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Thuringia, Germany Tourism
A visit to the "Deutsche Spielzeugmuseum" (Toy Museum) in Sonneberg, Thuringia, Germany
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Metal construction kits were very popular
Whenever new technology came up, it did not take along time until it was also available as a toy. Steam engines, film projectors, trains, cars - you name it.
Nuremberg was always a center of the toy industry but Sonneberg was catching up.
Building blocks, first made out of wood became already popular in the 18 th century. Later some kind of artificial stone material was also used. Today plastic is dominating.
When I was little I always wanted to have a construction kit using metal strips, nuts and bolts. It allowed the children to built cranes, vehicles and all kind of machinery. I never got a large one which could be used to create all these fancy things. But nevertheless I became an engineer.
Many toys were designed to prepare the children for the live as an adult. Believe it or not they all enjoyed it and had fun.
The museum shows a variety of samples.
Even under the communist system high quality electrical trains were manufactured in Sonneberg. Many East German products were sold worldwide.
Metal toys became already available in the 15 th century. As already said Nuremberg was the center of toy production and kept this position for many years.
Naturally, these toys were only affordable by the upper class.
During the 18 th century more workshops started manufacturing mechanized metal toys. This included the previous shown figurines made of pewter or lead.
Toys made of sheet me tall and powered by clockwork mechanisms were best sellers for many years. Many of them are expensive collectibles today, especially when they come with the original packaging.
I found a store in Thuringia who offered great replicas of antique cars made by the well known company "Schuco". Please check the web site of the company "Schuco".
Almost all new technology was available also as a toy
Typical metal toys
One of the main attractions of the museum is a scene from Gulliver's Travels, a children's book and also a satire written by Jonathan Swift an Irish man who lived between 1667 and 1745.
It shows Gulliver waking up in a country, called Liliput finding himself tied down and not being able to move.
The sculpture was first shown during an show in Berlin in the year 1844 and than again during the world exhibition in London in the year 1851.
I read the story when I was a child and I think I have to read it again after I have be reminded of it. Do you still know it? Check the Internet to read the whole story again - I am doing the same.
Gulliver is waking up in Liliput
Dolls from all over the world can be seen
Doll collectors can easily spend a whole day in the museum
We know many doll collectors. Whenever they have an opportunity to visit Germany, they must visit the "Deutsche Speleologists" in Sonneberg. We hope that they can take a German speaking person with them who is willing to translate all the information.
Originally, dolls were not a toy - they were part of certain cults. However, today it is impossible to define a border line between these purposes and being a toy. Dolls are also documents of the past.
If you are a serious doll collector you probably can spend a whole afternoon just studying the dolls from all over the world and the techniques and material used to make them.
Saxony, Thuringia and especially the area around Sonneberg were famous for dolls and Teddy bears.
Artful doll houses are another attraction
The Toy Museum in Sonneberg, Thuringia
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