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James May's Toy Stories [DVD] 
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James May is a man on a mission: he wants to get kids out of their bedrooms and away from their video games, he wants to drag parents off their backsides and get them all playing together again. Using some of the world’s best loved toys, James May puts generations of families at the heart of some ludicrously ambitious adventures and extraordinary feats of engineering that fire the imagination and remind us of the joys of doing things together. James’s adventure sees him, his team and the general public tackling some mind-bogglingly spectacular challenges.
“For too long now we have regarded the great toys as mere playthings. It’s time to use them to bring people together and achieve greatness. And I bet it’ll be a right laugh as well.” James May
Episode 1: James’s Spitfire Spectacular
Episode 2: James Builds a Plasticine Garden
Episode 3: James Builds a Meccano Bridge
Episode 4: James’s Great Scalextric Race
Episode 5: James’s Model Railway Madness
Episode 6: James Builds a Lego House
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The toys involved across the programmes include: plasticine, LEGO, Airfix, Scalextrix, Meccano and model railways. However, rather than just playing with the toys and trying to get kids interested, James draws attention big style. There are no attic-based train sets or plasticine sausages here. No, the projects undertaken in the show are huge and incredibly interesting. There's the full sized plasticine garden, a Meccano bridge - and perhaps the most famous; the LEGO house.
Every episode is fascinating because it shows just what is possible with these toys, and how much interest they awaken in people. Each event had the help of the British public as well as professionals, and each is stunning. My particular favourite is the LEGO house - it's just amazing. Words really cannot describe.
So, whether you're a fan of Top Gear or not - I'd say watch this. It appeals to all ages: it'll take some of you back in time and send you into your lofts, and it'll make others wish they'd thought of that...
If you want to be entertained and informed at the same time and especially if you have young children who in need of a REAL education, sit down with them and watch an episode a week and then discuss the contents with them, maybe even try a brief foray into these 'toys' as a family and watch their minds expand. I think you might well be surprised at what joy and stimulation, apparently dated (according to whom?) toys still be.
Although it is hard to choose favourites, for me, the best episodes were the ones that showed a real sense of the English community spirit, episodes such as 'Scalextric' or 'Plastersine' were an absolute joy.
The only minor disappointment was the final episode 'Lego', which I couldn't help feeling suffered from severe production issues. Firstly there was the very bizarre choice of location for the house and then there was the 'what happened to it?' in the end. Considering the great efforts of the English public who helped so much in actually making the 'bricks' that went into constructing the house. I felt this was ultimately a let-down and something which was essentially incomplete. In retrospect, a better idea would to have built it in the National Gallery or somewhere such and to then have donated it to their permanent collection.
Of the James May DVDs I own I would rank them as follows:
i) James May's c.20th
i) Oz and James 2 (USA)
ii) James May's Toy Stories
ii) Oz and James 1 (France)
iii) Oz and James Drink to Britain
iv) James May on the Moon
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