If you like toys, you’re probably already familiar with the Museum of Childhood in London. But did you know that there are dozens of other toy museums around the world? Some are small, some are big. Some focus on toys from different cultures, while others focus on a particular type of toy like Barbie dolls or board games. Here are some of my favorite places to visit if you love memorabilia from your childhood.
The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland
The Museum of Childhood was established in 1872 and is located in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is currently part of National Museums Scotland and the museum’s collection includes more than 35,000 items related to childhood past and present. It includes toys and games, books and reading materials, clothing and fashion accessories, dolls, dollhouses and miniature rooms, and other items related to children’s play time.
The National Toy Hall of Fame, Rochester, New York
The National Toy Hall of Fame is a real thing and it’s located in Rochester, New York. It was established in 1998 to honor toys that have made an impact on American culture. There are currently 124 toys enshrined in this institution. The hall includes toys from all over the world, including Japan and China (Toy Story), Germany (Teddy Bears), England (Candyland), France (Playmobil) and even Italy (balloon animals). If you visit the museum’s website you can see lists of inductees back to 1998 along with descriptions of what they did or how they influenced American culture.
The board of directors has representatives from various toy companies including Mattel Inc., LEGO Group A/S and Hasbro Inc., so don’t expect any surprises when it comes time for them to vote each year on who gets inducted into their halls!
Every year there’s also an exhibit at December’s annual meeting during which current nominees are displayed this serves as an opportunity for people who may not otherwise get access get up close with some pretty cool stuff without having an expensive plane ticket just so that they can say “I saw” something cool about toys.
The Nuremberg Toy Museum in Nuremberg, Germany
This toy museum is located in Nuremberg, Germany and boasts a large collection of toys from throughout history. The museum was founded in the former toy factory of Ernst Paul Lehmann who was an artisan tinsmith.
Located on the second floor of a building at 7-9 Kaiserstrasse, the Nuremberg Toy Museum features a doll collection dating back to the 18th century as well as a fantastic array of contemporary toys from around the world. The highlight for many visitors is their extensive collection of old wooden toys, but there are also plenty of newer items including puzzles, dolls houses and even airplanes!
This museum also has an impressive train layout which recreates scenes from around Germany complete with moving trains that pass through towns like Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg.