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James May's Toy Stories - James May

James May's Toy Stories

By: James May, Ian Harrison (Assisted by)


Published: 5th October 2009
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
RRP $49.95
if ordered within

Inspired by James's exploits, the book covers both the stories behind a number of classic toys and the adventures in summer 2009 as James and his helpers, children and adults of all ages, build and recreate a range of toys in a series of Top Gear style escapades.

In six ambitious projects, he enlists the help of volunteers and schoolchildren to help him build a 1/1 scale model kit of a Supermarine Spitfire Mk I; creates the world's longest Scalextric track at the historic Brooklands motor-racing circuit in Surrey; builds a full-size Lego house; enters a garden made entirely from Plasticine in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show; runs a Hornby train set along a 10-mile stretch of track from Barnstaple to Bideford and uses a giant Meccano bridge to span the 40ft Pier Head canal in Liverpool.

Each chapter includes details of how the projects were constructed, with diagrams, illustrations and informal photography taken during the filming. The book also features a history of the toys themselves, from true British roots to their international appeal today. Toy Stories also offers 12 simple but fun projects linked to these toys to carry out in your own home, accompanied by step-by-step instructions, illustrations and diagrams.

About the Author

James May is a well-known writer, broadcaster and co-presenter of BBC TV's Top Gear. He also writes a weekly motoring column for The Daily Telegraph. James enjoys cars, motorcycles, light aircraft and a drink, always in that order. He lives in London with Fusker, the world's most unpleasant cat.



by PowerReviews
James May's Toy Stories

(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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For Fan of James May


from Sydney, AU

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer


  • Easy To Understand
  • Informative
  • Inspirational
  • Relevant
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

    • Older Readers
    • Reference

    Comments about James May's Toy Stories:

    This book is really only aimed towards 2 kinds of people. Fans of James May, and fans of old fashioned toys. I would definitely recommend it in either case, it's a very good quality good, with great pictures to match the TV series.

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    James May - What real toys mean to me p. 6
    Plasticine: Paradise in Plasticine causes controversy at the Chelsea Flower Show p. 10
    Meccano: Bridging the Leeds-Liverpool Canal p. 50
    Hornby: Full steam ahead for a Guinness World Record p. 90
    Airfix: The world's first 1:1 scale Spitfire kit p.128
    Scalextric: Revving around the world's longest slot-racing track p.170
    Lego: The world's full-size Lego house p.206
    Reference: Anorak's Corner p.236
    Plasticine - 101 uses and colour chart p.238
    Meccano - Complete list of parts p.244
    Hornby - Complete catalogue of 0 and 00 gauge locomotives p.248
    Airfix - Complete catalogue of kits p.252
    Scalextric - Complete catalogue of cars p.258
    Lego - colour guide p.266
    Toy Tree p.268
    Bibliography and Acknowledgements p.270
    Index p.271
    James May

    James first appeared on Top Gear under the old format and became a permanent co-host in the second season of the revamped show. When James was first introduced, Jeremy Clarkson claimed he was "clearly a blithering idiot," because at the time James drove a Bentley T2. Not too much has changed since then as James continues to have love/hate relationships with Jeremy and other co-presenters Richard Hammond and Stig.

    He has his pilot's license and has been known to tickle the ivories, both of which have come in handy when filming: watch James flying a caravan blimp and hear his Scirocco ad jingle. James once admitted he was fired from a well-known magazine for putting a secret message in a supplement—it's exactly that kind of fooling around that makes him perfect for the U.K.'s favorite motoring show.

    In addition to hosting Top Gear, James has kept busy on television by presenting various shows including Jame May's 20th Century, James May's Big Ideas, James May on the Moon and James May at the Edge of Space. He's also authored several books with a range of topics about cars, history, alcohol and toys.

    Visit James May's Booktopia Author Page

    ISBN: 9781844861071
    ISBN-10: 1844861074
    Audience: General
    Format: Hardcover
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 272
    Published: 5th October 2009
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
    Country of Publication: GB
    Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 20.3  x 4.0
    Weight (kg): 1.255
    Edition Number: 1