Have You Tried Virtual Museum Exhibitions & Tours in Singapore?
Have you ever wanted more from your museum-going experience? Our Virtual Museum invites you to reach past the glass to meet some of the star toys from two of our permanent exhibitions – Collectables and Childhood Favourites.
Through a 360° virtual environment, you will be introduced to a specially curated collection of vintage toys through animated clips, guided voice narration and minigames.
You will also get a chance to learn about the museum’s larger collections, some of which you just have to see in person! Unleash your inner child and explore the vintage collections of the MINT Museum of Toys in Singapore. Join us on an exciting virtual tour right from the comfort of your home today!
Discover the Power and Past of Toys through Time
The Collectables virtual exhibition spans a number of key collections which trace centuries of play, showing how the world of toys has been shaped by major global events in Singapore and worldwide. Come play an ancient Indian board game which introduced children to important moral questions, or let our animations transport you into the exciting landscape of the Industrial Revolution, when globalisation sent the climbing monkey and other popular toys to far flung corners of the earth.
Our hands-on museum exhibits are designed to let you travel back in time, to understand how toys capture and respond to historical, political, and cultural changes. Listen to a narrated 19th century children’s book to learn about the complicated history of the golliwogg, and hear the heart-rending story of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong by exploring our Michael Lee collection. Through this virtual museum tour, you will find that toys are not just mere playthings, but also valuable historical artefacts that document and preserve our past.
Discover Iconic Childhood Toys in a Whole New Light
The Childhood Favourites virtual exhibition offers a valuable glimpse into different experiences of early childhood from all around the world, while showcasing some of the museum’s rarest and most sought-after toys. Navigate the complex social hierarchies of 1920s Shanghai with our Door of Hope dolls, which became unexpected ambassadors for women’s independence by transforming the lives of young orphaned girls through education; or let the Sea View Hotel Chef take you on a grand culinary voyage amidst the glitz and glamour of New Year’s Eve banquets during Singapore’s pre-war hotel boom.
Come relive the joy of childhood seaside vacations with a tour through our extensive range of Punch and Judy puppets, and discover a time when children’s entertainment looked very different. Join a three-part online storytelling session, or try piecing together a classic Punch and Judy storyline through our interactive touchpoints! Our handcrafted international dolls, puppets, and teddy bears have a lot to say – we invite you to hear their stories, or play a game with them!
In addition, take a look at how our event space is transformed by one of the museum’s core programmes UNBOX into a multidisciplinary seasonal exhibition titled “ThisConnect: What Am I, If I Am Not”, organised in collaboration with mental health advocacy group ThisConnect.Today. By bringing together members of Singapore’s community, the works exhibited explore pressing issues surrounding mental health, human connection, and emotional wellness.
Relive the Joy of Childhood Seaside Vacation in Britain with The Punch & Judy Puppet Show
Come relive the joy of childhood seaside vacations with a tour through our extensive range of Punch and Judy puppets, and discover a time when children’s entertainment looked very different. Join a three-part online storytelling session, or try piecing together a classic Punch and Judy storyline through our interactive touchpoints!
Meet Your Heroes from Popular Culture
The Characters virtual exhibition features a range of well-known character toys and collectables from Cartoon Animations, the Silent Film era, World of Comic Books and Japanese Manga and Walt Disney.
As one of the driving forces behind the production of toys, cartoon animations began life as 2D characters hand-drawn frame by frame. Bugs Bunny from Looney Tunes was one of these characters which quickly became popular entertainment, not just with children but also for adults. Other iconic characters born during the Golden Age of Animation include Popeye the Sailor Man from Thimble Theatre as well as Tom and Jerry and Fred Flintstone from Hanna Barbera.
Popular in the 1910s and throughout the 1920s, silent films heralded the birth of Hollywood. As film production became more professional and creative with the addition of sound, colour and special effects, characters from movies during that era such as Felix the Cat acquired greater dimensions in popularity.
From the 1930s, comic books assumed an importance that has remained lasting, providing us with enduring superheroes such as Batman and Tintin. Japanese manga however tended to feature robotic android superheroes such as Gigantor Tetsujin-28 as a reflection of the Japanese psyche and attitude towards war and atomic power.
No exhibition of character toys would be complete without a nod to the enormous influence of Walt Disney. From cartoons such as Mickey Mouse and Friends to classic fairy tales and modern fables like Snow White & the 7 Dwarves, Disney has been responsible for many celebrated figures, several of whom can be found in their theme parks.
As an addition to the virtual museum experience, highlighted toys and collectables belonging to the museum’s Spooky Horror collection such as Nutty Mad Car can be found at the Stairwell 4/3, remember to check it out after you have explored Characters.
