What is it?
The Pollock’s Toy Museum hosts a lovely collection of old children’s toys. Find it in Fitzrovia, behind Goodge Street tube station and within walking distance of the Cartoon Museum.
5 – 8 / 9 – 12 / 12+
Toddlers & Preschool
It’s £6 for an adult and £4 for a child.
What’s on offer
An alternative to some of London’s tourist traps and typical attractions, Pollock’s Toy Museum has been described as a “hidden gem” showcasing and detailing the history of children’s toys from decades gone by.
The museum is small, but has several rooms throughout, which house dolls, dolls houses, trains, teddies and all kinds of unusual and unexpected play-things.
It’s quite narrow and there are some steps to climb, so we wouldn’t recommend taking a buggy with you. There’s also a gift shop.
Weirdly, exiting through the gift shop at Pollock’s Toy Museum is one of the highlights of the excursion for most visitors. They sell cheap, pocket-money toys as well as more expensive toys – but they’re also unique that it’ll be hard to say no. You should probably plan for a few purchased (including one for yourself`) in your budget.
The beautiful old Victorian building in which the museum is enclosed is something to look at in itself and wandering through the winding rooms at your own pace, especially after queuing or standing in packed crowds, is a very charming experience. Older children who love all things retro and vintage will love everything about the museum itself and the collection on offer.
Older parents, grandparents, great aunties & uncles and other older relatives will probably feel a pinch of nostalgia walking through these walls, as they may well have owned and played with some of the toys on display as a child. So, you might want to save this museum for an extended family day out, especially if someone in the family has an interest in this kind of thing.
For young parents and young children, this museum is educational. There may not be nostalgia, but little ones will learn a lot about what entertainment was like before the iPhone.
What to watch out for
- There are some creepy dolls here, including china dolls. If you think your child will be frightened of them, perhaps give this museum a miss.
- This museum is not very digitally interactive, which might cause some very little children to get bored.
- Children who prefer toys from the digital age may not appreciate what’s on offer here.
- Young parents, be warned, you may not find this museum as nostalgic as you hope, as a lot of these toys are really old.
- Particularly in the case of this attraction, whether or not you’ll enjoy it is completely subjective to your family and their interests. If you think your children will be fascinated, you might want to combine this museum with a trip to the Cartoon Museum.
What the owners say
Visit the official Pollock’s Toy Museum Trust website