Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Day at the (Toy) Museum

Back in March I got to visit a wonderful magical place: a toy museum! Click the link and read all about it!



Some would say I live in a toy museum, but actually getting to walk through a toy museum has never happened before. So when I was invited by a former flame from 17 years ago, I was very quick to say yes. On a side note my romantic life has always been the stuff of a sudsy soap opera. One day I will really share some stories that would be more entertaining than anything from All My Toys. So yes, there is a man who has come back into my life and I am enjoying his company and getting to share in new life experiences. 

Back to the toy museum. On a lovely spring day in March we drove up to Austin to visit the Texas Toy Museum. What happened next was the makings of a day like no other. Before heading to the museum I had done some research and read over the website. I was delighted when I read that they take donations. Well this was just the best because I was all about bringing some lovely toys to leave behind. Who wouldn't want their toys in a toy museum? 

Arriving with my bag of vintage toys (Barbie, Pound Puppies, and Golden Girl's Dragon Queen) I walked up some stairs and into this lobby. I could hear the sounds of arcades in a room off to the side. There was a warm and friendly guy behind a counter with ticket information. I was completely surprised that my donations got us in for free. (Tickets are not that expensive at all) The gentleman behind the counter was thrilled to see the items and I was just ecstatic to be discussing these toy topics with someone who was part of creating this toy museum. Check out the photos below and revel in the vintage goodness of it all!



This lovely Grayskull doorway in the lobby was the entrance into the magic.

Bam! Right when you walk into the room there is this giant Masters of the Universe display surrounded by Plexiglas.

I have never seen the Eternia play set in person. It was stunning. There seemed to also be some work that was still going on with this display, one of the panel of Plexiglas was open. I am merely speculating on all this of course, but if they are working on adding more or moving things around, I am sure it will look amazing.







Also tucked away in the display was a signed photo of Dolph Lundgren as He-Man. Seeing this in the display was just the nicest touch.

Another fabulous display was this multi-layered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle piece that had me itching to play and pose my toys with it.



Check out this whole scene! It's amazing!

Across the TMNT display was this top shelf full of various vintage lines. Super Naturals! Crystar! Blackstar! Simpsons! My goodness, some of these were toys I have never seen in person.

I don't know about you all, but I wanted to leave and head to a toy store hoping to still find Street Sharks on the shelves. These were just stunning to see.

My favorite Street Shark ever! Totally something I hope to have in my collection one day.


Of course there was going to be vintage Star Wars toys in this joint. The museum had quite the collection and it was just a lovely sight to see.


This Ewok's tree house is just the cutest thing!

I gasped and it startled Chris (the former flame who took me to the museum) when I saw these WWE Superstars figures. Oh the love I have for this line.

If there was one photo that I had to take in this space, it was this one. Miss Elizabeth has always been my favorite and this line up was just the best.

Transformers were also readily available to roll out behind the class cases!



I have a few pieces in my collection but nothing like this. At this point standing in the museum, I was just trying to take it all in. Ya know? I was in my element. A huge part of my life has involved toys. This museum was pure magic.

Next I turned to see everyone's Real American Hero. GI Joe was also feature prominently. It is important to note that this section of the museum with the vintage toys and such all resided in one large room. Back to GI Joe, I loved seeing Zarana. That hot pink top was something I always wanted to sport when I was growing up.

The inventiveness with which the curators at this museum used to display the toys was just divine. I can't even imagine the work that went into all of this, but the love and care was evident.




Transformers again. Some of these photos might be out of order, but that is also because I was in a scramble to capture photos. Just when I thought I had captured everything I would see more that I missed. There was a lot to take in.


ThunderCats! I loved seeing this set up. One of the most exciting toy lines ever and I wish it could get a really proper chance to have a comeback in a way where we could see play sets like this again.


Another play set I have never seen in person until now.

They even had M.A.S.K. I mean ahhh!!

Chris was getting into the museum as well, "Some of these toys are not as vivid in my mind as others. These transforming cars, I remember them though." Meanwhile as we are walking and looking, I am telling him what I know of these various toys. He could only laugh, "I knew this would be a fun place for you, but I am thrilled to see so much excitement on your face."

I love some colorful plastic ponies in similar molds with cutie marks. This was probably one of my favorite displays. Another piece I hope to own one day is that pink castle. It's just stunning and I can just see all the toy battles I would be having there. It'd be like a kitschy Game of Thrones.




Not to be outdone, Barbie also had her place in the museum. 

This Dreamhouse was massive. I had a cousin who owned one and I always dreamed I would one day live in a house like this. It will probably never happen but maybe, just maybe, I will get to add one like this to my collection as well. Something like this is just speaks to me on many levels. I am thrilled to take in the history of all these toys. I am gagged to be seeing things I have never seen before. And I am also making a list in my mind of what I would love to still acquire myself! It's a process being in a place like this, I am telling you!

Barbie and the Rockers was also a nice touch.

C.O.P.S. was also in attendance. That property needs to come back, in much the zany way it was originally. I want a Miss Demeanor figure darn it!

