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Littlest Pet Shop show, now in downtown Las Vegas, sees growth

Updated June 23, 2019 - 11:02 pm

Tiny bobblehead toys from the 1990s are still bringing kids together.

Hundreds of fans and collectors attended LPSCon — based on Hasbro’s Littlest Pet Shop collection — in downtown Las Vegas over the weekend to show off, trade and participate in events with the toys.

Summerlin girl Nana Sarfo, 16, started the annual convention in 2016 at North Tower Park in Summerlin with 16 attendees.

“For these people, these plastic toys mean the world to them,” Sarfo said Sunday. “These plastic toys are their escape from a world that is so judgmental, and having a place like this where they can meet people with the same passions and interests is what we strive for.”

Sarfo started playing with LPS toys when she was 3.

“After that I was hooked,” she said.

Last year, about 360 people attended at the Henderson Convention Center. This year, the two-day convention at Meet Las Vegas, 233 S. Fourth St., sold out with 800 people.

“I never expected to be this big,” Sarfo said. “I love seeing this growth in just our fourth year. It is amazing that our community is passionate about coming together like this.”

Sarfo’s parents, Rose and Kofi Sarfo, said they were proud of what their daughter has accomplished.

“It is not easy bringing 800 people from all over the world together for something. She does everything by herself, the planning, the drawing, the sales, everything here she has done by herself,” Kofi Sarfo said.

Lila Turner, 11, of Austin, Texas, attended the convention for the first time this year with her mother. She said she had 700 to 800 LPS toys.

Lila had rows of little dogs set up on a round table. She explained the difference between the long and short-haired dog toys, then revealed two more backpacks full of LPS toys.

“I think it is awesome, really fun. (I) only have one friend who was into it, but it is so cool to have people here to play with and trade with,” Lila said.

Her mother, Kira, said she was impressed watching the attendees trade and negotiate with each other.

“It is a real skill, and they have gotten better at it over the last few days,” Kira Turner said. “They are learning to be disappointed and how to disappoint people, but be nice about it.”

Elyse Despain, 12, of St. George, Utah, and Laila Pittman, 11, of Illinois, sat next to each other at the convention, organizing their toys.

Laila said Elyse had given her a few LPS toys during the convention.

“It was overwhelming, I was shaking honestly,” Laila said. “… The community is really big, and you can make so many friends from it. I love it.”

Contact Rachel Spacek at 702-387-2921 or rspacek@reviewjournal.com. Follow @RachelSpacek on Twitter.

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