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Big Boys Drool at Toys and the Chance to Kick a Field Goal

Seattle show dangles motorcycles, grills, fine cigars and trappings of manliness.

October 30, 2005|Donna Gordon Blankinship | Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE — For the man who has everything -- except a new motorcycle, a pool table and plans for his next exotic golf vacation -- the Big Boys Show brings the ultimate toy store to major American cities this fall.

Men checking out the show in Seattle this weekend can work on their grilling techniques with the latest high-end barbecues, smoke a fine cigar and try to kick a field goal through the Seattle Seahawks' goalposts.

Attendance was sparse on Friday, the first afternoon of the show. The Big Boys Show concept started in Phoenix but has been making its way around the gift-show circuit as the economy picks up and men look to splurge on big-ticket toys, said event manager Tom Cade.

Brad Martin, who runs a construction company in Bonney Lake, Wash., brought his 10-month-old son, Dalton, who took in the action from a stroller.

"There's a lot of stuff around here that I'd like to have -- trucks, snowmobiles, a boat," said Martin, but added that most were "way out of my league."

The most popular attractions on Friday were two full poker tables, a large display of motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, and Qwest Field, where fans were permitted access to the turf where the Seahawks beat the Dallas Cowboys last weekend.

Small gusts of wind prevented most of the armchair athletes from making a 30-yard field goal.

Randy Cole, 24, said he emptied his wallet buying $2 tries in this fundraiser for the American Red Cross. The closest the Gig Harbor. Wash., electrician came was about a foot below the crossbar.

Others were thinking about emptying their wallets inside the stadium halls.

Ed Lutcavich, 44, who works in building maintenance for Qwest Field -- "Make sure you put down that I was on my lunch break." -- was drooling over a $7,000 2006 Yamaha ATV with a fuel-injected engine.

Lutcavich, who already owns eight motorized vehicles -- not including his boat -- said he probably won't be buying a new one soon.

"I'd love to have it," Lutcavich said. "Maybe in a couple years."

Dave Preston, a spokesman for Cycle Barn of Lynnwood, said his company wasn't expecting to make any sales at the show, just getting to know future customers.

Cade agreed there were a lot of expensive toys for people to check out, adding, "We do expect people to spend a lot of money." He expected the weekend attendance to be about 65% male and 35% female.

Jeremy Wilson, in sales for Galvin Flying of Seattle, said he met several dozen future pilots and airplane purchasers in the first few hours of the show, but hadn't made any actual sales.

At the Events & Adventures booth, three women promoting the dating service drew attention from the mostly male crowd.

"Lots of people are asking if we are single," said Alma Avery Rubenstein, a dating coach with personalmatchmaking.comwho added that she is single. "Just because I help others doesn't mean I can help myself."

Around the corner in the three-booth "women's section," Mara Lim of Sassy B Froufrou said men took one look at her fake-fur and glitter-decorated flip-flops and asked: "What is that doing at the Big Boys Show?"

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