Tag Archives: toys

Model Trains and Old Dolls at the Toy and Miniature Museum in Stellenbosch (2017-09-16) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 03 NOV 2017

Tucked in among all the old period buildings that form the backbone of the Stellenbosch Museum complex is a rather fascinating little find – hidden around a corner and housed in a beautiful classic Cape Dutch style home is the Stellenbosch Toy and Miniature Museum, home to an eclectic mixture of vintage toys from days long past.

Inside the small museum you’ll find a large collection of antique toys and collectibles for both boys and girls, with some of the dolls on show for example being more than a century old!

The first thing that you’ll see on entry is a large doll house that is actually a replica of the neo-classical, double story, flat roofed Georgian style manor house of the Uitkyk Wine Estate on the outskirts of Stellenbosch.

The doll house is fully furnished with accurate, to scale dolls, furniture and household wares from the period, similar to the items that you would find in the old house museums that make up the Stellenbosch Village Museum.

Also, as you would expect given the amount of times these things show up in horror movies, a lot of the old dolls are pretty creepy looking – meaning that neither the girls nor I spent too much time looking at any of them!

There are loads of dinky toys, cuddly bears, tea sets, doll houses, room boxes, and model trains to browse through, though of course the most exciting of all is when you spot something that you yourself may have owned or played with when you were young – like this translucent brown United piggy bank that I fondly remember stashing all my coins into back when I was a young boy!

The small toy museum’s biggest attraction is however is its detailed model train build, depicting South Africa’s famous Blue Train and its journey from a miniature Stellenbosch through the Cape Winelands and over the mountains to the Karoo, passing Matjiesfontein before making its return back to the fertile grounds of Stellenbosch again.

(A simple R5 coin is all you need to set the train off, and without a doubt this was by far the best part – and probably only bit they liked – of our visit for the girls!)

The museum isn’t particularly large and you could easily breeze through it in a couple of minutes. However, if you take your time to work through some of the rather interesting exhibits, then you can most definitely while away a bit of time as you dip back into some fond memories of your own youth.

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Honestly, the toy museum is not the greatest of activities when it comes to entertaining one’s kids, but as an adult I did rather enjoy the trip down memory lane.

(Oh, and if you are wondering about that last photo which appears to be a shot of a bowl of chocolate pudding with ice cream, well that is exactly what it is. Thanks Mom!)

Related Link: Stellenbosch Toy Museum

The Plastic Record Player
[Partner Content] 23 DEC 2016

For some reason my mom opted to store most of the toys that Ryan, Claire and myself played with as children. As it turns out, both my kids and Claire’s kids love this very decision of hers – because it means that when the grandchildren arrive at Granny and Grandpa’s house for a visit then there are loads of toys already there, just waiting to be played with!

One of the favourites for the girls to pull out of the toybox is this old wind-up, red and white toy music box/record player.

Despite coming from the ’80s, this brightly coloured music box still winds up and plays tunes via its rainbow coloured selection of plastic ‘records’, basically pretending that it hasn’t just spent the last 30 years of its life in the back of a dusty cupboard!

But that’s the thing though – my mom held Fisher-Price toys in high regard, believing them to be the best in terms of quality and longevity, and this record player from them then kind of proves that very point.

The plastic hasn’t perished, the wind-up mechanism still works, and the colours haven’t really faded all that much either.

More importantly, the girls get an absolute kick out of playing with it.

For some or other reason, Fisher-Price kind of disappeared off the radar in South Africa in recent years though – with the result that both Emily and Jessica missed out on the excellence of their toys through, which really is a pity.

The truth of the matter is that most of the toys that they had as toddlers have long since been donated already, with most of those toys being already near the end of their lifespan anyway.

Pleasingly though, Fisher-Price have now themselves recognized the fact that they have managed to miss out on a whole generation of kids playing with their toys – and are now putting a whole lot of focus on rekindling their relationship with us the South African parents.

Which is kind of neat when you think about just how good their toys really are.

So, the question then is – do you have any memories of your favourite Fisher-Price toys from when you were a kid?

Related Link: Fisher-Price Facebook

Hanging About Jessica 13 JUL 2011

Sometimes I wonder if Chantelle and I didn’t produce a monkey.

After all, every time I snap a quick pick of Jessica playing with a toy, she is undoubtedly hanging from it, clinging to it for all her worth, or at least for as long as it is willing to fight back against gravity and the hefty weight of one so little.

That said, the delightful mobile that we have hanging above her cot decided the other day to give up its struggle, and collapsed on top of a very surprised baby.

Which did distract her from her crying session I might add.

Hmm, maybe I should jury-rig more of her toys in this fashion then…? ;)

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