Toytopia: History through the Lens of Toys

Springfield Museums Hosts Interactive Exhibit
Toytopia: January 12-April 28, 2019

Too cold to play outside? Check out a free museum pass from your local library and stop into the Springfield Museums for their new interactive exhibition, Toytopia. Opening on Saturday, January 12, 2019 and running through April 28, 2019 in the Wood Museum of Springfield History. Toytopia features larger than life toys, hands-on play, and immersive learning. Learn about the origins of toys, discover who made them, why some toys succeeded and some failed, and which toys have become collector’s items (and why!).

Filling the entire great hall of the Wood Museum of Springfield History, Toytopia showcases specialty exhibits from many well known toymakers. Toytopia is particularly well-suited to the Wood Museum of Springfield History because of its connections with Hasbro with the Museum’s Hasbro Gameland, a popular family destination for hands-on, larger than life game fun.

“This new exhibit (Toyopia) will be so much fun for visitors, especially those who know the history of Milton Bradley toys in Springfield,” said Maggie Humberston, Head of Archives at the Museum of Springfield History. Visitors can visit Made in the Valley, also in the Museum of Springfield History, which features Milton Bradley toys among other Springfield Firsts. (Milton Bradley began manufacturing toys in Springfield in 1860. The company later merged with others to become Hasbro® in 1926).

Toytopia includes information on the development of iconic toys to help visitors better understand the history of toys! The exhibit features:

  • The World’s Largest Etch A Sketch, close to 8’ tall
  • Retro Arcade Area, with working classic games
  • A life-size Doll House, with engaging play areas
  • Life-size Monopoly car and game board, Visitors can sit inside for a unique photo opportunity
  • LEGO Play Area/LEGO Wall
  • LEGO Train layout, a fanciful working electric train layout runs through an inventive LEGO landscape
  • A signature Jack in The Box that explores the science of toys, from Furby® to radiometers, plus magnetic interactive play walls
  • Schylling Tin Toys – See how tin toys are created out of simple sheets of tin
  • Keva Planks, Lincoln Logs, and Brain Teasers play areas.

To find out more about Toytopia and exhibition hours, please visit springfieldmuseums.org.


(Submitted by Karen Fisk)

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