Take A Leap Into Outerspace
The idea of artificial intelligence began in ancient times, with stories about humans creating artificial beings imbued with intelligence. Greek mythology speaks of a giant bronze warrior Talos who would guard Crete from invaders, and the idea of a golem – a figure made of inanimate material like clay which could come alive to do the bidding of its owner – circulated in Jewish folklore.
Later Mary Shelley wrote about the tragic Frankenstein and Czech playwright Karel Capek innovatively introduced the idea of a robot in his play RUR while HG Wells spun a tale of aliens that resembled robots attacking the Earth.
Out of this daring imagination have emerged modern machines, automobiles, rockets, and other technological wonders that contribute to modern life. And artificial intelligence is not only found in unbeatable chess-playing programs, self-driving vehicles and smart bombs, but also in robot companions like Sony’s Aibo dog.
This virtual exhibition reflects man’s early fascination with robots, humanoid robots and astronauts through toys such as Hook Robot and Smoking Spaceman. With the America vs Russia race for space travel supremacy from the 1930s through the Cold War, the exhibition also simultaneously showcases toy spaceships, vehicles, aliens and weapons such a Two Stage Rocket Launching Pad, Moon ZX 8 Rocket, Atlas Space Robot and Space Patrol Walkie Talkie.
Comic Book and Cinematic Space Heroes that influenced pop culture such as Dan Dare, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon are also featured in the realm of this outer space exhibition.
As an addition to the virtual museum experience, highlighted toys and collectables belonging to the museum’s Birth of Astro Boy collection such as Astro Boy Riding Tricycle can be found at the Stairwell 5/4, remember to check it out after you have explored Outerspace.
Explore Vintage Marketing in a Modern Unconventional Setting
This collection is as unusual as the space it takes place in. The Public Gallery is an unconventional gallery that is versatile in its function: as a contemporary venue, exhibition gallery and event space. This protean expanse welcomes collaborations with artmakers and invites them to synergise their vision to this space innovatively.
The museum’s vintage enamel signs takes us back to the middle of the 19th century in the United Kingdom, when these colourful signs first started to appear. Striking visuals matched with clever slogans quickly caught the attention of the British public. They were widely used to advertise everything from domestic products such as laundry powder and infant food, to delicacies like chocolate. They were also employed as advertisements to alehouses and to market commercial establishments and services such as newsagents and tobacconists.
These signs also serve as a historical document of the different facets of modern life. With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, the middle classes with their newfound wealth were now able to enjoy a standard of life that was previously unattainable.
Toy Figurines that Sparked Generational Shifts
Take a look at how our event space is transformed by one of the museum’s core programmes UNBOX into a seasonal exhibition titled ‘UNBOX Presents: Toy Figurines’ which underpinned and sparked generational shifts through 10 collections of toy figurines and dolls.
In the economic boom of postwar years, the pioneering Barbie let little girls break away from the domesticated worldviews of earlier paper dolls. Rapid globalisation in the 20th century required adapting the fashion doll for newer markets, which then gave rise to the queen of Japanese dress-up dolls, Licca Chan. The definition of womanhood further shifted and expanded in the age of the Internet that called upon greater representation with more inclusive toys. Here, the racially-diverse Bratz dolls replaced Barbie’s single-tone and sweet personas with edgy personalities that empowered young girls.
The rapid spread of global pop culture when the Internet developed allowed many toymakers to dabble in once-taboo areas, like goth and LGBTQ+ which laid the successful paths for Monster High and Rainbow High. The narratives of G.I. Joe, He-Man and the Masters of Universe, and M.A.S.K travelled a similar course, among many others, which the public can delve into at this exhibition.
Rediscover the Diversity and Richness of History & Culture
Passionate about design and the arts, the founder of MINT Museum of Toys, Mr Chang Yang Fa, has amassed a collection over more than 40 years that is representative of his personal interests. With more than 50,000 items, the collection continues to grow, informed by his diverse and eclectic interest in history, culture and the arts
The museum began as a seedling of an idea. In Mr Chang’s mind, he imagined a space that would be devoted to childhood memorabilia and vintage toys. And he wanted to share this with the public, who could simultaneously rediscover the past and revisit their own childhood memories.
This collection reflects Mr Chang’s fascination with design (the Desk Lamp that is symbolic of the Bauhaus movement), curiosity about the arts (the punk-influenced pollinator sculpture, wood carvings, ikat), interest in literature (David Copperfield, Aesop’s Fables, Ferdinand The Bull; early Western and Chinese comics) and inclination towards culture (nutcrackers, luggage labels, Alice in Wonderland figurines, enamel teapots and flasks).