Loved these Indiana Jones figures. I had the Marion with her knees tucked in, but I love the look of her in that white gown.

Battle Beasts! I know some of you will love this photo!

Oh my heart! First off, I loved that Pee-Wee signed this Playhouse set. It also made me wish I still had mine from childhood. The poor thing did not age well in the attic and was tossed when I was a pre-teen by my parents. Don't cry for me Argentine, because I am doing just fine thank you very much!


Z-Bots! Oh I know some of you will love this too!

Checking out the Power Rangers items was also a treat too.





Robotech!

Oh that glorious Ghostbuster's Firehouse. So exciting.

 Voltron was well represented!


Smurfs! Look at those mushroom homes!

Care Bears!

I see some of these items and it touched my heart because Justine Dantzer designed some of these toys and seeing them just makes my heart sing. There is a lot of history to these items.

Lovely Rainbow Brite items!

The scent of Strawberry Shortcake was in the air! (Not really but I could smell it in my mind)

I will admit, the Jem and the Holograms display was a little smaller than I had hoped, but I am hoping that will grow in time.

An assortment of girl's toys. Polly Pocket. And what I think are Little Kiddles, but I might be wrong.



I was pleased to see some items from the pink aisle, but there was not as much as I would have liked. And this is in no way a critique on the museum, I understand and get it. Pink aisle toys are often overshadowed. It's just the nature of it all. This reminds me, another item I donated was a Popcorn Pretty. A lovely oddball item from the pink aisle that I am glad will be in the museum for people to see and learn about. There are a lot of great toys that have been made throughout time, particularly the 80's. I am of course biased but not much else I can do about that.

This was on display on the wall. I really love the way these Care Bears are displayed. I feel like I want to do something like that with my Care Bears. It's a lovely look.

While He-Man and his crew got a huge display, She-Ra was not left in the dust. There was a cute section from the Princess of Power toy line. Now this is one that would be amazing to have a huge splashy display with. Crystal Castle up top with a toy waterfall cascading to the Crystal Falls. Oh I would just die!

I nearly did die when I saw this though. It was high on top of a shelf, but nothing escaped my eyes. No, no, no. This Filmation Ghostbusters mansion is splendid. And again, another piece I have never seen in person.
 

Hanging near the ceiling was this beast. It was gigantic. I had always hear it was but my goodness the thing was gigantic. And beautiful.

Another fun inventive case that was hanging on the wall was this one with so many Micro Machines. I got such a kick seeing this whole set up.

DC was there. As was Marvel, but for some reason I did not capture that many photos. At least in terms of Marvel because those old Toybiz greats were high up and it was hard to capture some glorious shots.

BraveStar! A very cute line that piqued my interest a great deal. More so than when I was younger.


By this point we were swinging back around and I wanted to make sure I had not missed a thing. Captain Power was a thing not to miss.

Another area I could not miss were all these Star Trek ships. My dear friend David loves Star Trek so I was snapping photos up and texting them so fast.




It was not all just 80's hits, there were some other toys like this Minnie Mouse that seemed to go further back in toy time.



Once we left that room, Chris and I headed over to the room with the arcade noises. It was the coolest thing. There were old arcades to play. More toys on display and some shelves with toys for sale. These SilverHawks toys were not, but there was a changing light that really illuminated the vac metal on the heroes.


More ThunderCats! Loved seeing that Lion-O on card!

Another section I just got such a kick out of was the Crash Dummies. Tyco struck it out of the park with this toy line. It was such a strange and fun toy line. Many melodramatic car wrecks happened with my toys stories when I was a wee mess of a child.


Back in the main lobby there were some cases with vintage toys for sale. These pieces struck me as the ones where if you have to ask the price, you probably can't afford it. I know I probably could not.

Last but not least was the selection of Dungeons and Dragons toys. A stunning set up for sure.

Leaving this place was bittersweet. We stayed there for quite awhile but I could have stayed longer. I knew there were things I had missed. But that is ok, because I know one day I will be back. With more toys to donate. I think a place like the Texas Toy Museum is a fabulous and very important place to exist. These are artifacts, pieces of a time past that brings excitement, imagination, and joy to people.

One of the things I noticed as I was looking over all these toys were the families that were there. Moms and dads holding their children and pointing out, "Look, these are toys that I played with when I was a kid." Some of these kids were like, "Wow, you played with toys like that?" Or, "Who is that figure? What does that thing do?" It was touching. I loved getting to overhear those conversations.

Some of us never grow up, we keep collecting and playing with our toys. However there are people out there that are getting to see these toys after a very long time. The experience brings forth so many different feelings for people and I think that is important and much needed. I thank Chris so much for inviting me and going on a road trip to marvel at so much iconic plastic.

If you are interested in learning more about the Texas Toy Museum, click here. Even if you can't make it to Austin, TX to see them, they do accept donations so keep that in mind if you have pieces that you want to share with the world and continued to provide awe and wonder for people who have enjoyed the magic of toys.

Stay tuned dear readers! I know there are large gaps between posts, but I am still working on fun toy stories and other fun things. Hope you are all doing well!

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