Looking back at the 2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup

There’s something wonderfully melancholic about gazing out a train window watching the rivulets of rain spill across the glass. That is unless you’re on your way to the 2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup!

Last Saturday, bookended by Friday’s sunny 27˚c and Sunday’s sunny 18˚c, I boarded the train for Melbourne. My phone’s weather app mocking me with the chance of rain ranging from 70 – 100% for the next 4 hours. The train trip was spent jumping between messages from Tony and Janan and frantically rechecking the weather app.

Despite endless manic refreshing, the weather app didn’t miraculously revise its prophecy of a damp start to the meetup. But we had an ace up our sleeve. We changed our route to begin undercover at Melbourne’s Federation Square and save the iconic graffiti covered Hosier Lane for the weather to clear. TAKE THAT MELBOURNE RAIN! Sorry for yelling.

Stop 1 – Federation Square

With the rain persisting, bags of toys and camera gear were left under the eaves of Federation Square and toy photographers braved the damp searching out puddles.

2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup
2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup – Puddles and soggy cardboard

Stop 2 – Hosier Lane

With the rain subsiding, we crossed Flinders Street and entered Melbourne’s iconic Hosier Lane. Engulfed by these graffiti covered walls collaborations began, discussions ensued, and ideas, tips and tricks were disclosed. As the rain abated and the weather warmed, so did the meetup.

2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup
2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup: Hosier Lane (image credit: @lego_n_things)
2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup
2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup: Hosier Lane (image credit: @lego_n_things)

Stop 3 – Birrarung Marr Artplay Playground

Time to replenish, eat, chat, photograph and collaborate some more.

2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup
2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup: Lume Cube and Atmosphere Aerosol shenanigans (image credit: @lego_n_things)

Stop 4 – the Yarra foreshore

We meandered our way all the Yarra River towards our post-meetup location. some meandered more than others. I’m looking at you @nivrana!

2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup
2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup (photo credit: @nivrana)

Stop 5 – Pilgrim Bar

An obligatory post-meetup beer, a feed, group photos (both plastic and flesh), BTS winners announced and wonderful discussions. A fitting way to end the day. Hey, that rhymes!

2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup
The 2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup plastic gang!
2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup
The 2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup flesh gang! (image credit: @tonytulloch_tp)


Congratulations to Claire and David for winning the #MelToyPhotoMeetup2018_BTS challenge.

2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup
2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup: #MelToyPhotoMeetup2018 (image credit: @lego_n_things)

Both your photos of the two children who jumped in to help with your setup, and take their own photos, were amazing, spreading the Toy Photographers word, and enlisting future recruits! Plus, we couldn’t send only one of you away with a prize. That would’ve been an awkward train trip home!

More Winners To Come

Janan, Tony and I will be picking our favourite photo from the day utilising the contents of the LEGO Polybags we handed out, using the #MelToyPhotoMeetup2018_LEGO hashtag. We’ll also select the ‘photo of the day’ using the #MelToyPhotoMeetup2018 hashtag. We’ll do that this weekend and we’ll announce the winners in next week’s blog post.


Thank you to everyone who turned up on Saturday, despite the soggy start. Thank you LEGO for providing giveaways and prizes for the day. Thanks also to @krash_override for providing some of your wonderful #krashes_kustoms as prizes. And thank you to Tony and Janan for helping organise the 2018 Melbourne Toy Photographers Meetup.

Bring on the #MelToyPhotoMeetup2019!!

– Brett

If you’ve made through all my blathering and ended up here, you should sign up to our weekly email round up where you’ll get a recap of all the babbling from the week.
Don’t miss out on being in the running to win some incredible LEGO Harry Potter prizes in the Riddikulus #LEGODarkArts contest!


    • brett_wilson

      It was such a great day. Melbourne’s unpredictable weather couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm! And yes, I can’t recommend a day with other toy photographers enough either.

    • brett_wilson

      Melbourne is known for having ‘four season in one day’. But if you’re not happy with the weather, you’ve just got to wait an hour and it’ll change.

      It was a great day. Everyone said they had a hoot. And I definitely did. As I’m sure you know, planning and preparing for these can be stressful, but the time spent with other toy photographers is so good for the soul. And it’s a great way to recharge the batteries and kick start motivation!

  1. Looks like a great time was had by all! Im glad the weather didn’t put a damper on your plans. I remember the one rainy day we had in Seattle two years ago as one of my favorites, despite the weather! Thanks for sharing the experience and all the great behind the scenes photos!

    • brett_wilson

      Yes, despite some soggy knees, the wet weather didn’t really impact on the day. Hey, plastic and flesh are waterproof!
      There was a real sense of comradery on the day. I wonder if that was an unspoken, unified ‘middle finger’ to the rain? Whatever it was, that connection with each other spilled over into collaborations. Something that I’ve missed with other meetups here.
      It was a great day, and a reassuring precursor to future toy photo meetups here in Oz!

  2. David Ridley

    A great read and spot on reflection of the day. I really enjoyed meeting and picking the brains of so many talented photographers, I truly learned heaps. The kids helping Claire and I were a delight and the rain was barely an issue once the creative juices were flowing. Thanks to the organisers and I can’t wait for the next toy photo walk 👍🏻😎

    • brett_wilson

      Thanks David. The day really did have a great vibe. I really enjoyed out chats. Those little helpers your enlisted were so cool! Can’t wait to catch up again at the next one!

  3. Again, when I look at these great shots, full of happy people, sharing their passion [and your pictures!] and joy despite the rain, I really want to make toy safari/meetup in our area. Do You have a “toy safari organizing tutorial”? 😉
    Congratulations Brett, Tony and Janan on the great event!

    • brett_wilson

      Cheers mate.
      YES! Put together a toy photography meetup, you won’t regret it! If you need any help or advice, send me a message, I’d be more than happy to pass on any information I can.

  4. Janan Lee

    What a great summary of the day Brett! I must say the silver lining of that darn rain were the reflection and puddle shots people were getting from the aftermath!

    Thanks to all who have turned up and do keep them images coming! Bring in 2019’s meetup! 😄

  5. Your post pretty much sums up the whole meetup. To be fair, Melbourne’s weather did its part well by giving us enough time to meander heaps! My kitbashed figure’s debut was fun (yeah, haven’t named him yet). Great to meet new faces and chat with regulars. Looking forward to more in future!

  6. Claire Cardwell

    A month down the track and I’m still reflecting on what a wonderful day this was. I really enjoyed meeting some new toy photographers and learning a few new tricks. There is something really inspiring and refreshing about sharing this hobby with like minded people. Glad that Melbourne’s notoriously unpredictable weather allowed us a few opportunities to snap some memorable shots. Can’t wait for the next one !

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