Toys through the years featured at Singapore’s Mint Museum of Toys

A promotional poster for the ‘Unbox Presents: Toy Figurines’ pop-up. Photo: Mint Museum of Toys Singapore
A promotional poster for the ‘Unbox Presents: Toy Figurines’ pop-up. Photo: Mint Museum of Toys Singapore

Learn how childhood toys have been switched up and evolved through generations at a vintage pop-up.

From May 28 to Nov. 28, the Mint Museum of Toys Singapore is launching Unbox Presents: Toy Figurines featuring toys such as Barbie, G.I. Joe and Bratz to show how generational shifts are reflected in toy culture.

“Toys echo societal voices, and at the same time, facilitate the progressive changes in society,” lead curator Christopher Ho said in a news release. 

The four-story museum on Seah Street houses more than 50,000 toys, making it the largest collection of vintage toys in Southeast Asia. Some go back to the 1840s and were collected from over 40 countries.

Ho highlighted Barbie dolls, which became popular in the 1960s, for reinventing fashion dolls and creating discussions for greater and better representation of women. They paved the way for the more inclusive and racially diverse Bratz dolls that emerged at the turn of the millennium.

Other changing toys include ones by American fashion doll franchises Monster High and Rainbow High, which made goth and LGBT toys, as well as figures from the worlds of G.I. Joe, He-Man and the Masters of Universe, and M.A.S.K. All will be featured at the exhibition.

“These generational movements depicted by toys […] are vital to understanding the role toy figurines played in impacting childhood experiences within the societal peripheries of each decade, lending it a true lever in the study of history,” the museum added.

Mint Museum of Toys
May 28-Nov. 28
9:30am to 6:30pm, every day except Monday
Level 3, 26 Seah Street

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