Toying around at the Alma Optimist show

ALMA – The Alma Optimist Toy Show and Sale returned to the Alma Community Hall on March 12.

Creators and collectors both young and old once again dusted off their toys and crowded around tables stacked with rows upon rows of diecast, plastic moulded and 3D-printed cars, trucks and tractors.

It was already the fifth toy show Daniel Van Ryswyk has showcased at this year.

The 17 year-old began 3D-printing farm toys after receiving a printer for Christmas.

Two-and-a-half years later, he has three printers humming away, turning out everything from hay balers to grain trailers under the banner of Farm Toy Fanatic.

“I can do just about anything,” Van Ryswyk said.

One of his more challenging designs is a Meridian trailer, which involved five hours of design, seven hours of printing and two hours of assembly.

The home-printed toys are a big change from the diecast models of yesteryear.

Kevin Garner attended the show with his “Garner Farms” display, featuring hundreds of 1:64 scale pieces meticulously placed on wooden boards.

The project took around 40 hours, Garner said.

Pieces are colour-coded and numbered to make assembly easier, and depending on the audience, Garner will switch out tractor brands and even cattle breeds.

It was event organizer Nick Grose’ second year behind the wheel after taking over from John and Helen Broadfoot two years ago.

Hundreds of people streamed through the doors and Grose said the hall was “swamped.”

Cars were lined up and down sideroads leading to the hall that morning, he added.

Entry fees collected will go toward the Optimist Club’s swimming and T-ball programs in the village, as well as other community initiatives.