Monthly Archives: January 2016


#CalderdaleRising BIG Raffle

#CalderdaleRising BIG Raffle

Silly Billy’s is happy to announce that it is taking part in the Calderdale Rising Big Raffle.  Silly Billy’s is donating a Lego Ninjago Masters of Spinjitsu 70737 Set to the cause.
The raffle is being organised by Hebden Bridge Antiques Center and printing kindly organised by The Print Bureau

There are a lot of really good prizes available from an E-Type Jaguar Experience to a Hamper from Hebden’s finest Deli, Pennine Provisions and many many more in between. Prizes are coming in thick and fast so here is the list so far, and there may well be more to add. If you want Raffle Tickets then you can get them from myself, Robert Williams, or Silly Billy’s Pop Up Shop, when we are there, or if you are further afield we will post you the raffle tickets free of charge, simply get in touch via email, facebook, phone or any other method.

Calderdale Rising Raffle
Calderdale Rising BIG Raffle

Here is a not definitive list of prizes offered so far:

·         A Pamper Package for 2 worth £200 from the Banyan Tree, Hebden Bridge
·         £120 (2 hour) Tattoo Gift Voucher from Squid Shock Tattoo, Sowerby Bridge
·         £80 doormat from The Afghan Rug Shop, Hebden Bridge
·         £50 voucher to spend at The Bookcase, Hebden Bridge
·         £50 voucher to spend at Element, Hebden Bridge
·         £50 voucher to spend at Spirals, Hebden Bridge
·         £50 voucher for use on the Evanmore website
·         £50 voucher for use at Circle of Friends, Hebden Bridge
·         £50 voucher for jewellery to spend at The Workshop, Hebden Bridge
·         £50 Jewellery voucher to spend at NC Jewellers, Hebden Bridge
·         A hamper of soap and candle goodies to the value of £50 from Yorkshire Soap, Hebden Bridge
·         A Lego Ninjago Masters of Spinjitsu 70737 Set RRP £39.99 from Silly Billy’s, Hebden Bridge
·         £25 meal vouchers for The Stubbing Wharf, Hebden Bridge and The Shoulder of Mutton, Mytholmroyd
·         2 x £25 Gift Vouchers from the Bicycle Den, Hebden Bridge
·         4 x Wine & Chocolate gift boxes worth £20 from Pennine Wine and Cheese, Hebden Bridge
·         £20 voucher to spend at Brocante, Hebden Bridge
·         £20 voucher to spend at Homely Abode, Luddenden Foot
·         A folding saw horse worth £20 from Bonsalls, Hebden Bridge
·         2 x £10 Something Sweet Gift Vouchers
·         A food hamper from Pennine Provisions, Hebden Bridge
·         A mixed case of beer from Drink? & Bridestones, Hebden Bridge
·         Candle Gift Baskets & a Free Aura, Spirit or Past life Reading Gift voucher from Down 2 Earth, Hebden Bridge
·         A Brew Tea Co. loose leaf teapot with a box of loose leaf tea from Valentine’s, Hebden Bridge
·         Half Day E-Type Jaguar Experience
·         A Photoshoot from Studio C, Todmorden worth £125 with disk images and print ?
·         Blazing Saddles has a surprise
·         Signed Team Sky cycling jersey

The Draw Will be at 3pm on Saturday 6th February

The crowdfunding campaign which we are a part of ends on 12th February so if you could share the campaign that would be great.


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The battle to stop people from copying shapes – BBC News

Attempts to trademark the shapes of Kit Kats and London taxis have failed, opening the door for rivals to imitate them. So how come other products get to protect their distinctive shapes?

You know what a four-finger KitKat looks like. A quartet of slim wafer biscuits, linked together by their chocolate coating. Have a break, etc.

And even if you’ve never visited the city, it’s likely you’ll recognise the bulbous contours of a London black cab, which are every bit as much a symbol of the UK capital as Big Ben (although they do ply their trade in some other British cities).

But at the High Court this week, Mr Justice Arnold ruled that neither’s shape is distinctive enough to trademark.

The London Taxi Company, manufacturer of the traditional hackney carriage, had taken action against the makers of the Metrocab, a new hybrid-powered taxi, saying its design had been “substantially copied” from its own.

