MINT – Museum of Toys

MINT – Museum of Toys


introduction :

While I was doing the list of the museums in Singapore, sorting out those I can do alone, and those I prefer to do with my sweety, I fell on “Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys” The Museum of Toys. Toys and nostalgia? It’s more that I need to go!


Location of the Museum of Toys :



Located on Seah Street, right in the heart of the Arts and Heritage area, the museum aims to be one of the largest collections of antique toys in the world.
When you arrive on site you can not miss the building very recognizable.
Its notable aspect lies in its particularly unique façade. Firstly, it was designed to prevent penetration of natural light. UV radiation is fatal to colors and materials, they are blocked to provide optimal conditions of preservation for toys.
But for a facade without window, we can say that the architect was very good (and I’m not the only one to say it because he had several architectural prizes for this achievement) to make it splendid.
Composed of 26 glass panels cut to make the shape of a wave and illuminated from within by optical fibbers passing through from top to bottom. This gives an effect quite charming and modern, contrasting with its contents (for the modern side, do not make me say what I did not write).


MINT - Museum of Toys - Entrée



My visit of the Museum of Toys :

The toy collection is worldwide and at the entrance you can see the flags of the different countries represented. The numbers start to become impressive when we learn that the whole collection contains approximately 50,000 toys to an estimated value of around 5 million SGD. In order to conclude with style, you have to know that the entire collection belongs to one man, Mr. Chang Yang Fa, who has set over 30 years of passion and research to collect it all.


MINT - Museum of Toys - Couloir



I’m lucky, from the top of my 30 years, to be part of this transitional generation who rubbed both old toys from older brothers ​​and modern toys. That is to say the transition from wooden and metallic toys, to the all plastic. So I had the chance to recognize many of the themes and a lot of toy models. However, many are much older than my parents and are more from the generation of grandparents (born in the years following the first world war). Some pieces even date back to the 1850s…


MINT - Museum of Toys - Poupées Chinoises



The building consists of 5 floors each with a particular theme.
The tour begins by taking the elevator to the 5th then down to walking, and through different themes:
– Outerspace: This collection is centered on the character of Dan Dare the intergalactic adventurer. Nevertheless, many elements are simply about space with many spaceships, laser guns, astronauts, and a whole bunch of robots.
– Characters : Here are the legendary characters that have rocked the tender years of past generations. Batman, Green Hornet, Astroboy, Popeye and the amazing Flash Gordon are part of the adventure.
– Childhood Favourites: Here they showcase an incredible amount of teddy bears, followed by very old Chinese dolls. I almost had a tear in my eyes when I saw Félix le chat. Yes a tear because I remember how much I was crying facing this cartoon that looked more like a stroboscope approved as medical detector for epilepsy. Note the presence of a beautiful collection of dolls called “Door of Hope”.
– Collectables: Ha … What would be a collection without items for collectors? So spreads before our eyes a whole range of rare or unique objects under the label Disney, Donald’s family, Mickey’s family, Pinocchio, Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs … Under the English Label are the Beatles, the coronation of the queen … And then a few of the first mobile toys with mechanisms.


MINT - Museum of Toys - Popeye



In the staircase between each floor, we also have the pleasure to see dozens of toys displayed on various topics, including puppets and categories of mobile toys.
Light is an element that has been meticulously thought of and implemented. Indeed, there is no direct lighting. Translucent shelves have incorporated LED diffusing a soft light from all directions at once. There is is almost no shadow effect on elements exposed.


MINT - Museum of Toys - Mobile



If there is one element that meets the eyes, it is the condition of toys. They are all beautifully preserved, many with their original boxes.
Sometimes prices are indicated… As a nice Astroboy pin quoted at SGD 2,000 or Popeye and Olive wagon at SGD 5000 … Prices that are justified by their rarity, but also by their amazing state of preservation. They seem for the most part just coming out of the factory.
Temporary exhibitions are made with newest toys but on old themes, like Tintin, which is typically the subject that has through over the decades and is therefore at once an ancient and modern subject.


MINT - Museum of Toys - Tintin



Here we are, back on the ground floor where there is a store that could not be missed (which offers nothing really amazing …) and a bar in the basement.


My conclusion about the Museum of Toys :

The visit is over and I am quite … disappointed.
You see, for me, the word Museum is not just to show old things, it is also a place that tells the history, evolution and provides information on the topic.
Here we are dealing with a simple exposure. Huge and impressive collection of toys of course, but nothing more than a few dates and prices are given. If you do not know who are Tintin, Popeye, Ferdinand the Bull, Felix the Cat, Flash Gordon and so on, you will learn nothing here. We only watch some old toys and figurines.
There are also many toys I observed that I had, and still have, absolutely no idea about the who, the what or the how. Nothing about the history of toys in general and in particular those exhibited.
This is an exceptional exhibition that I recommend if you want to reminisce those old toys that have rocked your childhood.
Unfortunately this is a bad museum and I would not recommend if you want to learn about the toy universe.