Toy’s nostalgic anniversary picnic is a real family affair

Date: 01/08/2015''Sylvanian Families celebrate their 30th birthday at Wallington Hall, Northumberland today. ''Pictured; Sylvanian selfie #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia
Date: 01/08/2015''Sylvanian Families celebrate their 30th birthday at Wallington Hall, Northumberland today. ''Pictured; Sylvanian selfie #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

A special celebration to commemorate 30 years of Sylvanian Families has taken place at Wallington.

The anniversary party for the popular toy series attracted more than 1,000 fans to the visitor attraction near Cambo.

Date: 01/08/2015''Sylvanian Families celebrate their 30th birthday at Wallington Hall, Northumberland today. ''Pictured; characters with their birthday cake #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

Date: 01/08/2015''Sylvanian Families celebrate their 30th birthday at Wallington Hall, Northumberland today. ''Pictured; characters with their birthday cake #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

And it was not just children of the 1980s and 1990s who enjoyed playing with the little woodland creatures as there were plenty of pre-schoolers and toddlers in attendance as the new generation of fans.

They all came together to celebrate the Sylvanian Families’ 30th anniversary at a giant birthday picnic in the grounds of the National Trust venue on Saturday.

People of all ages attended the event, which saw the Sylvanian characters delight the crowd with live performances of singing and dancing throughout the day.

There was also a host of fun activities for young fans to enjoy, including face-painting, a giant pass the parcel game, musical chairs, colouring sessions and other party games.

Date: 01/08/2015''Sylvanian Families celebrate their 30th birthday at Wallington Hall, Northumberland today. ''Pictured; characters perform for children in the grounds''' #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

Date: 01/08/2015''Sylvanian Families celebrate their 30th birthday at Wallington Hall, Northumberland today. ''Pictured; characters perform for children in the grounds''' #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

A display of vintage Sylvanian Families toys, including some of the most iconic items from the 1980s, such as the canal boat, the windmill and the country cottage, was hugely popular, and prompted many fans to reminisce about their childhood memories of collecting the toys.

In the afternoon, everyone was invited to stand on the lawn in front of the hall and formed a giant #SylvanianSelfie, before heading home with their goody bags.

Sylvanian Families was the brainchild of an executive at the Japanese toy firm Epoch, who reckoned that the idea of a rural English idyll would enchant Japanese children who spent most of their lives in high-rise buildings.

The brand has remained consistently popular in Japan, with manifestations of Sylvania to be found in stage shows, theme parks and themed restaurants.

Date: 01/08/2015''Sylvanian Families celebrate their 30th birthday at Wallington Hall, Northumberland today. ''Pictured; the public picnic and children play with their Sylvanian Family toys. (l-r) Maggie McCheyne, 5, Alice Bain, 4, Rosie Bain, 2. #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

Date: 01/08/2015''Sylvanian Families celebrate their 30th birthday at Wallington Hall, Northumberland today. ''Pictured; the public picnic and children play with their Sylvanian Family toys. (l-r) Maggie McCheyne, 5, Alice Bain, 4, Rosie Bain, 2. #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

It was named Toy of The Year for three years in succession, and has continued to win awards for its detailed modelling and the way it facilitates imaginative play.

The anniversary picnic at the weekend was part of a series of events throughout the year, which will recall the past of many people’s childhoods. The company has even run a competition to twin Sylvania with places in the UK.

The partnership with the National Trust, which manages Wallington, also included a Sylvanian Families Nature Trail, which was designed to encourage children to learn about the surrounding wildlife and trees, reflecting the company’s strategy to focus on nature being at the heart of Sylvanian Families.

For further information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk