Welcome to the website of the Museum of Toys and Play

thumb_babajagaThe Museum of Toys and Play is the biggest and the oldest museum of toys in Poland. On an exhibition area of six hundred thirty-one square metres there are presented a few thousands of exhibits. Visitors can see a multitude of exhibitions, among others, historical and folk toys, dolls from all over the world, model cars, aeroplanes, boats, railway models and theatrical dolls.

We endeavour to make the visiting of the museum unusual adventure for children, hence interactive exhibitions where young learners of the history of toys can not only watch but also touch the exhibits. During visiting the museum children have a chance to play both in a play area and, in summer, also in the courtyard of the museum.

The Museum of Toys and Play is housed in a historic 19th-century building of the former covered markets.  Every day at noon from the clock tower of the museum a Świetokrzyska witch which was sculptured by Arkadiusz Latos and installed on the tower by a clockmaker, Bonifacy Komorowski, „flies off”.

MUSEUM OF TOYS AND PLAY
25-367 Kielce
pl. Wolności 2,
Phone: (+48 41) 34 440 78; (+48 41) 34 337 00, Fax: (+4841) 34 448 19
e-mail: poczta@muzeumzabawek.eu

The museum is open daily from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm (from April to October) except Mondays .
Entrance tickets: regular – 10 PLN; reduced rate – 6 PLN.
Please make a booking for groups of more than 15 people. The Museum doesen’t offer guided tours with English, but simple translation is available.

To book a place:
Call: (+48 41) 34 337 06

History of Museum

What connects the Children’s Health Center in Warsaw and the Museum of Toys and Play in Kielce? What toys could be seen on the first show? How many seats had the Museum of Toys and how did they look like? Where is the farthest place which exhibits from Kielce museum traveled to? Who had designed posters, folders and what museum owes to the National Union of Toy Cooperatives? The Museum of Toys and Play invites for travel in time. The exhibition ‘The history of one museum’ documents the history of the institution.

There are in the showcases placed in the museum lobby some toys produced in the toys cooperatives. They could be seen on the first exhibition in the history of museum, in December 1979. There are also foundation papers, photographs from exhibitions, models, plaques and folders. Reprints of the posters from exhibitions and events organized by the museum are placed on a special round bill-post. Above all ‘dominates’ the standard of the National Union of Toy Cooperatives, which the Museum of Toys was founded with in 1979.

Our exhibitions

Toys from Polish Cooperatives

Undoubtly one of the biggest hits of PRL (People Republic of Poland) era toys were that manufactured in the Cooperatives. Since 2009 in our Museum you could visit the exhibition „Made in Poland”.

Because our collection is Poland’s largest collection of toys made in cooperatives, we decided to organize another exhibition devoted to this subject.
It includes exhibits reflecting everyday items (stoves, pieces of furniture, telephones, kits for DIY, cooking), head and dies, semi-finished products for making toys, as well as interest, which, although they meet all criteria ever to market the toy is not entered, the remaining prototypes. We also show books very popular in that era, that are now renewed and are very popular. Provided there is also a mini television and reading corner, where children and adults are able to watch a movie about the history of Polish cooperative toy, as well as read.

