I’d never been to a toy and game show before, although I’ve read about similar events in the USA. For Sydney’s first attempt, our own version was not bad at all.
Even driving rain could not keep the crowds away from Sydney Olympic Park. I’m sure that made the show organisers happy, but a few more people being driven away by the rain would have brought down the queuing time for the Nerf stadium. There’s no question that the chance to play Nerf tag in a giant inflatable play area was the highlight of the show. We joined others and queued for over an hour for our five minutes of tagging excitement. Our conclusion: it was a lot of fun, but you’re better off with a smaller gun – the big ones took too much time to reload, during which you were literally a sitting target. I came away resembling a porcupine with Nerf darts stuck all over the back of my velcro vest.
If the organisers repeat this next year, it would be good to see timed slots instead of a huge queue.
Other areas attracting queues included the chance to try out some new scooters and an indoor laser-tag arena. There was a huge LEGO pit with an astonishing amount of creative energy per square meter and tables demonstrating a range of toys.
Attracting quieter, but no less intense interest were the various games on display. There really is a strong sub-culture of those fascinated by board games. These games are not, generally, the simple Monopoly or Battleships; they are more the ‘German’ games with complex rules, beautifully drawn graphics, and intriguing gameplay. The Show offered the chance to try new games out or compete with others on the old ones. We saw several games we’d missed in the shops and ended up buying the Discworld game that was released last year.
The Show had a great atmosphere and was, given the range of activities, reasonable value for the $45 family ticket. Overall the Toy and Game Expo was well worth the visit and we’ll be going back next year.