On a recent trip to Victoria, Canada, my wife and I were walking around when she pointed out a toy store ad in the street paper she was reading. Even though we were on vacation and I didn't want to take up both our time on something only I might enjoy she insisted we check it out. I'm so glad she did because we both loved it. Not only is it one of the best toy stores I've ever seen, it also holds the National Toy Museum of Canada!
When you walk in you're greeted by a friendly staff that answers all your questions about the thousands of toys all over the store. They have everything from rare collectables behind glass to bins full of random assortments of accessories you can buy with your spare change. They also have pinball machines and arcade cabinets! Normally I go to an event or store with the intention of writing an entry about it, but again, this was coincidence so I was a bit caught off guard and didn't take that many pictures of the store itself. I did catch a few of the Muppets behind glass though.
In the back of the store there's a stair case guarded by Shredder that leads to the museum. I've mentioned before that one of my favorite things about displaying toys is seeing characters from different franchises standing right next to each other and this combo is no exception. I'd like to think if Silver Surfer warned Shredder of the arrival of Galactus, Shredder would just go to Dimension X and let Earth get consumed.
So up the stairs I went to what I can only imagine Heaven looks like.
The first thing to catch my eye was the wide variety of the age of the toys. The collection starts with a case mostly full of Mego action figures. In addition to the Micronauts and Spider-Man figures there was also a whole shelf dedicated to Hulk. I appreciate the dime store trinkets set up right along with the hundred dollar statues.
No toy museum would be complete without Star Wars. The Sandtrooper and Dewback statue is huge but not as big as the promotional Yoda from Revenge of the Sith right by it.
Yes, I know, I've talked about the Turtles a lot lately but they're just such a big part of toy history, as well as my personal collection. The case across from Yoda was filled with the TMNT. I love that they had vehicles and playsets included with all of the figures. Even accessories like a Turtle Comm are on display!
The sewer playset may be my favorite from when I was a kid. This one practically looks brand new. I still have mine but I'm pretty sure the stickers have all scratched off the surfaces. It's worth it for all that play time it saw.
Moving on to the next case I found more Batman toys than I've seen at most conventions lately. Like the Spider-man case, the Batman collectables on display ranged from dolls from the 70's to current figures based on the look of Batman: The Animated Series.
I used to have that Batmobile above the figure expressions pack pictured below. That was one of my other favorites because you could pull out the main compartment and it doubled as a plane!
I love how they have the most recent edition of the Batmobile was displayed with the villains driving, as if they stole it and are heading out for a joy ride.
Next I found some toys that I never had as a kid but always thought were fun when I would hang out with friends who had them, The Ghostbusters! I'd never seen the Fire House set up like this. I love that you can drip slime through the ceiling and those ghosts coming out of the toilet would have entertained me for hours.
Continuing the theme of the day, check out how well the Fire House works with the figures based off of the look of the Ghostbusters from the movie as well as the toys from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.
And of course, no Ghostbusters set would be complete without my favorite, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!
I moved on to see Gremlins and Mogwai lining the tops of the cases. Awesome assortment but I still want to see the Brain Gremlin. I could kick myself for not buying that back when it wasn't going for over $100 on eBay.
The following display cases were full of toys that were before my time but I appreciate and understand how cool they are for collectors and to the world of toys. While I never saw the cartoon, I thought the light show above Jem and the Holograms was a nice touch.
If you're reading this, I bet you've seen The Toys That Made Us on Netflix. If not, you should fix that. The Masters of the Universe episode was my favorite of the first run. I loved seeing the characters they talked about in their "Classics" form and the animation cels behind the figures were some of the coolest cels on display. They had a lot of the original figures downstairs but I didn't want to take too many pictures of it all. I had to leave surprises for you!
I happened to be walking through the museum at the same time as one other customer. We talked a bit about our favorites as we passed through but the thing that got us really talking was the next case. I don't know if it's a toy collector thing or maybe just a nice Canadian thing but I like that we immediately found something in common and just enjoyed a nice chat with a stranger. What, of all the things presented so far, could make two guys light up like that? Muppets!
I still have a lot of these Palisades Muppets toys and playsets. I didn't realize the company went bankrupt in 2006 until visiting the museum. Too bad. They did a great job turning the Muppets from felt to plastic. I like that they gave us so many of the characters rather than just the main lineup too. You can even see Kermit with the Koozebane creatures in the picture below.
Rounding out the collection is a lineup of Fraggle Happy Meal toys, parading down Sesame Street.
Almost at the end, I found Michael Jackson and Godzilla looming over other Kaiju. There were a lot of amazing Godzilla pieces in this display but there was just a little too much glare on the other photos for my liking. That's just one more reason you need to head in and see the museum for yourself!
Last, a collection of Daleks, Doctors, and the TARDIS from Dr. Who.
Earlier I had mentioned there was one other customer walking through the museum at the same time I was. He happened to be a huge Dr. Who fan and mentioned that of all the movie monsters he's seen in his life, the Weeping Angels were the scariest. Guess what he looked up to see staring back at him in the Dr. Who case?
I went downstairs and told the staff how much I liked the museum. I also showed them how many pictures I took and asked if they were okay with me making a blog about it. They were very supportive and said I was free to do so. When you see the shop for yourself make sure to say hi to Aaron. He's the staff member I spoke to who was nice enough to stop for a picture with me too. He's a Masters of the Universe fanatic and when I told him TMNT was my favorite line he got a Grizzlor for himself and said he had a special figure for me to hold up, Hot Spot!
When in Victoria, Canada, remember to visit Cherry Bomb Toys! If you're a collector I guarantee you will find something amazing and if you've been searching for something rare I'll bet they have it. I didn't want to spoil the whole thing by taking too many pictures so I left plenty for you to discover on your own.
I leave you with this MOTU commercial featuring Aaron's favorite, Grizzlor. Thanks for reading!