Let’s get small. Visiting Kansas City’s Miniature and Toy Museum

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Part 1 The Miniatures and Doll House Collection

It is important to find the upside to being temporarily drydocked in your hometown and trying to write a travel blog.  The upside for me has been that I have taken a closer look at Kansas City than I would be if I wasn’t writing. The Miniature and Toy Museum has been around for as long as I can remember and yet, I had never visited. I regret this now. The museum is simply amazing.

To say the collection at the Miniature and Toy Museum in Kansas City is immense would be an understatement. It would almost be without hyperbole to call the array of dolls, toys, games and miniature dollhouses the “Smithsonian of the Midwest.” If it was something you played with as a child you will find it here. And in mint condition too.  If these toys and dollhouses were sold to private collectors it would net millions, but you can see it all for just five bucks.

I was so impressed with the collection and took so many pictures that I am breaking this down into three parts: Part one the miniature dollhouses, Part Two the dolls, plush toys and action figures. And the final Part the huge toy collection. All these items cover the early 1800’s through today.

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English Country Manor House from the early 1920’s. All of these dollhouses had the back garden side of the removed so you are able to see the fine detail in each room. Every room of these dollhouses was fully furnished.
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The back side of one of the dollhouses. This one came with panel doors to keep any of the individual items from falling out. 
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A back pantry room in one of the dollhouses.
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The attention to detail is exquisite. Despite being less than three inches tall. The piano on the left side of this picture has working keys. 
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Brownstone flat from New York City from the late 1800’s. Many of these houses had working lights.
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Why settle for a dollhouse when you can have a doll Chateau?
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Some of the houses were on stands and some were more realistically displayed. All were furnished and most had miniature dolls or figurines inside. 
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Love the detail work on this vignette. The jewelry in the display case is all about a quarter inch in size. 
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These paintings are about two inches high. 

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An apartment block from the 1920’s. In the picture below the back view. Each of the apartments was fully furnished. 

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The next several pictures below are rooms from this dollhouse. Notice the detail work and how the rooms seemed to vary in style and decor.

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This really is a lost art. No one seems to have the patience or time to make such finely detailed work. These dollhouses empowered the children who played with them with a rich imagination. A vast intricate world to build upon. Regardless of how one may feel about our modern world, I think most would agree we could use more imagination. mt1

Tomorrow, Part Two The Dolls, plush toys and action figures. Everything from Victoria and Albert to Teddy Ruxpin to GI Joe and all points in between.

7 Replies to “Let’s get small. Visiting Kansas City’s Miniature and Toy Museum”

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