Since its opening in 2011, the Antalya Toy Museum has attracted a total of 100,000 visitors, both from Turkey and further abroad. The museum display toys from the 1860s to the present day.
Antalya is known as Turkey’s capital of fun in the sun, sea and sand, but a world of play is also awaiting tourists in the southern destination at the city’s toy museum, which has already drawn 100,000 visitors in just two years.
The Antalya Toy Museum, which is located on the Kaleiçi Yacht Pier and opened in April 2011, is home to many antique toys that poet and writer Sunay Akın collected from auctions in foreign countries. In all, the museum exhibits 3,000 toys from the 1860s to the 1980s, drawing people from around the world who are interested in seeing antique and valuable toys.
Toys from the Unites States, Japan and Germany are all the products of factories in the wake of the Industrial Revolution.
Museum Manager Saliha Özdemir İpek said the museum opened with the collaboration of Akın 2.5 years ago and was now attracting people of all ages.
Noting that there were 3,000 toys in the museum, İpek said only 2,000 of them were currently on display. The museum team makes arrangements in curation and often changes the displayed toys in the museum. Thanks to this rotation, all toys have the chance to be displayed.
“Among the toys that are displayed in the museum are ones from the Industrial Revolution and the World War II era,” said İpek, adding that most of the toys came from the U.S. and Japan.
There are many toys from Anatolia, especially from the 1970s and 1980s, she said.
Museum attracts tourists in the city
Noting that tourists were also very interested in the museum, İpek said the museum had welcomed 23,500 visitors since the beginning of the year, pushing the total figure past 100,000 since April 2011.
Especially during summer, tourists from Turkey and further abroad visit the museum the most, she said, noting that the number of visitors was increasing with each passing day.
“Apart from children, grownups are also very interested in the museum,” she said, adding that grownups came to see the toys that they played with in the past. The museum also provides workshops and atelier works for children.
The workshops and atelier activities provide opportunities for busy families to gather together, meaning, for instance, that fathers and sons can spend time together. This has also helped to develop communication between family members, she said.
“There are some 150 toy museums in the world. This museum is opening in the city of Santa Claus [Antalya], and is one of the most successful ones in the world,” Akın had said around the time of the opening.
“This museum was the best gift to children on such a day. The toys in the museum are antique ones. They are very important for children to improve their [sense of mystery]. The museum is also important for adults who did not have chance to play with such toys in their childhood. This will be a good beginning and treasure for them,” AntalyaMayor Mustafa Akaydın also said previously.
Toys from the world
The museum presents toys that have been collected from Turkey and around the world; some of the toys on display are hundreds of years old. Guests of the museum are welcomed by cartoon character Red Kit, his dog, Rin Tin Tin, and their enemy, the Dalton Brothers. They also see toys recalling the Stone Age, the Space Age and other epochs. The museum also presents automobile and animal figures whose production began in the 1950s, as well as wooden toys made by Anatolian children.
Other objects in the museum include small figurines of well-known film people such as Elvis Presley and Cher, as well as the heroes of films like “Casablanca,” “Gone with the Wind” and “King Kong.”