Standing in the historical center of Munich, the Marienplatz, while looking at the massive Rathaus, I got a first impression of toys at play. Every hour, the Glockenspiel chimes and out comes the figurines of Bavarians dressed in traditional clothing, dancing high up in the bell tower. They are mechanical toys of the highest quality and never fail to delight the huge crowd of locals and tourists alike who gather on the Marienplatz to enjoy the display.
Befittingly, Munich’s toy museum (or Spielzeugmuseum in German) is located in the Rathausturm on the right, a tower with an archway below where I found the entrance to the museum. The whole structure resembles a miniature medieval castle that I expected Rapunzel and her famous mane of hair hanging out from one of the top windows.
The manufacturing of toys and dolls has a long tradition in Germany with such famous names as Käthe Kruse and Steiff to name but two. Sachsen is well known for toy trains and even the renowned Dresdner Porzellan Manufaktur made extremely life-like doll heads. Ivan Steiger and his family who owns and runs the museum as well as the toy museum in Prague, still has an avid interest in extending his already vast collection and asks owners of toys to get in touch with him on the back of the admission ticket.
But, the collections is not restricted to Germany. An entire display case is dedicated to Barbie! Then there is an incredibly elaborate carousel with countless moving parts as well as trains set in entire landscapes, doll houses, teddy bears, whatever could delight a child’s, and an adult’s, heart is there to be admired.
There is so much to see that three hours flew by without my noticing it. Definitely a must see on your next visit to Munich.
Inka is German and used to be an international attorney with offices in London and Spain. Retired two years ago because I wanted to be a traveler and writer and now live between Didim, Turkey, and Miami with plenty of travel in between. Next destinations: Istanbul, New York and Petra, Jordan.