Thursday, March 6, 2014

MINT Museum of Toys


Next up in my tour of Singapore museums: the MINT Museum of Toys. MINT, which stands for "Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys," provided a blast from the past with loads of vintage toys and collectables. The floors were filled with household names like Mickey, Popeye, and Batman, but many new Asian classics that I had never encountered before.

The place reminded me in many ways of the Philatelic Museum which I recently visited - small, quirky, relatively few patrons, but full of fascinating stories told through the exhibits. Opened in 2006, it boasts a collection worth over S$5 million, with more than 50,000 items from 40 different countries. 

One of my favorite sections had dolls that were handcrafted as part of the Door of Hope mission. Established in 1901 in Shanghai, the organization helped Chinese women and children escape from brothels by teaching them to read, write, and sew. Protected by local police, the girls and women were able to reclaim their lives at the mission while creating these amazingly intricate pieces. Each one of the dolls is a unique piece, often depicting various persons found in Chinese society.

Door of Hope dolls. The detail in their faces and the clothing is extraordinary
There were fours floors of exhibits: Outerspace, Characters, Childhood Favourites, and Collectibles. We perused at our leisure, with the "Best of Disney" soundtrack humming in the background. I would certainly recommend visiting here, perhaps as an early afternoon activity. 

Additionally, there is a lovely restaurant, Mr. Punch, on the basement floor. The walls are completely covered by vintage signs and advertisements, and our brunch was quite tasty as well.

Popeye, saving the world in between snacks of spinach
I wish they still sold these
I'd ask for some bigger oxygen tanks, personally

Astro Boy, a Japanese creation from the 1950s
Plenty of Star Wars memorabilia 
Tintin, in the original French
Yes, that is a hopscotch area on the right
Back when Mickey looked like an actual mouse
The best part about Beatles collectibles - everything comes in fours


Mr. Punch, great place to grab a lazy Sunday brunch. The museum entrance above on the right

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