Silly Billy’s has been trading in Hebden Bridge for twenty years and for many of those years we have been a stockist of Plush Kaloo cuddly gifts suitable from birth upwards. These specially crafted and very plush teddies and rabbits are lovingly made in France to a super high standard and make for suitable gifts for new-borns, toddlers and even older children.
We would like it if you would come and visit Silly Billy’s to view our amazing range of Kaloo suitable for new borns as birth gifts or christening gifts, suitable for older children as well due to their very plush nature. Kaloo are not the only range we stock of toys or gifts suitable for new borns, we also are a stockist of the amazing Sophie la Girafe, as endorsed by many celebrities and also some members of the author’s own family.
We are very proud to say that we have in fact been stocking Kaloo at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop since Kaloo started their business in 1998, Silly Billy’s Toy Shop starting up in Hebden Bridge one year before.
Once upon a time…
A father’s dream to invent different soft toys for his little boy. A little bear, an emotional symbol for all toddlers, was then chosen as the brand’s emblematic animal. Because dreams can come true, Kaloo came to life one beautiful morning in late 1998.
2001 was the next milestone for Kaloo Plush
Kaloo around the world
After a successful launch in the European market with high quality products, Kaloo became a reference brand for upscale birth gifts. The rapid development of the brand was supported by the creation of Kaloo North America in 2001. Kaloo 123
The range Kaloo 123 was launched in 2001 with the aim of making childhood a little more of a dream. Colorful and mischievous, it was created to awaken baby’s senses.
Kaloo perfumes (please note we do not stock perfumes at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop)
« Kaloo Parfums » was launched in spring 2001, composed of four alcohol free fragrances specially made to stimulate baby’s sense of smell.
This year Small Business Saturday is on the 2nd December 2017, and Silly Billy’s will happily take AMEX Card payments on that day, or any other day for that matter. Small Business Saturday sees the commencement of AMEX UK’s Shop Small Campaign which means that you just spend £10 or more on your Card in a single transaction at a participating small business, and you’ll get a £5 credit on your statement. Offer runs from 2 – 17 December 2017. There’s no limit to the number of £5 credits you can receive, but you can only claim it once at each small business. To take part, just register your Card – or Supplementary Card – and you’re ready to Shop Small once the offer is live.
For full details click here
So Small Business Saturday is on 2nd December 2017 and you can find Silly Billy’s and many other businesses on the Small Business Finder here
Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010 and it remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small and this is also our message to you, to maintain the high street diversity and have as many businesses open to shop at it is vital that people shop local and Silly Billy’s is immeasurably grateful to the amazing support they have received in their twenty years of trading in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.
So put the dates in your diary for Small Business Saturday, of 2nd December 2017, and do your best to support your own local small businesses wherever you may be in the United Kingdom and Shop Small.
To read about the funders behind Small Business Saturday please click on this link.
Hello this is Billy!
Billy and his friends love to travel. Now we want to let them travel around the world to get to know the most wonderful places in the world. So help us and let Billy and his Friends travel around the globe! Under “community” you can see all the places, they have already visited!
What do you have to do?
– Like and share our Facebook site
– Get your favourite Lego Figure(s)
– Take a photo with them at any place in the world
– Share the picture on our Facebook site and describe in one or two sentences which adventure they have experienced there! www.facebook.com/BillysTrip2017 #BillysTrip #Lego #BeLikeBilly #worldtravel
This is a Student’s Group Project at Johannes Kepler Universität – JKU in Linz/Austria. The goal is to reach as many people as possible in a short time. Therefore we choose this solution, because everybody of our group grew up with LEGO and the satisfaction is still great. So please help us, take a few minutes, make a picture and share it with us to support us, and to help Billy to travel the world!! Show us the power of the entire LEGO community. Thank you and best regards!