Image copyright iStock/Alamy

Image caption London Taxi Company took legal action against Frazer-Nash, which makes the Metrocab (right)

But the judge dismissed the claim, opening the way for the Metrocab model to appear on London’s streets over the next few years.

Likewise Nestle was denied the right to trademark its four-fingered KitKat in the UK when the court agreed with confectionery rivals Cadbury that its shape was not distinctive enough for consumers to identify all such bars as KitKats.

The existence of a similar bar produced in Norway since 1937 called Kvikk Lunsj (meaning “quick lunch”), which is available in some UK shops, did not help Nestle’s case. The Swiss company says it will appeal.

It’s rare for a three-dimensional object to be granted trademark status, but not unheard of. The shape of a four-finger KitKat may not be judged distinctive enough to qualify as a trademark, but those of Toblerone and Nestle’s Walnut Whip are.

Coca-Cola first received the status for the contours of its bottle from the US Patent and Trademark Office as far back as 1960.

Image copyright iStock

There can be huge benefits for firms that are granted trademark status. Unlike patents, which expire after 20 years, a trademark can potentially last forever – thus effectively conferring a long-term monopoly on a particular shape.

So how exactly do you go about getting one?

Firstly, the law requires that the shape is sufficiently distinctive, says Luke McDonagh, an expert in intellectual property law at City University London.

The point of this is to allow consumer to distinguish between different products – “the idea being that consumers would immediately recognise the shape itself and associate it with a particular brand, apart from any logos or brand name packaging”.

The shape of toasters, for instance, has been judged “devoid of any distinctive character”. A toaster is just a toaster. But a Toblerone is a Toblerone. It’s not always an easy distinction to make, but “people know an elephant when they see one”, says Iain Connor, partner in the intellectual property team at law firm Pinsent Masons.

In 2012 Lindt lost an attempt to trademark its chocolate bunnies because a European court ruled “the combination of the shape, the colours and the pleated ribbon with a small bell are not sufficiently different” from the wrapping of other chocolate rabbits.

Image copyright EPA

In the KitKat case, Nestle cited a survey in which 90% of people shown a picture of the chocolate, without any names or symbols attached to it, mentioned KitKat. But Mr Justice Arnold ruled that the consumer relied “only on the word mark KitKat” and other branding to identify it – the chocolate being sold wrapped in packaging.

Likewise, in the black cab ruling, the same judge said the taxi was “merely a variation of the typical shape of a car” and “devoid of inherent distinctive character”.

There’s a second requirement. A trademark must not effectively give a technical monopoly to one company.

According to the Trade Marks Act 1994 – which implements the EU Trade Marks Directive – the shape must not be required to achieve a technical result, arise from the nature of the product itself, or give the product substantial value.

For instance, in a 2002 case, Philips tried to prevent Remington from marketing a three-headed shaver, which Philips said was its trademark. But the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the three-headed shaver was necessary to achieve a technical result, thus could not be protected – as a trademark would effectively give Philips the monopoly on producing that type of shaver.

A similar decision was made by the CJEU in 2010 in relation to the Lego bricks. The court ruled against them being protected, on the basis that this would prevent other companies from manufacturing a basic building toy.

Image copyright iStock

However, in 2015 the court ruled that Lego people (known as mini-figures) were distinctive and their purpose was a human shape, not a technical function. In other words, they were more than just bricks, and thus should be protected.

Another recent case concerned Rubik’s Cubes, which are registered as a trademark in the UK by a company called Seven Towns Limited (STL). A rival toy manufacturer argued trademarking the design gave STL a monopoly.

But the CJEU decided the cube’s distinctive black separating lines were an aesthetic feature, not a technical one, as it would be possible to create a puzzle that did the same job without them.

Image copyright Alamy

Nonetheless, the bar for securing a trademark for a shape is “very high” because courts are wary of granting technical monopolies, says Connor.

“What the KitKat and black cab cases show is how difficult it is to gain protection for a three-dimensional shape,” says McDonagh. While this can result in a challenge for designers, the purpose – in theory – is to protect consumers. Regardless of whether or not you can identify a popular chocolate-covered wafer snack at 100 paces.

More from the Magazine

Last year, manufacturer Nestle argued their four-fingered version of the chocolate-covered wafer snack should become a trademark in the UK, possibly preventing similar products being made. Justin Parkinson looked at the arguments for and against.

Who, What, Why: Can the KitKat shape be a trademark?

