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Sunay Akin, who is a well-known Turkish poet and author, curated the Istanbul Toy Museum with toys he acquired from auctions and antique shops in more than 40 countries during a 20-year span. The museum's purpose is to utilize toys to make world history more interesting and engaging for its visitors. For example, in the space toys area, the endeavor to reach the Moon is described, while in the railway toys section, the industrial revolution is described.
Visiting the Istanbul Toy Museum is sure to give you a different perspective about world history and with the help of the Istanbul Tourist Pass, you may just be able to gain that viewpoint.
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Adults will return to their childhood in this museum!
The museum aims to present world history with toys in a more fun and catchy learning method!
Toys from auctions and antique dealers in over 40 countries for over 20 years!
Entry to Istanbul Toy Museum
The Istanbul Toy Museum was founded by poet/author Sunay Akın on 23 April 2005. The museum which houses the most favorite examples of toy history, spanning from the 1700s to today is located in a historical mansion in İstanbul, Göztepe.
The inspiration for the museum comes from Mr. Akın's Nurnberg Toy Museum visit 20 years ago. With the distinction of being founded by a poet and designed by a stage design artist, the museum constitutes to be the first in the world.
The Istanbul Toy Museum houses approximately 4000 toys spanning from the 1700s to today. Along with the traditional and domestic toys, you can also see unique toys from all around the world that represents the history of various countries. Among these valuable toys, you can find elegant examples of Turkish toys, Lehmann toys which are one of the earliest tin toy brands, Victorian-era toys, and the first examples of technological toys. In the museum collection, you can find important toys such as Mona Lisa's one and the only doll which was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci's painting and Charlie Chaplin's own toy which he holds in his hand.
Visiting Hours: Every day 11.00 - 18:00
CLOSED ON MONDAYS
For public transportation, you can take the buses 10B, 10S, 14Ç, 17, 17L, 19F, 19M, 19S from Kadıköy and to "Göztepe" station, or GZ1, GZ2 from Kadıköy to "Tütüncü Mehmet Efendi Camii" station, or ER1, ER2 from Kadıköy to "Erenköy İstasyonu" Station, and then it will take around 10 minutes to walk to the museum from the bus stops.
The famous Turkish poet and author Sunay Akın founded Istanbul Toy Museum on April 23, 2005, which is National Sovereignty and Children's Day. The stage design artist Ayhan Doğan designed the museum. Istanbul Toy Museum locates in a historical mansion and exhibits the most famous examples of toy history from the 1700s until today.
Istanbul Toy Museum was established with the toys that Sunay Akın bought from auctions and antique shops in more than 40 countries over 20 years. The museum aims to present world history to its visitors with a more fun and catchy learning method via toys.
In the space toys section, the effort to reach the Moon, and in the train toys section, the industrial revolution is described in the language of toys.One of the essential features of the Istanbul Toy Museum is that it embraces the family with all its members. In Istanbul Toy Museum, three generations can spend time together and share common happiness. Grandparents, fathers, mothers, and children enjoy telling each other about their time as they are in a time machine voyage. The corridors of the toy museum resound with sounds that begin with the sentence "I had this one!" and stories about childhood memories of the elderly. Istanbul Toy Museum held The TOYCO-2012 Istanbul (European Association of Toy and Children's Museums) meeting in November 2012. As a first in the world, this meeting was held in Turkey for the first time. In this way, Istanbul Toy Museum became a pioneer in establishing the association of children's and toy museums globally. It gave Istanbul the title of "capital of toy museums."
Sunay Akın's dream of establishing a toy museum in his country came true on a white wooden horse. This white wooden horse, the first toy of the Istanbul Toy Museum, was produced in Germany in 1930.
They take Sunay Akın to a photographer in Trabzon before the circumcision. The photographer attaches a toy ship to a five-year-old's hand as an ornament. It wouldn't be easy to leave the toy for Sunay, who thinks the ship is a circumcision gift. But 37 years later, he finds the toy ship "Neptune" in an antique shop in Germany. Neptune is back in Sunay Akın's hands again!