What’s on Christmas 2017 – Coming up in Hebden Bridge
So there are a few events and other activities happening all around Hebden Bridge in the run-up to to Christmas. We have endeavoured to list as many in and around Hebden Bridge as we can, though if we have missed you out then please get in touch with Silly Billy’s either through our Facebook Page or on this contact form.
Please give us your event details and we will add them to this post.
Friday 17th November Christmas Lights switch On in Hebden Bridge
Friday 17th November Christmas Late Night Opening
To coincide with the Christmas lights switch on this Friday 17th (tomorrow) November both Silly Billy’s Toy Shop and Homely at Hebden will be staying open later so pop along and see us in Old Gate House, across the river, we may even do some Mince Pies !!
Saturday 18th November Mytholmroyd Christmas Market & Lights 12-5.30pm
At St Michael’s Square in Mytholmroyd from 12 noon on Saturday 18th November for the Christmas Market and Lights Switch On
Full day of festive treats includes a local traders and craft market with over 40 stalls, why not pick up a few stocking fillers. There will be entertainment from Hebden Bridge Brass Band, the Peace Artistes, Bazzmatazz and local schools. With free mulled wine and mince pies (courtesy of your Local Coop) activities for children and of course a visit from that very special gent, Father Christmas.
Saturday 18th November Mytholmroyd Fire Station Open Day Between 12:00 and 18:00
Saturday 18th November Christmas Art Fair at The Waterfront Hall,
The Town Hall, St George’s St, Hebden Bridge
11am – 4pm
Saturday 25 November 2017 Todmorden’s Lamplighter Festival
Further Details here
Saturday 2 December 2017 Christmas Fayre Hope Baptist Chapel. 10 until 4pm. Festive stalls, cake, mince pies, tea & coffee.
Come and join us in the popular Chatty Cafe, and maybe get a Christmas present from our selection of handmade gifts.
Monday 11 December 2017 Carol Singing at the Railway Station
5:15 pm (for about an hour or so).
This is to raise money for The Railway Children Charity
Come along and sing or bring an instrument.
Friday 15 December 2017 Christmas Carol Service 6-30pm
St. James’ Church, Church lane, Hebden Bridge, HX7 6DS
A family friendly service with Hebden Royd Primary School choir; carols and readings.
Refreshments afterwards including Mulled wine, coffee, mince pies.
Instead of Sitting on Santa’s Lap, This 4-Yr-Old Dropped to His Knees at What Santa Did Next
Millions of children go through the Santa line, but how many have you seen do this?
Most 4-year-old’s hop on the big man’s lap to ask for LEGO and race cars and other cool toys.
Not this little guy. Instead, Prestyn Barnette had a much different request for the Santa he encountered in a South Carolina mall. When the 4-year-old finally came face-to-face with the jolly good fella, he asked St. Nick to pray with him for a baby who was very sick.
Through a prayer group that his grandmother belongs to on Facebook, Prestyn found out hat 2-month old Knox Joseph was on life support in a Las Vegas hospital.
Knox’s dad found him in his crib not breathing a couple of weeks ago, and the infant has been in critical condition ever since.
The GoFundMe page set up for Knox says, “We are praying for him to remain stable so that [bringing him] home is a possibility.”
Outside of a teeny request for a Lionel train, the miracle for Knox was the only thing Prestyn wanted from Santa.
And so…they prayed.
Santa got down on his knees and joined hands with the hopeful tot to pray for a Christmas miracle for a baby halfway across the country.
Now that’s the true spirit of Christmas right there. Sometimes it takes a 4-year-old to show us adults how it’s done.
If you’d like to support Knox & his family, visit their GoFundMe Page.
The family shared on their page that often times, baby’s like Knox don’t go home, so they have one humble request for all of you: “Keep praying for the miraculous!”
UK toy retailers are holding out for a busy Christmas after sales fell by 2% in the first nine months of the year.
Analysts and retailers expect a flat full year at best for the industry following two consecutive years of rapid growth.