Read more:

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Silly Billy's, Hebden Bridge

Calderdale Rising Crowdfund on the Up and Up!

Calderdale Rising Crowdfund on the Up and Up!

A collective crowdfunding campaign, called Calderdale Rising, which was only launched on Friday 15th January 2015, is trending as the most popular campaign on, which currently hosts over 1,000 other live projects, and has already raised almost £110,000.

Led by Business for Calderdale and supported by other business groups in the area, it was created to help support around 100 businesses across Calderdale that were heavily affected by the 2015 Boxing Day floods.  The businesses taking part in the scheme, range from high street shops to professional services and companies in the industrial sector, many of which are still unable to open. The vast majority of these businesses are small, independent and family owned, and many have had to make redundancies whilst they rebuild their premises and purchase new equipment and stock.

Crowdfunding initiatives differ from traditional charity fundraising, as they allow people to not only donate, but also to buy rewards, which may be products or ‘money can’t buy’ experiences. For example, the most popular reward on the page is the Hebden VIP Card, which at £25 to purchase then provides a range of discounts in a number of shops in the town, which is one of the most unique shopping destinations in the country. 74 of these cards have already been sold.

Bridestones Brewery, whose bar and micro-brewery “drink?” was badly hit in the floods, have also offered 3 ‘Beer Lovers Ultimate Gift’ which costs £500 each and allows the purchaser to create, produce and name one of their new ‘Flood Range’ of real ales, alongside the Head Brewer. One of these has already been sold, so there are only 2 remaining.

Plus for visitors to the area, the ‘Grand Day Out’ offered by The Bicycle Den, who also provide details of the iconic routes of the Tour de France for the riders to follow, with a bit of help to power up those hills with electric bikes, is available for £65 (or £50 for the first 10 purchases).  And Hebden Bridge Cruises is selling its Cream Tea afternoon cruises for £20 through the site.

The money raised by the scheme will be shared between all the businesses taking part in the campaign, and with a range of rewards for all pockets, the organisers hope that is will raise a substantial amount of money to help these businesses recover a little more quickly.

For more information, or to donate, please visit: 


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Lego Is A Better Investment Than Gold

All those parents who got their kids Lego for Christmas arewise heads.

The Telegraph are reporting that investors were able to secure a healthier return buying Lego sets over the past 15 years than from the stock market or gold. Lego sets that have been kept in pristine condition have increased by more than 12 per cent each year. Those fools that have invested in poxy gold have only seen a9.6 per cent annual gain.

An example given is the Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon. In 2007 you could have snapped it up for 342.49, if you were to sell it on today it would fetch 2,712 provided that its in mint condition and still in its box. So no playing with your toys, thats not what they are for.

This is an extreme example, but there are other sets that are worth a small fortune too. The Caf Corner, a model of a hotel that went on sale back in 2007 has risen in value from 89.99 to 2,096. Thats a return of 2,230 per cent.

Theres even a site specifically for those who wish to invest in kids bricks,, which tells you the prices you can expect to get for your set.

So kids, if for some reason youre reading this and are yet to take your Lego out of its box, try and resist temptation as it could be worth quite a bit one day. Or, you know, open your box and go play. In fact, just do whatever you want.

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Finally, You Can Make A Lego Person That Looks Like You

Playtime just got personal for Lego fans everywhere.

An online business called Funky 3D Faces is creating custom, 3D-printed Lego heads that look like you, for $30 a head.

“EveryBODY loves Lego — this is the opportunity to have their own head made into miniature to fit on to their favourite Lego minifigures,” the U.K.-based Etsy seller’s ad says.


You,too, can fly an X-wing Starfighter from Star Wars. Or at least the Lego version of you can.

Just like ordinary Legos, the heads can be popped on and off of the plastic figurines’ bodies. Customers must submit two photographs — one showing the person’s face and one showing their profile — which are used to create the head.

The mini-me faces are then constructed out of a sandstone material, with a hole at the bottom for head-to-body attachment.

In January, buyers who order two heads can get one for free, according to the seller.

But don’t get ahead of yourself: The bodies aren’t included.

H/T Mashable

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Toy Fair 2016

London Toy Fair 2016

Despite everything that has happened post the Boxing Day Floods we are striving to start our new retail shop in Hebden Bridge in the most spectacular way possible and hopefully to be open in March 2016.

