Perhaps more than any other time of year, toys take front and center as the holiday season approaches. Even as we grow older, there are always toys that hold a special place in a person’s heart. Remember when you finally got that special stuffed animal or the Hot Wheels car you’d been begging for? You don’t need to wait for the holidays to wander down memory lane. Those feelings can be captured any time of year at dozens of toy museums around the world. Some feature modern or handcrafted toys, while others are a journey through the long history of toymaking.
In a four-story, 19th-century building in Basel, Switzerland, houses the largest toy collection in Europe. The Spielzeug Welten Museum has more than 6,000 toys, with a focus on those crafted between 1870 and 1920, a golden age of toy making. In the heartlands of the United States, Dyersville, Iowa, is known as the farm toy capital of the world. Inside the National Farm Toy Museum, you’ll find die-cast models of familiar tractor brands and agricultural toys crafted in Brazil and Russia. From the Bobblehead Hall of Fame to a museum dedicated to an artisanal toy maker’s craft, get lost with us in the world of toys.