"Toys, Buy Now for Christmas" is now available to stream for free via the Irish Film Institute's IFI Archive Player.

This April 1963 edition of the newsreel shows a fun-filled toy fair in Dublin where visitors are allowed a sneak preview of Christmas stock.

From tricycles to fashion dolls and remote control cars, there was something for every child at this show.

Many of the toys were from the British Tri-ang range. In the 1960s, toy fairs and exhibitions became a popular way for British manufacturers to expand their global reach.

"Toys, Buy Now for Christmas – Amharc Éireann: Eagrán 201" is a part of the Irish Film Institute's Gael Linn Collection.

The Irish Film Institute's Gael Linn Collection

Gael Linn was established in 1953 to promote Irish language and culture. Co-founder and first manager Riobard Mac Góráin immediately realized the importance of promoting the language through entertainment and popular media. Gael Linn’s initial foray into production was the first regular indigenous cinema newsreel since the Irish Events series of the 1920s.

In 1955, Ernest Blythe, Chairman of Comdhail Naisiunta na Gaelige, lent Gael Linn £100 to produce a short film for cinema and the Amharc Éireann (A View of Ireland) newsreel was born.

From 1956 to mid-1957 Amharc Éireann consisted of short single-story items that were distributed to cinemas throughout the country on a monthly basis.

Their popularity was immediate, and by mid-1957, the Rank Film Distributors agreed to supply them to Irish cinemas along with their own newsreel, at which point they became issued on a fortnightly basis.

By 1959 the success of this home-grown newsreel resulted in it being produced weekly and it expanded to include 4 separate news stories. The series continued until 1964 when the immediacy of television as a means of relaying news to the Irish population rendered the newsreel obsolete.

Produced by Colm O’Laoghaire, a total of 267 editions of Amharc Éireann were made. Although Gael Linn’s Amharc Éireann production ceased in late 1964, its influence is ongoing. The range of Irish interest subjects covered (from hard news stories to more magazine-like items) provides a vivid window into the development of modern Ireland at a particularly progressive point in its development and provide a first-hand insight into the moral, cultural and economic development of the country throughout the Whittaker and Lemass eras.

"Toys, Buy Now for Christmas" is published here with permission of Gael Linn and thanks to the Irish Film Institute (IFI), who IrishCentral has partnered up with throughout 2023 to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collection entails. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

To watch more historic Irish footage, visit the IFI Archive Player, the Irish Film Institute’s virtual viewing room that provides audiences around the globe free, instant access to Irish heritage preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive. Irish Culture from the last century is reflected through documentaries, animation, adverts, amateur footage, feature films, and much more. You can also download the IFI Archive Player App for free on iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.

IrishCentral has partnered up with the IFI throughout 2023 to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collections entail. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.