Relive the lives of children through the ages via collections of toys, games and puppets at this quirky museum.
Take a trip down memory lane at Pollock’s Toy Museum and discover a fascinating exhibition of old toys from the Victorian era to the late 20th century. See everything from board games and teddy bears to dolls, television puppets and toy theaters. Pollock’s Toy Museum is housed in two unrestored century-old houses located in London’s Fitzrovia neighborhood.
The museum takes its name from Benjamin Pollock, who was one of the last prominent printers of toy theaters. These craft kits were fashionable in the 1800s and gave collectors the chance to recreate popular stage shows in a miniature form. Many of those on display today were printed by hand, assembled and painted by Pollock. Admire the colorful and detailed artwork, which is a testament to the talent of Pollock and a lost art.
Other artifacts are set in display cabinets spread over six rooms, each accessible by rickety staircases. See a collection of antique dolls, some with friendly faces and others creepy, and what is believed to be the world’s oldest teddy bear. There are toy cars and trains, board games in their original boxes, a Subbuteo table soccer set and a mouse made out of Egyptian clay that dates back to 2,000 B.C.
Finish your visit at the museum shop. Toy enthusiasts will enjoy browsing the shelves and looking for one-of-a-kind pieces to add to their own personal collection. There’s another shop dedicated to the toy theaters of Benjamin Pollock located in Covent Garden.
Pollock’s Toy Museum is open from Monday to Saturday and there’s an admission fee, with discounts for children. You’ll find it located in the Fitzrovia district, which is part of the London Borough of Camden. Catch the underground to any of Goodge Street, Russell Square or Tottenham Court Road stations. Popular London attractions nearby include Grant Museum of Zoology, The British Museum and The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.