Old & Modern Toy Fair Malvern Town Hall Beven Davey Izzy Davey Will McGowan

Davey, who has a very stressful job as a nurse caring for hospice and disabled patients at Barwon Health during the COVID-19 pandemic, said collecting toys was a big de-stressor.

When he gets home from work, “I often have a package of toys waiting at the door,” he said. “Izzy and I sat there, opened it up together, went through it and talked about it.”

Father and daughter, Beven and Izzy Davey, have bonded over their hobby of collecting toys.

Father and daughter, Beven and Izzy Davey, have bonded over their hobby of collecting toys.Credit:jose armao

Davey also runs the Toys ‘R Aus’ collectors’ Facebook page, which has 16,000 members.

Why do you collect? “I just love it,” she said. “Life is short. Do what makes you happy. Possibly homesick. The world is a pretty tough place right now.

“Do I watch the news and hear about people getting into car accidents or kids dying, or wars, or go read a comic and talk to friends about toys? It puts me in a good mood, I guess.

Vintage and Modern Toy Fair co-founder Will McGowan said the internet nearly killed toy fairs in the early 2000s, but many buyers now prefer to make sure toys aren’t fake or damaged in person.

Just a few items from Beven Davey's toy collection.

Just a few items from Beven Davey’s toy collection.Credit:jose armao

And at a trade show, merchants could avoid posting and selling fees online. He said that the children of the 90s who previously only traded online were now among the backbone of the fair’s success.

McGowan said the fair was a community that offered an opportunity for online friends to meet in real life.

He said popular items this year include Funko Pop vinyl figures based on series like Strange things; art toys: limited-edition resin figures from artists like Cipta Croft-Cusworth; and staples like Lego, Barbie, and Hot Wheels.

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