When Fatma İnhan sees that she is afraid of the toy cat that comes as a gift on her child's first birthday, she decides to produce cute animal figures. Her biggest supporter on this issue is her husband, Hikmet İnhan. Thus, Fatoş Toys are born. Fatoş Toys, the pioneer of Turkish toy history, have been children's best friend since 1971. On the museum's ground floor, there are some of the toys produced by Fatoş Toys in the 1970s and 80s.
The first Mickey Mouse toy was made on August 17, 1926, by the Performo Toy Factory in Pennsylvania, USA. Factory owner Rene D. Grove designed the black and white wooden mouse called Micky Mouse.
Mickey Mouse first appeared in front of children as a cartoon character on November 18, 1928. Two years later, in 1930, the Mickey Mouse toy was made in the form of a rag doll. Toy historians claim that Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse inspired by this cute little mouse after seeing it in New York shop windows. You can see both toys side by side in the showcase of the Istanbul Toy Museum.
Mona Lisa is a very famous painting made by the Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci. Leonardo started the work in 1502 and completed it in four years. The original painting is exhibited in Paris, Louvre Museum in France.
The Mona Lisa doll, exhibited at the Istanbul Toy Museum, was produced in 1954 by the famous American porcelain doll maker Fawn Zeller. Zeller was also a founding member of the National Institute of Doll Artists of America, NIADA.
The character of Charlo first appeared in front of the audience for the first time in the movie "Children's Auto Races in Venice" in 1914. The star Charlie Chaplin became famous in a short time.
As the years passed, he took first place in the list of immortals in cinema history. The Charlo doll, produced at the Schoenhut Factory in the USA, was specially designed for the artist and was gifted to him.
Charlie Chaplin sold his beloved Charlo doll for a charity in the 1920s. The toy was later bought by Charlie Chaplin's friend William Morris at an auction. The income was 500 dollars to construct a kindergarten, and it was an important value at that time.
After the deaths of Emma and William Morris, her heirs allowed the Charlo doll to be displayed in the Saranac Lake library to instill a love of reading. Visitors to see Charlie Chaplin's toy while borrowing a book provided a source of income for the library.
Charlo doll, served the habit of reading after the kindergarten's construction, was given to a charity in the 1970s. An auction was held in Texas in December 2013 for the toy, and as a result, Charlo's toy came to the Istanbul Toy Museum on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Istanbul Toy Museum's invitation to the endless world of imagination is not limited to exhibitions. Besides the vast collection of toys, Istanbul Toy Museum continues the bond between the visitors through training and activity programs.
The activities inspired by the collection of toys enable the visitors to find an opportunity to meet different fields of art. The visitors gain more knowledge of world history via the stories of toys connecting the past and the future.The current workshops and activities in Istanbul Toy Museum include:
By having the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, you can visit more than 85+ attractions in Istanbul. You can save huge amount of time and money by not waiting in the long queues or paying fees at the entrances of the museums or for other facilities and activities. You can buy the Istanbul Tourist Pass®️ for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 days. So many attractions are available with Istanbul Tourist Pass®️ such as Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, Dolmabahçe Palace, Sapanca Lake daily tour, Dinner on the Bosphorus, Istanbul Airport Shuttle etc. included in the pass. For more details and updated attractions available with the pass can be found on website.
With Istanbul Tourist Pass, you don’t need to wait in line for Istanbul Toy Museum, and the entry is free of extra charge.
Istanbul Toy Museum is open to visitors every day, except Mondays, between 11:00 am - 18:00 pm.
It was the Turkish poet and author, Mr. Sunay Akin who opened the iconic toy museum of the city.
The Istanbul Toy Museum opened its gates on 23 April 2005, which is the holiday for kids in Turkey.
It depends on how much you like toys! You can spend an average of 2 hours with your children in the museum.
There’s an entrance fee for the museum, but if you have Istanbul Tourist Pass, you do not have to. Just show your digital pass at the entrance and start your visit.
Istanbul Tourist Pass® is easy to use! With only a few clicks, you can buy it online, download it to your phone, and start using your pass right away!
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Every adult want to go back to their childhood sometimes, and every child needs to see that every adult was a child once. Don’t miss the chance to observe the connecting power of toys over the years. Bring your children for a family trip.