candice Woodward, the owners of Cherry Bomb Toys, who’ve been excited about making it a two-day show for a long time.
“There’s quite a few benefits,” Biagio said. “It makes it more flexible for people who might work on the weekends. The vendors also have a chance to restock their tables before opening on Sunday, and some of the vendors will actually come in for only Saturday or Sunday.”
For deal hunters, it likely means bumping the last-minute bargaining sessions to Sunday.
“I can’t speak for all the vendors but vendors generally like to get rid of as much stuff as they can,” Biagio said. “I’m not guaranteeing any deals from vendors, but it’s likelier that they’d happen on Sunday.”
For Cherry Bomb, which has its own table, the toy fair is a chance to go through its “back stock,” selling things that aren’t on the shelf at the store, Biagio said.
“We also have bins of toys and other odds and ends that we don’t have room for in the shop, such as our bin of Transformer and other rare toy parts that collectors need, and we can bring those out.”
The toy fair’s silent auction will benefit the MS Society. It usually generates around $1,500 to $2,000 towards the MS Society, and has raised $48,000 over the 10 years.
Children of all ages can get photos with Star Wars characters and Disney princesses who will be raising money for B.C. Children’s Hospital, while the 501st Legion and the Mandalorians (think Boba Fett) will also grace the event.
Biagio was also instrumental in starting the Capital City Comic Con, which debuted in Victoria last month.
The organizing team is currently running surveys with the people involved to measure how it went.
“We’re checking feedback from the vendors, the participants, and the stars,” he said. “The attendees were pretty happy, everyone liked the panels, yet there’s always room to make things better, and that’s what we’re doing. People liked it, we had fun and we’ll do it again.”