MINT- Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia With Toys- is said to be the world’s first purpose-built toy museum and the largest toy museum in South Asia. Its premium collection of rare and vintage toys from the 1800s to the mid-1900s make the museum worthy of its name and should not be missed by anyone who is fond of toys or has an interest in unique historical artifacts. It will be a particularly special treat for your children and be educational for them at the same time.
The museum consists of a private collection owned by Chang Yang Fa, an engineer who has been collecting toys for over 25 years. MINT Museum currently contains more than 50,000 toys; because of the huge size of its collection, only 10 percent of it is on display at a given time. The display gets rotated once every three months, offering something new and interesting to its visitors each time.
The collection was opened for public view in May 2006. It is housed in a contemporary style, five-story building designed by award-winning Singapore architectural firm SCDA Architects.
See the dazzling variety of childhood celebrations:
- The toys are arranged by themes (not, interestingly, by country of origin). This setting is sure to open your eyes to how toys can be truly universal and speak a common language. The 4 main themes on each level are Characters, Outerspace, Childhood Favorites, and Collectibles.
Some gems to look out for:
- Among the Museum’s most valuable toys are a Popeye the Sailor and Batman, each of which are worth over $5 million.
- Other featured toys include Disney toys, pre-war Japanese toys, China-made toys, an exclusive Teddy Bear Collection, and old comic collections such as Golden Age Comics and Tintin. One of the oldest toys featured there is a German-made Chinese Stair Walker toy, dating back to 1840.
- A 1930s Mickey Mouse by Steiff, bought in an auction in London 10 years ago and restored by a toy expert.
- Another Mickey Mouse piece from the 1930s with a toothy grin: because it did not get approval from Walt Disney, its production was halted. It is extremely rare: it is perhaps one of only five pieces in the world today and is worth over $15,000.
- A 1903 Steiff Bear still in excellent condition, valued over $100,000.
- A pair of Door of Hope dolls dating back to the early 1900s, hand-made by girls in Shanghai to sustain Door of Hope’s missionary movement. Of all the pairs made, no two dolls are the same.
Sophisticated dining amongst trinkets of the past:
The Museum’s restaurant offers a cosmopolitan cuisine as well as a fine selection of wines. It is so well-renowned that several tourists discovered the museum on the pretext of visiting the restaurant!
- The museum is available to be booked for private functions such as product launches, corporate events, and birthday celebrations.
- On occasions such as as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, all four floors of the Museum are opened for dining among the toys.
As the museum’s welcoming message says, “Whether you are a child at heart or an avid toy collector, the Mint Museum of Toys has something for everyone…it boasts a rich mix of nostalgia, education and inspiration”. To commemorate your memorable exploration, visit the museum shop to take home a keepsake.
26 Seah Street
Tel: (65) 6339 0660
Fax: (65) 6334 3373
Mint Museum and Mint Shop: 9.30 am to 6.30 pm, daily.
Mint Cafe: 9.30 am to 10.30 pm, daily.
Child 2 to 12 years old: $7.50
Child below 2 years old: Free
Senior citizens: $7.50 (60 years old and above)
Photo Credit: Choo Yut Shing