Classic toys on display at new Victoria toy museum

If you want to take a trip down memory lane, B. Woodward has you covered. He has toys dating back almost 100 years on display in Victoria at what he has dubbed the National Toy Museum.

Co-owner says National Toy Museum an attempt to inject fun into downtown Victoria after losing attractions

National Toy Museum co-owner B. Woodward stands in front of a portion of the museum's collection. (Robyn Burns/CBC)

This week the self-proclaimed National Toy Museum of Canada opened its doors in Victoria on Broad Street.

Co-owner B. Woodward says the point of his new museum is to take people on a trip down memory lane with the toys of their childhood.

"When I'm looking up here, I think the Muppet wall is one of my favourites … and the He-Man wall, that's one of my favourites too," Woodward told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

Woodward, who also owns collectible toy store Cherry Bomb, started the museum with his wife because he saw Victoria's downtown losing too many of its attractions.

"We've lost Undersea Gardens, we've lost the wax museum, we've lost businesses like Tony's Trick and Joke Shop," he said. "We had this space upstairs, and we said, let's convert it [to a museum]."

Woodward says he wants the museum to be a fun spot, but also a place of education about how standards of toy safety have changed over the years and also how the way toys represent reality has changed.

This Fisher-Price apple toy, on display at the National Toy Museum, gave All Points West host Robyn Burns a sense of nostalgia. (Robyn Burns/CBC)

"The oldest piece we have in here is 1920s Meccano … it was metal, screws. You go by Canadian standards now:  [And] it's a no no no. It's too sharp!  It's too many small pieces! Too chokeable!" he said.

Woodward has been growing the collection from selected pieces he sells at Cherry Bomb and has also accepted donations from local collectors.

Over time, he says his goal is to do special exhibits of certain types of toys — for example, a Star Wars exhibit when the next installment of that franchise is released.

With files from Robyn Burns


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