The National Toy Museum of Canada

Museum shows history of world through toys

A new museum in Victoria is proving toys aren't just for kids anymore.

A new museum in Victoria is proving toys aren’t just for kids anymore.

The National Toy Museum of Canada, one of Victoria’s first toy museums, opened its doors earlier this week.

The museum, located in the upper floor of Cherry Bomb Toys at 1410 Broad St., has several displays set up to tell the history of the world through toys.

“It’s a little bit of everything. The whole idea is that we’re trying to appease everybody of every era,” said B Woodward, owner of Cherry Bomb Toys who established the museum.

“We want to teach people and kids how toys work and how things are related . . . For example, Where the Wild Things Are, the monsters were the inspiration for giant Muppets like Sweetums.”

There are a number of displays such as the one dedicated to the Muppets and Fisher Price. It also includes props such as blasters from the TV show Stargate and a copy of the original pitch for Star Trek.

Some of the items are on loan from local residents, but most have come from Woodward’s personal collection.

“I like the stories (from collecting things). The stories are the most interesting aspect. Where did it come from, where did it go, who was it who originally had this piece,” he said, adding he has been collecting toys and memorabilia for more than two decades.

“Some things it’s just been sitting in a closet in an attic since grandma bought it from a nickel and dime store back in the day.”

Recently, Woodward and co-owner and wife Candice have noticed a decline in the number of attractions open to tourists. In the past few years, the Undersea Gardens and the Royal London Wax Museum have closed their doors with no new attractions replacing them.

After years of collecting, Woodward decided to put his own items on display for tourists and residents to enjoy.

“We’re in the capital city, it makes complete sense for tourism to say ‘hey, by the way, come visit the National Toy Museum of Canada’,” said Woodward, noting many of the displays will be on rotation.

“It’s something for our kids and their kids. Our goal is to keep it around Victoria for quite a while. It’s inexpensive family entertainment.”

Since its opening on Monday, dozens of people have made their way through the roughly 450-square-foot-space and for Woodward, it’s just the beginning. He hopes to expand the museum to occupy its own building one day as well.

The museum is by donation and all funds go back into the non-profit organization. People also have the opportunity to loan their toys to be put on display at the museum.