This travel guide was prepared by: international trading company
136 West Main Street | Welland Ontario Canada L3C 5A2
I have severe hearing problems - please contact me by e-mail
Thuringia, Germany Tourism
A visit to the "Deutsche Spielzeugmuseum" (Toy Museum) in Sonneberg, Thuringia, Germany
Go to page
Military toys were always popular
Many parents in Europe are against these kind of toys. After having experienced the war in person or seeing the results on TV or in magazines makes this understandable.
Nevertheless, when I was little I liked them too and I believe that it needs much more to make young people to peace keepers than to keep them away from the real world and isolate them for a limited time. After a certain age they are allowed anyhow to do what they want and parents have only a very limited power to influence them. It is better not keep them away from the reality and teach them to do the right things as long as they are young and listen to you.
The museum shows military toys from different periods. The real boom started in the 19 th century when all kind of figurines made out of pewter or lead became popular. Numerous battle situations could be arranged and children could play for hours to kill the "bad ones".
Toys made during the Hitler regime
Naturally, this all happened with the blessing of the governments in power and the industry had no objections - and as I can see not too much has changed in many countries. Just look at the violent computer games, certain movies, faked weapons and the situation at school. I do not know a single case of such things before the sixties, especially not in Germany.
For that reason see all the military toys as part of history and do not think about Germans as war mongers. Whatever the situation is, we are all militarists or we are too peaceful wimps. In realty, we just learned our lessons. When do other nations follow?
Most of these toys are certainly today very valuable collectibles. Whenever, I checked antique stores in Germany, I could not see any for sale.
Much more peaceful - wooden jumping jacks
Many of the shown wooden toys are still made in certain areas in Thuringia, Saxony and Bavaria. We offered them for many years. We traveled to the little home based companies and selected them. It was always a pleasure to meet the down to earth craftspeople and to make business with them.
Unfortunately, we experienced lots of breakage during shipping and transportation to shows.
More a collectible than a toy
Pewter was not only used for soldiers
Wooden toys have a long history in Germany. At the beginning of the 18 th century it started to become some kind of home based industry. This is still the case as you can see, especially when you visit the "Erzgebirge" in Saxony in the area around Seiffen. We saw the complete family, including grandma and grandpa and the children working on wooden miniatures, nutcrackers, smokers etc.
The quality of the wooden toys is amazing
The toys shown her are top quality which is difficult to find today where the little companies have to compete against cheap imports from far east. But you still can find suppliers who are committed to the traditional craftsmanship.
Figurines made out of pewter or even lead were very popular. They are still made for collectors. However, lead is banned today after everybody knows how dangerous it can be. We imported some from the United Kingdom.
This hand painted hunting scene is one of the many displayed examples. I am sure the children had lots of fun to arrange different sceneries and to use their imagination. Maybe some allowed the deer to escape and to disappoint the hunters.
I became convinced that many of the "old" toys inspired the fantasy of the kids much more than most of the toys which are offered today. Toy makers from all over the world should visit this museum to get some "new" ideas. I am sure the visit will pay off if they come with an open mind.
The Toy Museum in Sonneberg, Thuringia
Werbung in unserem englischen Internet-Reiseführer für Thüringen
Erfurt Thuringia (Thüringen) some impressions- einige Impressionen
Thuringia, wining and dining - a guide
Watch the video: "Some impressions from the Weimar Region. Einige Impressionen vom Weimar Kreis"
Watch the video: Thuringia Health Spas - tourism, Badelandschaften in Thüringen
The Bertholdsburg in Schleusingen host an interesting museum, Thuringia