Saturday, April 21, 2012

An European Adventure!

The Sylvanian Shop London ! - As you can see, they're giving a coat of fresh paint on the signboard!

Hi everyone! Its been a good month since I last blogged and hope everyone has been doing well! Recently, I had the chance to travel to Europe on a backpacking trip :) And of course, what trip to Europe would be complete without a visit to the Sylvanian Families Shop in London!

For me, it was truly a pipe dream that has almost spanned the last decade. It all started almost ten years ago when my Dad made plans to travel to England on a business trip, and being the kid I was, I really longed that he could have taken me along with him ! But of course, with school and everything, I knew deep down it was really more wishful thinking on my part!

Sylvanian Shop London - circa October 2002

My dad did however, paid a visit to the Sylvanian Shop and returned with a lot of new Sylvanians for me, accompanying them were these wonderful photographs of those gleaming Sylvanian displays and shelves of a large array of Sylvanian products. As I looked at photographs, never would I have imagined that I would be doing a pilgrimage of my own to the store itself!

Fast forward to 2012,  and here I am, making my very own trip to England! Going to England was not just about visiting a faraway land nor was it just to visit the Sylvanian Shop. One of the key highlights of my visit was to meet up my two long time Sylvanian Collecting friends, Jacc & Hayley. Both Jacc and Hayley have been collectors for slightly over 20 years and have amassed large collections of figures, buildings and memorabilia! I'm very lucky to have met them and to have had the wonderful friendship of both of them for almost ten years!

The long awaited meet up after almost ten years!

What lies behind this door?

The Store's special treasures - GIANT SYLVANIANS!

Sylvanians, Sylvanians and more Sylvanians! As you can see, the hot air balloons are still there after ten years!

A close-up of the display in the centre of the store!

At the store, we were given the very best of hospitality Sylvania had to offer, courtesy of Sylvania's very own, Rocky Babblebrook! Rocky had been expecting us and so he was really glad to have seen us finally here at the store! On behalf of all us, a big big thank you for the wonderful VIP treatment, Rocky! We had a wonderful afternoon of chit-chatting, discussing the Sylvanians as a whole and of course, SHOPPING! We also had a chance to find out who Sylvania will be welcoming in the near future and we can only say its exciting times for Sylvania ahead! :))

Sylvania's very own, Rocky Babblebrook! Always happy to help!

Visiting the shop gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk to parents of collectors which kind of has a little weird effect on me. For me, it was like understanding how my dad felt all those years back when he bought me my first Sylvanian! As one mother put it to me, Jacc & Hayley, it was like "meeting the people" ! 

All in all, I spent almost 100 pounds in the store and I, finally got the opportunity to join the Sylvanian Families Collectors Club! You'd think after collecting for 14 years, I'd be a long time member by now! But alas, after a 14 year wait, I'm proud to say, "I'M OFFICIAL!"

Overall, I was really happy to have visited the store and meet up with Jacc & Hayley! For me, it was the cherry of the cake that has really defined my collection in the last eighteen months! Visiting Japan and the theme park, collecting the doll of the Year and finally meet my two best collecting friends and the store! I'm really thankful for all this and hope to do it sometime again soon!

And of course, signing the guestbook in the store, is a must! :))