Etnographic toys

konguzegoIn the collection there are toys  typical for folk toys industry in Poland (horses, ,,klepaki”-clappers – wooden butterflies or birds on wheels; when pushed with a long stick they roll clapping their wings and also a clay toys) and folk exhibits from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is the largest collection of folk toys in Poland. All are made from natural materials, using the old carpenter’s tools ,,chisel”, ,,kozik” (simple wooden handled pocket knife, similar to French opinel), ,,kobyłka”. Everything is hand crafted and painted. Ethnographic collection of toys made by Stanisław Naróg from Brzoza Stadnicka, representative a Leżajsk folk toys industry centre. Initially Stanisław Naróg used manufacturing toys for family and friends. Children liked his carriages, horses and merry-go-rounds so much so that soon he started selling them. Finally producing toys has become his primary source of income. The author introduced new patterns to his works, original designs and inventions. Many of these were made in only a few copies. Sculptures in miniature ad folk toys industry made by Jan Puk – an  author residing in Trześnia near Sandomierz. The first part of the collection are buildings. He carves his chapels, cottages and farmhouses using the natural shapes of wood, grain system, layout of knots. The Museum has a large collection of Puk’s rattles of various shapes: hearts, cylinders, squares, two tablespoons connected together. Jan Puk is a country folk enthusiast, the great expert on old rural customs,a prattler and a poet and finally a documentalist of his work. The collection of clay sculptures  is made by participants of Circle of Folk Fine Arts from Elementary School in Medynia Głogowska. The oldest art works occurred in our collection in the 80s. These are small figures of saints, pilgrims, working people. Then fairy-tale houses, mysterious characters and animals joined the collection. The supervisor of the Circle of Folk Fine Arts is Jan Kot, who has been teaching children a difficult pottery since the 80s.

The models

The model collection is an integral part of the collection in our institution. Flying, swimming and riding models made of cardboard and plastic are included to the collection.

Anyone can be a modeler. As well the young children as their grandparents are dealing this labor-intensive hobby.

The most precious exhibits are the boatbuilding micro-models made by Władysław Herbuś from Kielce. He is six-times world champion in ship-modeling in the class C-4 (1:250 scale model and smaller, models from basis). The most frequently awarded model is the ORP „Lightning” (a world championship in the years 1987, 1989, 1991).

 

The author of the second collection of modeling is Jerzy Kuzka from Kielce, who had glued together and painted with great care each of every 50 plastic aircraft models in 1:72 scale.

There are jet aeroplanes, gliders and school models. On two cardboards Jerzy Kuzka has painted… Witch on broomsicks.

The third collection consists 20 carton sailing ships made by Rafał Polak: models folded and glued together from prefabricated elements.

samolot-modelThe author treats making sailing ships and other buoyant elements as a good fun and interesting way of spending free time. You can spend up to 12 hours a day building a model. These works truly reflect the nature of the original, they are hand-painted by author. The most interesting among these are: Swedish royal ship „Vasa”, „Amerigo Vespucci” and „Dar Młodzieży”(the gift of youth).

 

 

Toys Town

thumb_miasto_zabawekToys town is permanent exhibition which presents the most precious and the oldest toys from  the museum’s collection. The audience can see for example: the oldest wax doll from XVIII century, porcelain dolls produced in famous European companies in the turn of the century, tiny porcelain dolls, little doll’s suites, copper pots, cookers or doll’s rooms. Every boy surely will enjoy lead toy soldiers, metal fire-fighting vehicle, rocking-horse covered  with calf leather or stone bricks.Toys live in fairylike town full of stylish block of flats, paved roads and stars constellations above. City sounds coming from loudspeakers complete whole picture and create special atmosphere too.

The shop windows with toys inside illuminate when visitor comes near. The exhibition is enriched with optical theatre – a special room dedicated for magical lantern. Computers and screens show the how the magical projectors worked and the manner of watching  of this kind of shows 100 or 200 years ago. Toys workshop is at the end. It is a space filled with replicas of old toys which children can play with -play Peg Solitaire – a board game – puzzle or one person, dispose old toys image puzzles, set up a tower from the stone bricks, manufacture a teddy bear or even drive a retro style fire-engine.

Our publications

This unique publication prepared as a temporary exhibition catalogue (in 2016) is also a unique source of well-documented knowledge on a very specific type of a simple mechanical toy. Toy which has never accrued a „genre name”, thus the title: A Toy Without a Name.

The author, artist-designer has done a thorough research on origins and history of this specific type of toys – from the forties of previous century till recent years – so that her work will be of great interest to all collectors and fans of Wakouwa. Publication is still available and can be bought through e-mail order.