Toy joy for enthusiasts

Jenna Lightowler, 13, meets Sooty
Jenna Lightowler, 13, meets Sooty

A HOST of Star Wars characters went down a storm among toy enthusiasts looking to pick up a bargain at a fair.

People from across the region flocked to the Swan Hotel, in Billingham, for its inaugural toy fair on Thursday evening.

To celebrate, organisers recruited 12 volunteers from the Rebel Legion UK group who dressed as famous characters from the hit sci-fi film.

Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Stormtroopers spent time having their photographs taken with young and old.

Around 300 people attended the event, held at the Swan Hotel, in Wolviston Road, and sellers from as far afield as Morpeth and Derbyshire had stalls.

It was jointly organised by the hotel and Lee Hunter, of Hunter Toys, in Stockton, and there are plans to hold another toy fair in December.

Hunter Toys, which had a stall at the fair, specialises in selling Star Wars toys.

Lee, a married dad-of-three from Billingham, said: “The toy fair was a joint venture between Hunter Toys and the Swan Hotel.

“There are a number of fairs up and down the country for sellers and people to go to but not much in this region.

“I think the area has been crying out for a fair like this.

“We wanted to make it a family event and we had sellers from Morpeth and Derbyshire.”

There were stalls selling Star Wars toys, retro games, remote control cars and traditional toys.

The 40-year-old, who lives in Wolviston Court, added: “There was a real selection of toys and games on offer and of course the Star Wars characters.

“This is the first one we have staged and there is a real interest in this part of the world.

“This is something that the region needs.”