‘May The Toys Be With You’ — Huge Crowds for Leicester Show

An exhibition featuring one of the UK’s largest collections of Star Wars toys has attracted about 30,000 people in its first month.

May The Toys Be With You, at the New Walk Museum, Leicester, includes toys made by Palitoy in Coalville, as well as posters and unpublished artwork.

The gallery’s previous record holder was a celebration of Leicester City winning the Premier League.

Matt Fox, 46, who owns the collection, said it has “intergenerational” appeal.

“I’m delighted it has become New Walk Museum’s best attended exhibition,” he said.

“Clearly Leicester winning the Premier League is insignificant next to the power of the force!

“Joking aside, what I particularly like is that this exhibition is intergenerational.

“Parents who remember the toys from 40 years ago are bringing along their kids to share their own childhood experience with them.

“Museums and galleries often gravitate towards the high brow, but it’s so important that they also bring in children.”

Mr Fox, who is from Canterbury and started his collection aged five, added: “A wise man once said, collecting is a sickness and sharing it is the only cure, and I feel tremendous satisfaction that my collection is being enjoyed by others.”

The exhibition also reflects links to nearby Coalville where millions of the toys were made at its Palitoy factory.

Despite making popular items like Action Man, Star Wars became the company’s biggest-ever seller and was even responsible for the redesign of some products for a UK audience.

By the early 1980s, the production of most of the toys had shifted to Hong Kong and by 1986 Palitoy had ceased trading.

The exhibition at the museum in New Walk, Leicester, is on until 28th October.

VIAPaul Bateman
James is an active member of the Star Wars collecting community, and is the Brand Director for Jedi News. James is also the host of the Star Wars Collectors Cast, and co-host of RADIO 1138 on the Jedi News Network.