Istanbul Toy Museum

The Istanbul Toy Museum was founded on April 23, 2005 at Sunay Akın’s family mansion in Göztepe. The author had conceived the idea of setting up a museum back in his childhood. Six-year-old Sunay Akın visited the Archaeological Museum on a trip to Istanbul with his family. He was so impressed by the trip that he adopted museology as a game and it soon became his favorite type of playtime. However, the other children did not care much for it since it never lasted long enough.

The idea behind the toy museum goes back to a visit the poet made to Nuremberg, Germany, 20 years ago. When he first came across such a museum, Sunay Akın admits that he could not pull himself away from the toys for hours. Akın starts to look for a toy museum in all the countries he goes to, and realizes that in every developed country there is a toy museum and all countries that develop technology are able to become leaders in the toy industry as well. While visiting these museums the poet contemplates on “Imagining and dreaming has a history, too. This history is kept alive in those museums. There ought to be such a museum in Turkey and dreams have to be preserved. ”

The author expresses his mission for setting up this museum as follows, “I always had an inexplicable, awkward emotions at these museums. Why isn’t there a toy museum in my country? That bothered me. You know, when a sand particle enters the oyster, the oyster becomes uncomfortable and discharges a secretion to surround the grain of sand to isolate it; and that is how a pearl is formed…The toy museum is very much that pearl. There was grain of sand in me, and it started to bother me. Thinking about all civilized countries having toy museums urged me to set up this museum”

There are no limits on the number and type of toys in the museum. The moment you step into the toy museum you find yourself in a fairy-tale. The dolls you played house with, your lead soldiers, metal cars, your childhood, all your memories are waiting for you. Sunay Akın collected approximately four thousand antique toys from Turkey and abroad. The oldest toy is a toy violin made in France in 1817, then there is a baby doll made in America in 1820, marbles made in 1860 also from America. One hundred year old tin toys and porcelain dolls made in Germany are among the oldest items in the museum.

The museum consists of five floors. You will find yourself in a submarine on the lower floor where the conference hall is located, and you will feel like you are in the gears of a toy’s mechanism in the café while you are sipping your tea. You will experience different adventures in every room and perhaps reunite with your childhood friends.