I believe I’ve built a bullet-proof case in my quest to prove the fact that James May embodies everything one would hope to find in the ideal 21st Century Renaissance Man. I would put him up against any currently living male of the human species. You cannot name another person who has driven the world’s fastest production car at top speed, made a blimp out of a caravan, and eaten bull penis. A more Reanissancey or manly man there is not. Yet, not unlike the situation I found myself in when I started a petition to get Lou Reed’s face put on the Statue of Liberty, I am utterly alone in my pursuit.
The above video is the first episode of James May’s Toy Stories. Here, May sets out to prove that the old toys are better than new toys, mostly because they required imagination and inspired youngsters to be active creators rather than passive consumers. The first episode is an homage to British scale model manufacturer, Airfix. Not only does May manage to get high school kids interested in this character-building hobby, but he and the kids actually make a 1 to 1 scale model of the most popular Airfix model, the Supermarine Spitfire. For those of you poor at maths, 1 to 1 scale is actual size.
The whole series is excellent. He builds a house entirely of Lego and constructs a garden entirely of Plasticine, which he manages to get into the world famous Chelsea Garden Show.
Above is the Supermarine Spitfire I built after watching James May’s Toy Stories. It’s not an Airfix, but that’s not the point. The point is to Get Excited And Make Things. And if you want to do that, there is no better source of inspiration than James May’s Toy Stories. It’s just one more reason I am totally gay for May.