Originally Posted by ron stahl
I've been to Toledo for 35 years in a row. Over the years there have been up's and down years in attendance and vendor changes. The swap shop has become a joke of other people's junk and vendors to cheap to buy a booth downstairs. There was a serious downturn in vendors returning like :Ziroli, Fiberglass Specialties,and down sizing of the BUSA booth to just one booth this year just to name a few.The economic impact of the US society as a whole was seen several years ago with smaller crowds so if you are new to coming it still looks large, and it is very far from that compared to the nineties. I am sure the Internet also has cut into those willing to travel and the aging of the hobby as a whole, just look at all the grey hair there. Dave Platt has ended his run with this being his last year displaying and selling after 45 years in a row;commenting on he no longer fits in with the current main stream hobbiest who do not build models but fly arf's. I always saw his models a s a standard to build to and will always appreciate his smile and warm reception at his booth. It will be harder each coming year for me to return if we did not have so many friends we only see there. I did have good time again this year with my travel buddies. The display of planes was way down and I heard that this is a response to non traditional models winning last year like the Dragon and several arf's. I understand about the arf's but that the Dragon was a work of art, will his Batplane win anything year? So knows but it sure was a lot of work as well. We for years staid for the Saturday night auction but haven't in a few years especially after Bob's passing. It was a good time but I had just as good of a time at the Wram show with a lot less time in the car driving cross county but as long as there is a Toledo show and family in southern Michigan we will attend.
The bat wing won his class but not best in show. I got to chat quite a bit with Dave Platt when he came over to the National Balsa booth and it was great since my first scale attempt was one of his Spitfires in the mid-70s. With the balsa flying out of the booth, it wasn't surprising that all the buyers (scratch builders) were over 30 (and I would venture over 40) and yes, we did have fathers bring their kids over and show the kids, "This is Balsa". Very sad. It's an ARF world out there