The Hamleys Toy Parade is taking a year off – and frankly, we’re a little devastated.
Sometimes, we have to be the bearers of bad news – and sadly, this is one of those times. The Hamleys Toy Parade, one of the crowning events of the winter season, won’t be taking place in 2018. We know you went crazy for this one last year, but unfortunately, so did too many of the 800,000 people who attended 2017’s event. Latecomers jostling for position led to fights reportedly breaking out amongst unruly parents and families saying they felt unsafe. Words like “feral” and “mob mentality” were bandied around in the aftermath, and Hamleys have perhaps decided it’s safer to cancel than run the risk of Peppa Pig inciting a full-blown riot.
It’s a real shame, as the Hamleys Toy Parade is a kid-friendly seasonal highlight. In happier times, the parade saw Regent Street being pedestrianised, and filled with colourful floats, giant balloons, and a whole host of memorable characters from TV and films. Last year’s unrest seems to have made the store a little gun-shy, with the website simply stating that no parade will take this year, and quickly pivoting to advertise their in-store half-term events instead. They also launched a massive Harry Potter department recently, which should go some way to assuaging your disappointment.
Fingers crossed Hamleys can figure out a better game plan next year, and bring the Toy Parade back for 2019. In the meantime, we’ll console ourselves with the Christmas-ification of Regent Street, as their beautiful Christmas lights should be turning on in mid-November.
Featured image: Regent Street Online