The industry has unveiled its list of “must-have” toys. – It should be stated at this point that at Silly Billy’s we focus more on the toys that appeal to people in and around our amazing location in Hebden Bridge, where Silly Billy’s have been for twenty years, and surrounding areas and more often than not they are not within these lists.
The only Toy we have, from that particular must-have list,which is quite amazing is the all new LEGO Star Wars BB8 (75187)
Cheaper collectables feature prominently on the list, alongside more traditional games and film and TV tie-ups
Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst for the NPD Group’s toy division, said that sales had been “sluggish” in the year so far, whereas activity had risen in the other major toy markets in Europe, the US and Russia.
She pointed to a correction following two years of 7% growth in the UK, which had outstripped other markets and had been driven in part by the success of the Star Wars franchise.
Some 38% of toy purchases in the UK are made online (Editor’s Note: We would obviously much prefer you shop in our retail Toy Shop in Hebden Bridge)
Nearly two-thirds (61%) of Christmas toys were chosen by the giver, rather than included on Christmas lists
A third (34%) of annual spending on toys is at Christmas
Source: Toy Retailers’ Association/NPD
Alan Simpson, chairman of the Toy Retailers’ Association, which compiles the Dream Toys list, said the weakness of the pound had pushed up prices in the UK as most toys were imported.
The toy market was suffering from the income squeeze of customers as much as other sectors, he added.
“However, the rule book gets thrown away at Christmas, no matter how tough things are [for parents],” he said.
Ms Tutt said that this year’s list of top toys was relatively low-tech, with traditional games playing a more “dynamic” part in the market.
“Parents are saying that too much screen time is not good,” she said.
Only 1% of toys were “connected” via the internet, yet the influence of the web – and particularly social media – was clear from the design of new toys.
One of the expected best-sellers at Christmas is the L.O.L. Surprise – a heavily wrapped toy inspired by “unboxing” videos on YouTube and other social media channels. (Editor’s note, we have had people asking for these L.O.L. toys and it is not something that we plan on stocking)
Marketing for other toys had been launched on social media rather than TV adverts, she said. and manufacturers were counting on shared videos of youngsters playing with their new toys as another form of advertising
Americans Will Head to Space Again, Without a Russian Taxi
Since the Space Shuttle’s retirement six years ago, NASA has been buying spots aboard Russian Soyuz craft to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. It’s a politically awkward arrangement, to say the least, given more than a decade of strained relations, Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the dented American pride in having to ask in the first place.
Did you know we sell Space Shuttles at Silly Billy’s, they are pull-back Space Shuttles and will cost a mere £5.99
Space Shuttles £5.99
The situation has understandably increased pressure on NASA, which hired Boeing Co. and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build a new generation of vessels to shuttle U.S. astronauts to the station. Both companies are scheduled to fly two test flights next year for NASA’s commercial crew program, including one each that will carry two crew members—an ambitious schedule that could slip into
On Thursday, NASA and both companies detailed their progress—and a lengthy list of tests that remain—on the new vessels and their launch rockets.
“I think we have a shot at 2018” for the flights with crew, Kathryn Lueders, NASA’s program manager for the commercial crew program, said in an interview at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, New Mexico. “There’s a lot of things that have to go exactly right,” she said. “I think the big challenge is to make sure that we give them the time that, if everything doesn’t go exactly right, to be able to fix any problems that we have.”
When Americans think of flying into space, “they think of human spaceflight,” said Caleb Weiss, a mission manager with United Launch Alliance, which will boost Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule into orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket. “And so, when America doesn’t have a human spaceflight program, a lot of people feel like we don’t have a space program.”
The program’s first flight is set for April and will see SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule launch without humans, followed by a manned mission in August, according to a recent NASA update. (The first Boeing and Crew Dragon flights had originally been planned for this year, but slipped into 2018.) Boeing’s Starliner is set for August and November.
