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Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg Toy Museum

This historic toy museum brings a little whimsy to a city not usually remembered for such things.  

While it is generally remembered for the famous trials that took place there, the city of Nuremberg is a vibrant historic city, whose true colors can be seen in places like the Nuremberg Toy Museum. 

Held in an ornate, historic building, the city’s toy museum is a one of the most famous in the world thanks to it’s extensive, priceless collection. Also known as the Lydia Bayer Museum, the facility was first started as a small, private institution based on the titular woman’s collection. She and her husband had began collecting toys as far back as the 1920s and continued throughout their lives. The city took over their collection in 1966 after Lydia’s death and opened the museum in 1971.

Since its opening the collection has continued to grow, and now holds around 12,000 toys in its permanent collection. They range from old wooden puzzles to marionettes to vintage German Struwwelpeter dolls to more modern plastic figures. It comprises a fascinating collection of items that were no always so highly valued, and thus rarely preserved. There is also a large fountain in the front that is adorned with a stylized toy rooster, making sure that no one mistakes just what kind of exhibition lies inside.

As toys become more ephemeral and mass produced collections of the old style of toys will continue to become more hard to come by. So if you visit Nuremberg, be sure to visit the Toy Museum before all these old playthings are forgotten.