I'd got the morning off work and decided to enjoy it. I grabbed my camera and a startled Mrs. K. We were off on a flying visit to Warwick. More specifically to Metropolis Toys, an island of solace gleaming with top quality and often rare vintage toys.
Former soldier Chris Malbon has enjoyed a lifelong passion for old toys. By definition of his business, he's a full-time professional toy dealer... one of the top ones in the country perhaps...
..but by inclination he's still very much an old-school collector at heart, with a vast knowledge, appreciation and enthusiasm for the sort of vintage toys that many of us remember and collect.
Chris is well known in the vintage toy world. He's acknowledged in various collectors reference books and he has appeared on the US reality TV series 'Toy Hunter', when star of the show, Jordan Hembrough visited Metropolis Toys whilst hunting toys in the UK (Season 3, Episode 7).
Chris has had three previous vintage toy shops before opening Metropolis Toys in Warwick. He's also been a regular face at countless toy fairs for many years.
I've known Chris for a while. I often wondered if he had an uncanny supernatural intuition which helped him to unearth the kind of rare and desirable vintage toys which most of us only dream about.
A person could be forgiven for thinking this, especially when gazing around the mesmerizing merchandise of colourful toys from the past which populate the shop shelves and spellbind the gobsmacked onlooker.
In reality, Chris is a hard working guy with his ear to the ground and his finger firmly on the pulse of the collecting world. Like a Daily Planet reporter chasing a headline story, this middle aged man from Metropolis has his contacts and does the groundwork, often travelling to track down valuable vintage toys, both here and abroad.
Chris Melbon is discerning when it comes to what he buys and sells... stocking shelves with a volume of top grade vintage toys doesn't come cheap and certainly isn't for the faint hearted seeking instant riches.
Chris has survived some tough times and has invested a lifetime of commitment into getting where he is today. He's worked for what he's got.
Little wonder that he's had numerous examples of amazing bygone toys pass through his hands over the years. Far too many to mention in this review... so hopefully a picture is worth a thousand words and the photographs will do Metropolis Toys justice.
Thanks to Chris for being kind enough to allow me to photograph the toys and share them with Moonbase Central.