Toys are a vital part of everyone’s childhood, whether they are intricate electronics or simply fashioned from whatever materials are at hand. Therefore, a toy museum should capture the spirit of childhood as well as displaying examples of toys through the ages, and unfortunately the Nuremberg Toy Museum didn’t quite manage it. There weren’t enough really old toys to show the development of play through the centuries; instead there was a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Of course it was interesting to see four floors of toys, but I was a bit disappointed on the whole.
One thing I really did enjoy was the art on the walls of the stairs — toys worked into other paintings or works of art. As you climbed the stairs, there were also a couple of matching toys to spin; similarly, on the second floor was a ball table that you could play with.
The audio guide cost €1 (not covered by the Nuremberg Card), but I wasn’t impressed by it. I found that there weren’t enough texts, and those that were available were too long. It wasn’t until after we left that Craig gave me the audioguide pamphlet he’d been handed, which outlines all the texts and gives a recommended selection of twelve to listen to if you’re short on time – this would have been really useful if I’d known about it! There was also a kids’ audio tour; I listened to one of the texts and thought it sounded pretty good.It was great that the signs throughout the museum were in both English and German, which meant we could wander through each room at our leisure. However, this wasn’t the case in the special exhibition room on the ground floor, which featured toys from Nuremberg — I was quite interested in this topic but there was no audio guide and no English translation available.
On the whole, I didn’t think the Toy Museum was really worth the time, though the €5 entrance fee is a fair price. If you’re interested in old toys, then you’ll probably be able to spend several hours admiring the craftsmanship and listening to the audioguide, but otherwise I’d give it a miss. That said, if you have a Nuremberg Card and half an hour to fill, it’s a pleasant place to spend your time.