Located in the mild-mannered city of Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma, The Toy and Action Figure Museum celebrates the bright, wild world of action figures with a cacophonous collection of plastic characters.
The museum’s collection is housed in a large room that is partitioned off into different sections including a collection of cartoon artwork from famous Oklahoma illustrators and a room known as the “Batcave” that features nothing but Batman-related figures and collectables. The museum holds over 13,000 separate action figures, many which, in true collector fashion, have never been taken out of their packages.
The main attraction of the museum is the sprawling central diorama which features thousands of figures from every imaginable franchise posed in a phantasmagoric riot of licensed plastic. Spider-Man swings past a hanging X-Wing fighter while Psycho Man makes an entrance onto a Peewee’s Playhouse playset. The net effect is a joyous sense of childish play.
Opened in 2005, the museum was actually started thanks to a program started by the city of Paul’s Valley. Nearly five years before the museum’s opening, the city of Paul’s Valley started an initiative called Vision 2010, the goal of which was to create attractions which would drive local tourism. To this end, local toy designer Kevin Stark began working on The Toy and Action Figure Museum that stands today. Stark was able to open the museum as a fully accredited nonprofit, thus making it the only official museum of its kind in the world.
In addition to all of the toys on permanent display at the museum, visitors can pick up some action figures of their own at the site’s gift shop, which is unsurprisingly more of a toy store than a knick-knack peddler.