SpaceX, officially Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is assembling multiple Crew Dragon vessels in parallel to help boost production efficiency, said Benjamin “Benji” Reed, who directs the company’s program for NASA. He said SpaceX also plans a third flight for the capsule, between the two for NASA, to test the in-flight abort system that would eject the crew during an emergency. “The No. 1 priority for the company is safe, reliable crew transportation for NASA,” Reed said during a panel discussion at the symposium.
Beyond NASA’s immediate transport needs, the commercial crew program is among the agency’s earliest and largest efforts to integrate private-sector companies into its operations. In theory, NASA personnel could someday fly with a private citizen that has paid for a ride into space.
Both SpaceX and Boeing have discussed future flights to the ISS with customers from other nations, executives said at the conference. “What you don’t want to do is have an ISS program end—and mirror what happened with the Space Shuttle program,” said John Mulholland, Boeing’s commercial crew manager.
The Starliner’s flight schedule will be determined by Boeing and NASA’s reviews of the program. Data gathered from the initial flight will also weigh heavily on how quickly its first passengers will be able to fly the vehicle, Weiss said. “The biggest question mark … is what your data review’s going to end up being? How much time do you need to go crunch the data?” Weiss said. “If it’s a really clean flight, we can go fly right away.”
The Starliner project has been assisted by the track record of the Atlas V rocket, which has marked 73 successful flights, Weiss said. ULA is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp.
Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office said that safety hazards involving Boeing’s parachute testing plans and SpaceX’s engines would probably slow required certifications and could delay the manned flights to 2019.
NASA awarded Boeing and SpaceX the commercial crew contracts in 2014; each company will perform six manned flights to the ISS. Four NASA astronauts are currently training for the test flights. By year’s end, those personnel will be assigned to one of the capsules.
In February, NASA acquired five additional seats on the Soyuz craft for potential use in 2018, via Boeing, which had obtained them through a business deal with a Russian company. The arrangement will allow some cushion in terms of astronaut access to the space station, but it hasn’t affected the pace of work on the commercial crew program, agency officials have said.
“Obviously, we’re buying insurance seats right now to make sure that we’re not hurrying these guys up to fly before they’re ready,” Lueders said. “We don’t want to do that.”
Playmobil at Silly Billy’s and the History of Playmobil
Playmobil was invented by German inventor Hans Beck (1929–2009), who is often called “The Father of Playmobil”. Beck received training as a cabinet-maker and was an avid creator of model aeroplanes, a product he pitched to the company geobra Brandstätter. The owner of the company, Horst Brandstätter, asked him to develop toy figures for children instead. Beck spent three years from 1971 to 1974 developing what was to become Playmobil.
Beck conducted research that allowed him to develop a toy that would not be too complex and would nevertheless be flexible. He felt that too much complexity would be obstructive to children’s imaginations, and too much rigidity in design and implementation would cause some inevitable frustration for the child. The toy Hans created, at 7.5 cm tall, would fit in a child’s hand and the figurine’s facial design was based on some children’s drawings – a large head, a big smile, and no nose. “I would put the little figures in their hands without saying anything about what they were,” Beck remarked. “The children accepted them right away … They invented little scenarios for them. They never grew tired of playing with them.” The 1973 oil crisis enabled Playmobil to be considered a viable product. The rising oil prices imposed which impacted the production of other toys at geobra Brandstätter, for whom Beck worked as Head of Development, demanded that the company focus on products that required less solid plastic material than the hula hoops and other large plastic toys and playthings that the company had been producing.
In 1974, the company put the first sets of Knights, Native Americans, and construction workers on show in its display rooms. Initial visitors did not really take to the toy. Nevertheless, the plastic toys were displayed proactively at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, which was taking place that same year. A Dutch firm agreed to buy a whole year’s production. By the end of the year, geobra Brandstätter had achieved sales of 3 million Deutschmarks with Playmobil – one-sixth of the company’s total sales. Playmobil then began to be sold worldwide in 1975, and has remained a very popular toy ever since.
