Toy Museums – 3 Of The Best In The World
These three toy museums are great fun for the kids, but also bring out the child in most adults too!
Since time immemorial, children have had toys. Whether it was just a basic stick or a wooden car, toys are a part of growing up, learning, developing, and generally having fun. Several museums have been set up in the world to exhibit toys from days gone by. Each brings a feeling of nostalgia and fascination for all ages. These are three of the best toy museums in the world.
1. Pollock’s Toy Museum, London, UK
This charming museum is housed in a Victorian building in London and is home to tin soldiers, china dolls, and toy theaters dating from the 1800s.
Toy theaters are an almost forgotten craft these days. This is due to the work involved in making them, including intricate printing plates and beautifully constructed characters. Benjamin Pollock was one of the last printers working in the toy theater trade and the museum is named for him.
In the 1800s, these toy theaters were hugely popular. Parents spent hours assembling craft kits to form their favorite stage plays and reenacting them with the family. However, once stage theater headed into other formats in the 1900s, it became more difficult to translate them into toy theaters. Regrettably, they fell out of favor.
Not to worry, as parents and children can visit Pollock’s Toy Museum to see these beautifully preserved toy theaters as well as a variety of other antique toys. The museum has spread into the neighboring building where a retail shop is housed, allowing visitors to buy something to take home with them.
2. Lark Toys, Kellogg, Minnesota
This charming location has been named in the Top 10 Best Toy Stores in the world by USA Today, and for good reason. Lark Toys is a part toy store and art museum and is a gem of a store for children and the young at heart. Not only does it have historic displays of toys through the ages, however. It also has a handmade carousel, unique in the world, which customers can ride on a series of fantasy animals.
Family-owned, Lark Toys originally sold handmade, heirloom-quality wooden toys and has expanded to include all kinds of vintage toys for children and adults alike. There is even an 18-hole miniature golf course on-site and a candy shop for those with a sweet tooth.
Among the historic toys on display are elegant dolls from the past, sitting next to Barbie and Ken. Howdy Doody is there too, along with tin dollhouses, erector sets, pedal cars, and more. They also have real llamas!
3. The National Toy Hall Of Fame, Rochester, New York
This museum is for anyone who wants to see the greatest toys ever made. Among the favorite toys inducted here are Yo-Yos, GI Joes, Barbie, Erector Set, Etch-A-Sketch, and many more.
The National Toy Hall of Fame is located on the top floor of the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. This is a perfect place for adults and children alike. However, adults are warned that the museum also acts as a children’s play area, so it can get very lively!
The Toy Hall of Fame was originally established in 1998 in Salem, Oregon, but moved to Rochester in 2002. Since it first opened, 49 toys have been included in the Hall of Fame. If anyone notes the absence of their favorite toy, they are welcome to nominate it for inclusion in the next year’s class. This keeps things interesting for return visits to the museum.
Have fun with the kids on your next vacation by returning to your own childhood at one of these popular toy museums.