All year last we celebrated our 5th anniversary, taking the opportunity to try something new each show. That peaked when we accepted the challenge of building a 32' long layout for the Roundhouse Show in May, a third larger than usual, making it our biggest and best display ever. While all this made for a very interesting 2019, we didn't stop innovating just because it turned 2020, in fact it only encouraged us to keep going. For the January Woodstock show, we decided to push the boundaries again, introducing half a year's worth of innovation in just one show. Brand new at this event were things like: a river feature that actually sunk below table level, made from paper prints; a custom-built, collapsible grain elevator, again from printed paper mounted to foamboard; a new scenery configuration, with rural settings taking over the table while clustered on the 4'x3' elevated section we call the triple pizza was our biggest collection of urban buildings to date; added to that was a monorail for the perimeter of the pizza which exaggerated the urban setting, winding it's way through the maze of buildings and looking like something out of the film Metropolis. That additional vehicle increased the number of trains running on the pizza to four!
This burst of recent creativity has almost tipped the balance of our display focus, nearly weighing it more in favour of the toys than the trains. Audience astonishment seems to be the goal driving our latest surge of scenic experimentation, as we look for ways to delight and fascinate the audience, leading to more toy elements on the layout than ever before. New acquisitions are also to blame, as we keep buying and integrating more toy elements we think will add intrigue to the layout. It's become as much a collection of 100 years of toys as it is a showcase for our trains.
And we've added significantly to that collection as well – John with some TTC streetcars and some New Marx, recent reproductions of the old 40s and 50s Marx sets, and me with 3 new passenger sets (one of them a long-desired Aerotrain) and a few new locomotives, all with sound.
All that to say, now that we are 6, we will strive to be as clever as clever, and we hope you'll enjoy our efforts for ever and ever.