Filming begins on “fly on the wall” documentary “Scouting for Toys” at Vectis Toys Auctioneers

Scouting for Toys Promotional Image

Internationally renowned Vectis Toys Auctioneers – well known for selling media tie-in collectibles from the worlds of Doctor Who, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, James Bond, Star Wars and other franchises – is letting the cameras in to make a brand new ten-part documentary series for Yesterday channel called Scouting for Toys.

For the next few months, a team from BBC Studios will be based at Vectis HQ in the northeast to explore the weird and wonderful world of toy collecting and toy auctions – and they’d love to hear from you.

So, if you’re a buyer, a seller, a collector, a dealer or an expert and you have an interesting ‘toy story’ – or you know somebody who does – please get in touch. They are after anybody with a passion for toys, basically. We know it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but you can have a friendly chat with them before committing to anything – they don’t bite!

Naturally, the real stars of the show will be the toys so if you are sitting on a treasure trove of rare items, or you’ve just found something in the attic and you want to get an expert opinion on it, why not get in touch? No story (or toy) is too big or small!

This Wells Mickey Mouse tinplate clockwork hand operated Railway Truck is just one of the thousands of items offered by Vectis at auction every year
This Wells Mickey Mouse tinplate clockwork hand operated Railway Truck is just one of the thousands of items offered by Vectis at auction every year

Scouting for Toys, which will comprise ten one-hour episodes, is a new observational documentary series set to air on Yesterday channel in 2022.

Produced by BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit, Scouting for Toys will follow Vectis Toys Auctioneers in County Durham, where buyers and sellers from all over the world come to trade every toy imaginable, from Star Wars figures to vintage dolls.

In the surprising world of toy auctions, no two days are the same – some toys will smash the guide price, while others may fail to meet their reserve. The series discovers how toys are valued and catalogued ahead of their weekly auctions.

Vectis regularly offers large bundles of comics like these 1980s Beanos and more, both British and Amercan, with gems to be had in job lots. Image: Vectis
Vectis regularly offers large bundles of comics like these 1980s Beanos and more, both British and Amercan, with gems to be had in job lots. Image: Vectis

Along the way, we’ll meet passionate people, selling the treasured collections they’ve amassed over decades.

The UKTV Original series has been commissioned by deputy director of commissioning Hilary Rosen and ordered by Yesterday’s channel director Gerald Casey. Richard Watsham is UKTV’s director of commissioning and Steve North is genre general manager for entertainment and comedy. The series is produced by BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit, known for high quality, thought-provoking and award-winning factual television. The executive producers for Scouting for Toys are Alan Holland and Ben Mitchell for BBC Studios.

“At UKTV, we’re delighted to commission Scouting for Toys from BBC Studios Production,” commented UKTV’s Hilary Rosen, “taking our viewers on a nostalgic journey back to their favourite childhood toys, from Sindy dolls and Thunderbirds figures, to Matchbox cars and treasured teddies.”

“Yesterday viewers will enjoy learning how toys from their past are valued and witnessing the moment they go under the hammer,” added Yesterday channel’s Gerald Casey. “The series sits perfectly within Yesterday’s growing catalogue of factual observational series such as our popular UKTV Original series Bangers & Cash.”

“This is the Documentary Unit’s first commission for Yesterday channel and we are delighted to collaborate with UKTV for the first time,” noted BBC Studios’ Head of Documentary Unit Alan Holland. “Scouting for Toys is being made out of our Salford production base as it was important to us that we had northern film makers telling this brilliant story through a unique northern lens.”

Scouting for Toys has started filming, adhering to all COVID-19 procedures and regulations. The series will air on Yesterday in 2022 and will also be available to catch-up on UKTV Play. Other recent UKTV Original commissions for Yesterday include, Hornby: A Model World, Secrets of the London Underground, The Architecture The Railways Built, and a further series of Bangers & Cash.

• If you’re interested in taking part or want to find out more about Scouting for Toys contact the BBC team, or talk to the Vectis team: Email: kirk.barber@bbc.co.uk or admin@vectis.co.uk

For all upcoming Vectis toy auctions and past results visit www.vectis.co.uk

The next Tinplate and General Toy Sale takes place on 22nd July – details here

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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