Mint – Singapore’s Toy Museum That Houses 5 Stories of Nostalgic History

Mint Toy Museum entranceDo you remember the days when you were 5 years old and you’d wake up super early in the morning just to catch the latest episode of He-Man? Or watch the Transformers in their ongoing battle with the Deceptions?

As a kid, I’d be glued to the TV screen for hours every Saturday morning, watching all of my childhood superhero shows…..GI Joes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Silverhawks, and Thundercats were among the bunch. Immediately after my dose of on-screen entertainment, my brothers and I would pull out our toy bin and prepare for a playful yet strategic battle between our plastic companions. We would take careful time setting up our fortresses to ensure our teams were safe from attack, equip our figures with their necessary weaponry and ammunition, and begin the battle.

Those days were common throughout my youth. Toys are a symbolic element to our childhood and bring us back to remember our days growing up. To me they are invaluable treasures that I don’t want to give away and it’s the reason I have a stash of action figures up in my Mom’s attic at 27 years old. In recent years I’ve even purchased a few of the original 1988 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures in their original packaging. For toy enthusiasts like me, I enjoy building a collection and someday it would be nice to have a room dedicated to showcasing these miniature statues. It is these reasons that I enjoy visiting toy museums like the Mint museum in Singapore. 

Stacey at the Mint Toy Museum in Singapore
Stacey Posing For the Camera
4th Floor of Mint Toy Museum
4th Floor Character Toys

This building dedicated to showcasing the history of children’s play objects is 5 stories and beautifully designed.  Every floor has a landing that introduces you to its contents in big, bold, and beautiful sans serif type.  The lighting is dimly set, providing a peaceful and serene setting where visitors can walk through the entire museum at a leisurely pace.  The interior is set in a modern style that is clean and simple and directs the attention to the toys themselves.  The toys, dolls, boardgames, and other items are all housed up in glass cases.  Each floor is lined up from wall to wall with the collection including items from the past 100 years.  Popeye, Might Mouse, Superman, Batman, Astroboy, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Dan Dare, Mickey Mouse, and Tom & Jerry is only a fraction of the list. 

Also housed in this gallery are figures that display the ugly past of blatant human racism with the collection of Golliwogs. What are Golliwog Toys and Ten Little Nigger Boys all about? Read The Fascination of Golliwog Dolls >

Racist Golliwogg Collection
Golliwog Dolls
Ten Little Nigger Boys
Ten Little Nigger Boys

A favorite of mine was the collection of dolls under the late Michael Lee, a famous dollmaker from Hong Kong who moved to a war refugee camp there from Shanghai during the communist takeover in the late 40’s.  During his stay at the camp he began making dolls and eventually employed other refugee women in the trade in order to collect funds to pay for food and other necessities.  What began as a pastime became his lifelong work up until he passed away in 1996.  Its very moving to hear the entire story behind his dolls and a representation of what toys stand for – they bring much happiness to the world and bring out the innocence of childhood in all of us. Read more about Michael Lee from Dollhouse Days.

Chinese Civilian Dolls made by late Michael Lee
Michael Lee’s First Doll in 1946
Chinese Civilian Dolls made by late Michael Lee
Dolls by Michael Lee

Beyond the displays, visitors can also visit the cafe below along with the museum store which sells toys and trinkets.  Stace and I each ended up purchasing tin wind-up toys to add to our personal collection.

Tin Toys from Mint Singapore Toy Museum
Tin Windup Airplane
Geisha Doll Fan from Mint Singapore Toy Museum
Stacey’s Geisha Doll Fan
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