Playmobil has been a successful toy line for more than 40 years and they have been a major competitor to LEGO toys.
Examples of directly competing toys in both their product line are not hard to find. In the Playmobil toy world, the Playmobil toys are usually realistic, and present accurate representations of arms, armour, costumes, and tools from recognisable time periods. Especially notable for their fine attention to detail are the modern construction and city life toys (cars, cranes, fire-engines, trains, boats, etc.) and the characters that go with them. For Playmobil’s fortieth birthday in 2014 some special products were created and we were lucky enough to have stocked them in our old toy shop
Here at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop we have one of the finest ranges of Playmobil of any toy shop in the North of England. One customer recently stated that they haven’t seen such a wide range of Playmobil anywhere outside of London ! Here at Silly Billy’s we love it when people review us online so please take the time to do so if you have visited and had a good time! We also have in stock, although in ever diminishing quantities, Playmobil Advent Calendars. Both Playmobil “Christmas on The Farm” 6624 (recommended for ages 4+) and Playmobil 9009, also called “Christmas on The Farm” (suitable for ages 1 to 4). As one of the UK’s leading retailers of Playmobil, Playmobil have very kindly let us have only one of two life-size Playmobil Santa’s that are on display in independent Toy Shops in the UK, if you could send us a picture of the other Playmobil Santa we would be quite interested to know where Santa’s Brother is located. You can do that simply by heading over to Silly Billy’s Facebook Page and sending us a message.
Obviously, if you win you will need some travelling money and also the cost of the flights to Denmark. I would recommend a few nights in Copenhagen as well as I have been and it is an interesting place, steeped in history. Obviously the highlight will be staying in the recently completed LEGO house.
This is what it says on the LEGO House site about the LEGO House:
LEGO® House is a newly opened experience house. The 12,000-square metre house is filled with 25 million LEGO bricks ready to give LEGO fans of all ages the ultimate LEGO experience.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be inside a real LEGO® House? That’s why we built this world of creative experiences. Discover the magic behind the brand, and the endless possibilities for play and learning with the inspiring LEGO brick.
Also known as “Home of the Brick”, the new LEGO House is located in Billund, Denmark, where the LEGO brick was invented. LEGO House is one of the main family attractions in Southern Denmark, with fun activities for children and adults of all ages. We invite you into our LEGO home for the ultimate play date!
At the start of manufacturing, on March 20, 1985, Sylvanian Families were developed and also launched in Japan, which makes use of the idea of doll houses and also human like animal characters. The very first launches of the doll houses as well as various other play sets were constructed from porcelain with the furnishings being manufactured from timber. Nevertheless, later launches changed the products to plastic as well as steel in the manufacturing. The toys were later on launched in The United States and Canada during the same year (1985), yet with various product packaging as well as small distinctive changes to the Sylvanian personalities themselves. The toy line was initially entitled Pleasant Friends of the Forest
In October 1987, the collection generated a computer animated series created by DIC Animation City and also TMS Entertainment, which lasted for 13 episodes. The series was prominent in the UK as well as in Spain. The name of the TV collection based upon Sylvanian Families was adjusted in various nations. As an example, in Spain it was called “La aldea el arce”. See video below:
It was additionally screened in the very early 1990’s in the United States on Nick Jr.
Later on that exact same year, the success in these markets brought about growth all the way into Western Europe, starting with the UK subsidiary of Tomy obtaining unique legal rights for the brand name in the UK. Tomy presented Sylvanian Families into the UK market in 1987, and the Sylvanians rapidly came to be a bestseller.
By 1988, Sylvanian Family members had actually ended up being a significant success around the globe, winning the British Organization of Toy Retailers honour for “Toy of the Year” 3 years back to back, in 1987, 1988 and also 1989.
In 1993, Tomy, that had actually been dispersing the toys worldwide, lost the legal rights to the name “Sylvanian Families” in Canada as well as within the UNITED STATES.
