|History of the museum|
The creation and the most important milestones of the Toy Museum in a nutshell:
April 23, 1982, the dream of 17 enthusiastic founders becomes reality: the Toy Museum officially opens its doors.
For the real beginning, we have to go back in time, until 1980.
An exhibition on games and toys of the Folklore Festival of Mechelen in 1980 led to the creation of the “Center for Toys and Folk Art”.
Autumn 1981 a space of 2400 m2 is rented, the first floor of the present Museum. Hardly five months later, the place is ready to receive its first visitors.The Toy Museum grows. In 1984 also the second floor (again 2400 m2) became available to display toys. In 1992, at the occasion of the 10th anniversary, the name was changed into “Toy Museum Mechelen”.
At this moment the Museum has an area of 10 000 m2 to its disposal.
The exhibition of ‘Europa Ludens’ in 1992, with the participation of 27 musea, was the first step to internationalization. The Toy Museum also participated in several cultural activities abroad. Highlights were: exhibitions in Chengdu, China (1993), Arvada, USA (1996), Yuki City, Japan (1998).
In 1995 the Museum received the title of “Cultural Ambassador of Flanders”.In the Museum itself there were many very prestigious exhibitions: “Royal Toys” (1998), “Play, toys and leisure in the era of Charles the Fifth” (2000), “Character Bears by Helga Torfs” (2002) on the occasion of 100 years Teddy Bear and 20 years Toy Museum and the deeply moving exhibition “No Child’s Game” (2003) on the toys of Jewish children during the Second World War.
In 1998, the Toy Museum received the official title of “recognized museum”. In the meantime, a lot of work is done regarding the infrastructure, the accessibility, the care for the collection, an interactive presentation and a profound educative support.The several qualities of the Toy Museum got an official appreciation in 2003, when the Museum received its recognition on the regional level. This will assure an even stronger professional extension of the Museum in the future, where young and old can get to know our play-culture and realize the vital role of toys and games in our society.