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Retro Ronnie Toy & Train Collectors Fairs Including Valuation Roadshows
Posted on: 24.02.2016 by Tim and Ronnie
A Team Of Experts Is On Hand Throughout The Day To Appraise And Value Toys And Collectables Brought To The Event By Visitors - And Some Real Treasures Have Been Uncovered As A Result.
South East England | 24.02.2016

Retro Ronnie Fairs was founded by Tim Pearson and Ronnie Davies with the launch of their first Toy & Train Collectors’ Fair in Cirencester’s Bingham Hall in January 2014.

Tim and Ronnie are both long-established toy dealers and they understand their market. They recognised that there simply weren’t enough fairs to cater for the growing interest from collectors in vintage toys, or to offer dealers sufficient outlets for their stock. If nobody else was going to organise suitable events, then they’d do it themselves.

The inaugural Fair was a resounding success and helped to establish the event’s reputation for being one of the brightest and most exciting new fairs on the circuit. Not only did it attract a diverse cross section of dealers, but it also hit the right note with the collecting public as well, who arrived in their hundreds to browse through the thousands of items arrayed across the many stalls.

Initially the fairs were punctuated by an early-afternoon “Bring & Sell” auction, offering collectors an opportunity to raise a bit of money, but this proved to be far less popular than the Valuation Roadshow. A team of experts is on hand throughout the day to appraise and value toys and collectables brought to the event by visitors — and some real treasures have been uncovered as a result. The Roadshow is now a regular feature of every Retro Ronnie toyfair.

Such was the enthusiastic reaction to the Cirencester Toy & Train Collector’s Fair that Tim and Ronnie were persuaded to repeat the exercise a little further east, and in the Summer of 2015, the Didcot & Oxfordshire Toy Fair was launched. Close to the M4 corridor, just down the road from the famous Railway Centre, and within a few miles of the Pendon Model Railway Museum, Didcot seemed to be the perfect venue.

Trade Dealers

If you are an established dealer, or perhaps even someone looking to ‘stall out’ for the very first time, then please Contact us. We are always on the lookout for new and exciting stock to add to our well-established regulars, but please bear in mind that space is limited at all our venues, and we usually sell out weeks before the event takes place. Occasionally we do get late cancellations, so there can be last minute opportunities, but early reservation is always recommended.

The price for pitches varies depending upon venue and the size or position of the tables, but our rates are among the most competitive and reasonable in the business.

Private Sellers

A toy fair is the perfect opportunity to raise a little cash … or sometimes, a lot!

If you’re a private collector looking to dispose of some choice items from your collection, or you’ve inherited loads of vintage toys from a relative and really don’t know what to do with them, then don’t hesitate to bring items along to the fair.

From single items to whole collections, there’s a ready market for die-cast cars and trucks (Corgi, Dinky, Spot-on, Minic) , train sets (Hornby, Tri-ang, Trix, Bassett-Lowke, Bachmann etc.) and rolling stock, Action Man, lead figures, Britain’s and Timpo … in fact, almost anything that grown-ups played with as children! What’s more, payment is nearly always in cash, on the spot.

Remember also that some of our dealers are trading in other collectables, including Militaria, such as medals, uniforms, helmets etc, and they’ll pay top prices for the rare and unusual.

If you’re hoping to sell to the trade, seek out Tim or Ronnie when you arrive, and discuss your hopes and plans with them. They will be able to point you in the direction of stallholders who may be best placed to evaluate and make offers on the toys you’ve brought along. They’ll know who will be most interested in what you have to offer – there’s no point taking model trains along to someone who trades in dolls or board games!


If people are selling, it stands to reason, we need buyers too. We trust our dealers to be fair and honest when they buy from the public, and to offer sensible and realistic prices, but we also expect our visitors to trade fairly as well. The well-known ‘Salvage Hunter’ Drew Pritchard recently published a feature with the Daily Telegraph on hints and tips for buying at fairs, and his suggestions ring true with us too:

Arrive early – or else you’ll miss the choice items and the bargains.

Don’t waste time with idle banter! Yes, it’s nice to chat, but dealers are there to sell.

Haggle honestly. When a dealer says ‘that’s my best price’, he or she probably means it. Never say “I’ll give you X pounds for that” because it’s insulting, but phrased as “could you possibly do that for a little less” might earn you a discount. Remember, you’re not on television now!

Do your homework. Know what you’re looking for, keep a crib sheet of the key items in your collection so you don’t end up with duplicates (unless you can’t resist another one!) and know your values.

Watch out for fakes. Yes, it does happen, even in the toy trade, but don’t blame the dealer if you spot one. Some copies are so good they can slip through even the finest-meshed net.

Take enough cash with you. Few dealers take debit or credit card payments.

Ask before you take a photograph – it’s only polite.

If you ask a dealer to set something aside for you, offer a deposit. If not, it may have gone by the time you come back hours later.

Tim and Ronnie look forward to welcoming you to one of their Toyfairs very soon

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