Tomy then re-established the line under the brand-new name of Calico Critters of Cloverleaf Corners.
The Calico Critters line is presently retailed in the United States as well as Canada by International Playthings, LLC
Decline and Reinvention
By the late 1990’s, Sylvanian Families had actually been discontinued n the UK, in 1999, they were re-established by Flair. Ultimately, Sylvanian family members have actually been reestablished in Australia and also are ending up being a lot more extensively offered there. Tomy quit offering Calico Critters, and a brand-new business, International Playthings, got the line.
In 1999, the toyline commemorated its 15th anniversary in Japan, with the opening of the themed dining establishment Sylvanian Woodland Kitchen area (シルバニア森のキッチン Shirubania mori no kitchin), which was run and also handled by Epoch. The dining establishment not just offer food, additionally it sold goods and toys based upon the franchise business. The dining establishment sadly closed in February 2011.
In 2004, the franchise business commemorated its 20th anniversary in Japan with the launch of the Walnut Squirrel Family. In July 2004, EPOCH revealed a brand-new tourist attraction in Grinpa, an amusement park taken care of by Fuji Kyuko. The tourist attraction, initially called Sylvanian Village (シルバニアビレッジ Shirubania Birejji) prior to it was relabelled to Sylvanian Gardens (シルバニアガーデン Shirubania Gāden), started its building with Date’s guidance. In 2005, the franchise business held its initial online occasion labelled Sylvanian Families Musical~The Large Commotion Eve Party (シルバニアファミリーミュージカル ～ パーティーイブは大さわぎ ！ Shirubania famirī myūjikaru ~ pātīibu wa dai sawagi!) which was held at the Gekidan Kogumaza Theater. It was later on launched on DVD in 2006.
In 2006, the personalities in the Sylvanian Toy line were opted to be the mascots for the National Federation of Workers and Consumers Insurance Cooperativess national mutual aid. By the end of the year, the toys sold a total of 78 million units.
In 2007, EPOCH coordinated with Itochu, Nippon Columbia and also Shogakukan to create a 3D CGI Original Video clip Computer animation collection based upon the toy line generated by Kōji Kawaguchi as well as Yumiko Muriai and guided by Akira Takamura.
All 3 episodes were launched on June 20, 2007. Inning accordance with EPOCH, extra episodes were prepared, however these episodes were never ever produced for unidentified factors.
In the UK, Flair commemorated the franchise business’s 20th anniversary with a picked variety of brand-new products. The most effective of which was an Otter boat, and a reintroduced of the Dalmatian Family who now wore party hats that read “Happy 20th !”.
In March 2009, the collection commemorated its 25th anniversary in Japan with the opening of the Sylvanian Gardens destination in Grinpa. Taken care of by EPOCH, the destination showcases real-life reproductions of Sylvanian houses and also structures from the Sylvanian Toy Series line along with a gallery including an event concerning the background of the playthings. The tourist attraction additionally has a store which markets products which are special to the park. In 2010, the franchise business once more organized 2 musicals, Sylvanian Family’s Amazing Music (シルバニアファミリーわくわくミュージカル Shirubania famirī wakuwaku myūjikaru) and also Sylvanian Family’s Exciting Musical (シルバニアファミリーわくわくステージ Shirubania famirī wakuwaku sutēji), which both ended up being a staple for advertising the toys at conventions.
On June 28, 2013, Flair confirmed that the rights for the toys in the UK will be transferred to the newly formed Epoch UK, and they began distributing the toys from January 1, 2014 on wards.
In the Gallery Below are just a selection of the Sylvanian Families Sets and Accessories that we have for Christmas 2017 at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop.
Also at Silly Billy’s we have a Sylvanian’s loyalty card so if you spend over £15 on Sylvanian Families at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop you will receive a stamp and when the card is filled you will receive a special White Mouse Family for free: