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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Geek Visits: Mint Museum of Toys


 A toy collector? History buff? Going to Singapore? You owe it to yourself to visit this place.



So I was in Singapore for the weekend, and I had to stop by this cool place near Raffles that I've been hearing about recently. It's a vintage toy museum called Mint Museum of Toys, and being the toy collector that I am, I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Mint (Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys) Museum of Toys boasts of being the world's first purpose-built museum for toys, and it's insanely awesome. From the collection of Mr. Chang Yang Fa, Mint Museum of Toys is vintage toy heaven, with toys from almost every corner of the globe spanning 100 years of history.

It's a quirky little place that just oozes fun. The elevator even has a rocket ship printed on the door to make it look like you're blasting off to some big adventure! Cool.

Each floor of the museum is dedicated to a theme, from Outer Space to Characters to Childhood Favorites to Collectibles. Outer Space had tons of cool vintage robot toys, Buck Rogers toy blasters, Dan Dare memorabilia and even Star Wars figures!


I could imagine robot-loving toy collectors' heads exploding as they step into this floor!

The Characters floor was more up my alley, with superheroes like Superman and Batman being represented in vintage toys from the US and even Japan, where the Dark Knight is apparently very popular. It blows my mind just how huge the scope of Batman toys were back then!


The floor also had cool old toys of Japanese favorites like Astro Boy, 8-Man, Kamen Rider and more. They may look pretty simple, but the craftsmanship and creativity of these toys are worth a look.


Stepping down into the Childhood Favorites level floors you with Popeye, Tintin and Mickey Mouse toys. Awesome stuff, and some of these toys, like most of the ones in this museum, are insanely rare and go for as much as $35,000!


The Collectibles floor housed a pretty eclectic mix of toys, with historic handmade Chinese dolls sitting side by side with Barbies and Matchboxes. The Chinese dolls were probably history's very first Hot Toys, with detailed faces and clothes that make them look like they're actually living, breathing people!


It'd be wrong not to mention that the building that houses the museum itself is pretty cool (and an award-winning design, no less). I like the contemporary design of the place...it balances out the vintage-ness of the toys and makes the entire museum a hip and trendy place to be in. It even has a restaurant downstairs called Mr. Punch, and it's filled with vintage advertising signs!

The museum's admission price for adults is S$15, which is a bit steep, but the museum's contents warrant the price, I think. If you're in Singapore, have an hour or two to spare, and want to hang out in a hip museum full of cool toys, you can't go wrong with a visit to Mint Museum of Toys.

For more info, visit the Mint Museum of Toys website at www.emint.com.

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