Friday, 1 July 2011

My Journey to Mint Museum of Toys

Next, my Journey to Mint Museum of Toys is one of the world first purpose-built museum for toys, which showcases a private collections of vintage toys, including rare and unique pieces from around the world. It was officially opened on 5 March 2007 which more than four years from now, and officiated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr George Yeo.
MINT is an acronym for "Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys" and also defines the exhibits in the collection, of which majority are in "mint condition" though they are vintage.
The museum collection includes more than 50,000 pieces of vintage toys and childhood memorabilia from the mid-19th century to mid-20th century. All the toys displayed in the museum are the lifetime collection of Singaporean Mr Chang Yan Fa from St. Andrew's School.

Exhibits on display include Disneymana toys, Astro Boy, Batman, Bonzo the Dog, Dan Dare, Popeye the Sailor, Pre-war Japanese toys include a 'Door of Hope' Chinese doll collection dating from 20th century. Teddy Bear collection as well as Chinese comics and comic covers fating from 1920s, Tintin collectibles and many more. These collection is said to be originate from over 40 countries worldwide.
Besides exhibiting vintage toys and childhood memorabilia, the museum's collection also includes a large collection of enamel signs and tin boxes which are displayed in the museum's restaurant and wine bar.
My hubby's company organized this tour to the Mint Museum of Toys for the whole family and friends, held on 25 June 2011 in the afternoon. We only paid for S$3/ pax instead of an original adult/child price that are S$15 (adult) and S$7.50 (Child) respectively. So we are able to join them on that day and took a Mrt ride from our place to City Hall mrt (our meeting point), waited for the rest at about 2pm. This museum is located beside Raffles Hotel from City Hall Mrt walked a short distance about 5 mins.

Mint Museum of Toys and Wine-bar
After 5 mins walks, we managed to reach at the Museum, we saw wine-bar is in front of Museum which is linked to the basement of "The Punch" restaurant, just beside the entrance of Mint Museum of Toys and the counter is located at the left side of the sales of vintages toys and others at the counter. This Museum is housed in a contemporary five-storey building which boasts a rich mix of nostalgia, education and inspiration. As you can see the 'Green' Building which is the Mint Museum of Toys and the Wine-bar in front of the Mint's entrance. (see pic above)

The Lift

Teddy Bears and Betty Boop

Hand Puppets and Door of Hope
After the company's organiser got the tickets, we went to take a lift which is beside the ticket counter, the lift is somewhat had a picture of 'Aeroplane' pasted on the lift (pic above) and the lift took us to the third-storey of which showcases of "Childhood Favourites" are 'Door of Hope, Michael Lee, Betty Boop, Shirley Temple, Teddy Bears, Golliwoggs, Marionettes, hand Puppets, Push Puppets, games and other.

This vintage toys are more expensive which can cost up to USD15,000 for a set of toys or individual toy can cost about USD2,000 and above (quote as estimates value indicated on the shelves).
As we walked along the corridor, the shelves which displays full of vintages toys in the shelves, are from USA, Japan, China, Sweden, France, Spain, England and other countries that shown on the display shelves and the year indicated back of centuries (1900s to 1940s) which are before WWII. I wonder how these toys are managed to survive during WWI and WWII. And the oldest ones which we saw as early as 1870s!

Popeye The Sailorman
Astro Boy
At the 4-Storey, we saw the board indicated shown "Characters" - Batman, Superman, Green Hornet, Bruce Lee, Astroboy, Gigontor, Ultraman, Disneymana, Hanna-Barbara, Popeye, Tintin and others.

Batman & Robin and Tintin toys
There is the one that we use it for our daily life during waking up as well as sleeping time, a toothpaste (black&white), that we ever heard of such a toy that exhibits in the museum: 'Darlie' the toothpaste origins from England. There are so much toys at all levels which we somehow couldn't taken off our eyes! It's very cute toys and other than even England's Queen Elizabeth II - the toys also exhibit in the museum at level 2.
Darlie the 'Toothpaste
And there are tin boxes so called 'luggages box' display on the shelves that describes all disneymana such as Popeye the sailorman, The Hulk, Batman & Robin, Walt Disney World and others. (pic below)

Toy luggages (Tin box)
At we further up the level 5 which stated on the wall: 'Outerspace' where there are rows of the space ships and toys of different shapes and sizes from all over the world. (pic below)

Startreks and Space ships
So much more, we only managed to roam for two hours or so, as there are so many toys which we couldn't describe most of it here. Yeah...afraid of being too long winded for putting up all the photos which I took more than 350 photos in one shot of all directions and video too.
Tin Pails

And there are also Tin pails & Spades and Tin Tops which exhibit in between the staircase that you might able to see on the shelves. This Tin Pails and Spades (1930's - 1960's) are made in Australia, Japan, UK and USA and Tin Tops (1930's - 1930's) are made in Germany, UK and USA.

Finally, we managed to capture the most childhood of playing games till now - Marbles, Shuttlecock, Bupper toys, Skipper as well as 'five-stones' which I had played since I was a kid and a teenager too. (pic above).
Mint Shop
As we went down the staircase of ground floor of the ticket counter, facing the sales counter which sells toys, magnets and others which cost as low as S$1 and above.(pic above)
Mr Punch Restaurant
Along the Mint Shop, I noticed the restaurant basement called "Mr Punch" which has the menus of food and drinks while you can see wide range of nostalgic decor of vintage enamel and tin advertising signs that lines the walls of the restaurant and wine bar. A comprehensive menu featuring international cuisine is created to suit all palates at both dining places. You can choose to 'Dine among the Toys' on special occasions such as Christmas and New Year's Eve. The museum is also an ideal place to hold corporate functions, birthday parties, product launches and other private events with a customised menu from the restaurant being served.
After this tour about 2 hrs, we felf thirsty and went nearby Raffles Hotel for a drink, suddenly I remembered that there is an Museum at Raffles Hotel which is 'Free' admission too. You will soon see photos at Raffles Hotel as well as Raffles Hotel's Museum that will post in my blog soon. See ya..

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