After the devastation caused to us and many business in the Calder Valley during and after the Boxing day floods, we have been petitioning our suppliers for assistance and much to our surprise Lego have come out on Top, the writer and his middle son have a penchant for Lego and we were very surprised when the Toy Making Giant decided to write off our last invoice AND send us some stock for gratis to sell on. So thanks so much Lego, you will be featured well in Silly Billy’s New Toy Shop pictured below.

New Silly billys
Silly Billy’s Proposed New Shop

As well as thanking Lego, there have been some other suppliers that have treated us well, you will know who you are, and we would like to thank you too. Bill is travelling down to the Toy Fair in London in one week’s time, as he does every year, to elicit some more support for Silly Billy’s as one of the last Independent Toy Shops in the UK and personally thank the suppliers that have helped us out.

Additionally we are involved in #calderdalerising and any support that could be shown towards that crowdfunding project would really help us and all the other affected businesses that are involved.
If you wish to show your support for this project through Crowdfunder:

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Dan Haggerty, ‘Grizzly Adams’ star, dies at 74 – RIP

(CNN)Dan Haggerty, who played mountain man Grizzly Adams in a hit movie followed by a TV show in the 1970s, has died. He was 74.


Haggerty died Friday morning at a Burbank, California, hospital after battling cancer for five months. Doctors discovered the cancer after he had surgery for back pain, Haggerty’s family said in a statement.


Haggerty died surrounded by his family, said his manager, Terry Bomar.

The actor started taking chemo last summer for a spinal tumor, said Bomar, who was friends with the star for nearly 20 years and had been his manager most of that time.. Haggerty thought his condition was improving, but doctors later found a spot on his lung, he said.

“I talked to him yesterday and told him we’re praying for him,” Bomar said. “I told him ‘I love you, man.’ The last thing I heard him say was “I love you.’ “


With his long hair, full beard and 6-foot-1 build, Haggerty seemed born to play Adams, who was based on a 19th-century frontiersman. The character was a wrongly accused man who saves and raises a grizzly bear cub. The bear becomes his constant companion as Adams travels the West, caring for wild animals he finds.

“The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” made for a low six-figure budget, became one of the biggest movie hits of 1974. Three years later NBC turned it into a TV show with the same name.

“The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams” lasted two seasons, but the show’s unique subject and Haggerty’s rugged looks gave the star a name.

Haggerty said he got the job after another actor didn’t work out.

A producer saw him in a movie and asked his secretary — who happened to be Haggerty’s wife — if he was available.

“I came down from Canada, met this guy and he said, I made this movie called ‘Grizzly Adams’ but I’m not crazy about it. How would you like to be Grizzly Adams?” Haggerty recalled. The film grossed more than $50 million worldwide.

The character later returned in a 1982 TV movie.

Haggerty was friendly with wild animals in real life as well. As a Malibu, California-based stuntman and performer before the show started, he had a leopard, a cougar and a tiger on the ranch he shared with his wife and daughters.

Haggerty started his career in beach pictures and biker flicks. After “Grizzly Adams,” he made horror movies and outdoorsy flicks. He also opened a Los Angeles restaurant in 1991.

He suffered a motorcycle crash in 1991. In 2008, a crash claimed the life of his wife, Samantha, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Haggerty is survived by five children, two grandchildren, two sisters and three brothers.

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The BBC Are Bringing Back Robot Wars – ROBOT WARS ROCK

Robot Wars was awesome. A bunch of amateur robot makersgetting obliterated by Matilda or Sir Killalot was a fine way to spend a Friday night.

Well, it’s soon to be making a welcome comeback to our screens after the BBC confirmed six new one hour episodes will be made. The show will have a new structure, which will mean more robots and more battles.

BBC Two and BBC Four controller Kim Shillinglaw said:

“Robot Wars is an absolute TV classic and Im thrilled to be updating it for the next generation of viewers.With new technological advances making for an even more exciting and immersive experience this is a fantastic example of the kind of content-rich factual entertainment that BBC Two excels at.”

The show last appeared on the BBC in 2003, and we can only imagine how much more impressive those mega-machines will be with advanced technology.No official date for the new series has been confirmed as yet, but we do know that battle will commence in Glasgow.

So, what are you waiting for guys, get building! Here’s some inspiration from the top ten Robot Wars battles of yesteryear.

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